Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Rachmaninov Romances

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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson

Because Sergey Rachmaninov's most popular pieces are oriented toward the solo piano or piano and orchestra, his vocal music -- apart from the perennial Vocalise -- is often overlooked; even when it is given some consideration, it is usually discounted as a sideline to the major works. Yet Rachmaninov composed more than 80 songs throughout his career, which shows more than a passing interest in the genre, and his special aptitude for long-breathed melodies is evident in his intensely lyrical settings. Dmitry Hvorostovsky has recorded 26 of these songs (sometimes the composer referred to them as romances, hence the album's title), and this 2012 release on Ondine provides a generous sampling of the songs in Russian. Hvorostovsky's rich and vibrant baritone lends emotional weight to the somber songs, and his seriousness in the passionate numbers keeps them from sinking into bathos. He is accompanied sympathetically and with great restraint by pianist Ivari Ilja, and the two artists control the material with a simplicity of expression that might befits Schubert lieder. Whether or not Rachmaninov's vocal music rises to that level is for the listener to decide, but there can be no doubt that it receives a first-rate performance here and benefits from the attention. Ondine's sound is clear and naturally resonant, and Hvorostovsky has magnificent presence.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:35 Amazon
2 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 03:02 Amazon
3 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 01:52 Amazon
4 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:31 Amazon
5 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:54 Amazon
6 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 04:49 Amazon
7 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:16 Amazon
8 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 01:34 Amazon
9 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 01:31 Amazon
10 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:01 Amazon
11 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 01:44 Amazon
12 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 03:09 Amazon
13 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:18 Amazon
14 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 03:11 Amazon
15 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:02 Amazon
16 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:01 Amazon
17 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:14 Amazon
18 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:13 Amazon
19 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 01:54 Amazon
20 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 01:29 Amazon
21 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:55 Amazon
22 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:10 Amazon
23 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:30 Amazon
24 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 02:08 Amazon
25 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 03:39 Amazon
26 Dmitri Hvorostovsky 03:26 Amazon
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