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David J. Baker
Opera News, October 2013

Hvorostovsky’s affinity for Tchaikovsky’s lyricism and the harsh contrasts in Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death remains as vital as ever…his Mussorgsky cycle also shows a new maturity and confidence.

In the diabolical martial and dance rhythms of later songs…[Hvorostovsky] shows greater strength and solidity. Death is more clearly in control. The more leisurely tempo taken by the baritone and his accompanist Ivari Ilja reinforces this inevitable aspect of the drama.

Anyone devoted to song needs to know the work of Sergei Taneyev…Hvorostovsky and Ilja have cherry-picked a marvelous assortment of the late-Romantic composer’s dramatic and stylistic display pieces…The pianist makes a feast of the smorgasbord of effects…Hvorostovsky is fearless and diverse… © 2013 Opera News Read complete review



Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, July 2013

…these songs…are certainly fascinating and the singing and playing throughout is riveting. A disc not only for lovers of Russian music. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Ralph V Lucano
American Record Guide, May 2013

The sound is excellent; transliterated texts and translations are supplied. This is quite an interesting recital, and anyone interested in Russian song should find it rewarding. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Geoffrey Norris
Gramophone, April 2013

…[Dmitri Hvorostovsky] brings to his interpretations a new richness and darkness of timbre, beautifully polished as it always was but enhanced with an even deeper understanding of how to project the subtleties of Mussorgsky’s vocal writing…Hvorostovsky is strongly and sensitively accompanied by his customary pianist, Ivari Ilja, in performances that probe to the very core of the anguish in these extraordinary songs, calling into play a remarkable range of expressive nuance, heartfelt sensibility and tonal shading.

This is a top-choice version of the Songs and Dances of Death and it is rendered even more valuable through being set in the context of equally persuasive performances of Tchaikovsky and Taneyev. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone





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