The Russian baritone, who died last week, has received a posthumous nomination for his recording of Georgy Sviridov’s song cycle, ‘Russia Cast Adrift’.
The nomination is for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.
I wonder why he re-recorded the Sviridov songs. I have the first album of them, which also includes some Rachmaninov songs (thus providing a more satisfactory album than the new one, which in your review you suggest is rather short). I went to Montreal to hear him sing the Sviridov — along with, I think, Das Lied von der Erde to fill out the programme — in the mid-90s. It was one of the first times he had performed them, if not the first — he spoke of his wish for Sviridov to be better known worldwide.
Had he recorded the orchestral arrangements before? I’m listening to the version with piano accompaniment now, they are just stunning!
In an interview (I think in late 2015) he said he still felt he had something to say in the Sviridov songs; that’s why, although he had cut back on pretty much everything else, he still wanted to do this, with an orchestral rather than piano accompaniment. I think it was recorded in mid-2016; he was undergoing treatment during that time and it would have been arduous. That may explain the brevity of the recording, although in my opinion the quality of DH’s interpretation is still exceptional and very deserving of this nomination.
Thanks. Hadn’t seen that interview, and it makes complete sense — his commitment to Sviridov was very intense and it is typical that he would continue to think about the music.
There was a moving obituary on Presto Classical on 22 November :
To answer V. Lind: Hvorostovsky’s recording grew not only out of his artistic desire to revisit Sviridov’s cycle after two decades (they were very close friends), but to realize the intention of the late composer to have the songs orchestrated. Both of his recordings of “Russia Cast Adrift” are absolutely marvelous.
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