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Tchaikovsky Romances

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Audio CD, October 27, 2009
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Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. 6 Romances, Op. 6: No. 6. Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt (None but the Lonely Heart) 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. 12 Romances, Op. 60: No. 9. Noch' (Night) 4:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. 6 Romances, Op. 27: No. 1. Na son gryadushchiy (At Bedtime) 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. 6 Romances, Op. 63: No. 2. Rastvoril ya okno (I opened the window) 1:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Moy geniy, moy angel, moy drug (My Genius, my Angel, my Friend) 1:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. 6 Romances, Op. 6 (text by A. N. Pleshcheyev and L.A. Mey): No. 2. Ni slova, o drug moy (Not a word, O my friend) 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. 6 Romances, Op. 6 (text by A. N. Pleshcheyev and L.A. Mey): No. 5. Otchevo? (Why?) 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Zabit' tak skoro (To Forget so Soon) 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. 12 Romances, Op. 60: No. 11. Podvig (The Heroic Deed) 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. 6 Romances, Op. 57: No. 5. Smert' (Death) 2:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Khotel bi v edinoye slovo (I should like in a single word) 1:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. 6 Romances, Op. 38: No. 4. O, esli b ti mogla (O, if only you could) 1:34$0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. 6 Romances, Op. 38: No. 5. Lyubov' mertvetsa (The love of a dead man) 4:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. 6 Romances, Op. 57: No. 2. Na nivi zhyoltiye (On the golden cornfields) 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. 6 Romances, Op. 57: No. 1. Skazhi, o chom v teni vetvey (Tell me, what in the shade of the branches) 3:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. 6 Romances, Op. 28: No. 6. Strashnaya minuta (The Fearful Moment) 3:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. 6 Romances, Op. 25: No. 1. Primiren'ye (Reconciliation) 5:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. 7 Romances, Op. 47: No. 6. Den' li tsarit? (Does the day reign?) 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. 12 Romances, Op. 60: No. 6. Frenzied Nights 3:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. 6 Romances, Op. 63: No. 6. Serenada (O ditya, pod okoshkom tvoim) 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. 6 Romances, Op. 38: No. 2. To bilo ranneyu vesnoy (It was in the early spring) 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. 7 Romances, Op. 47: No. 3. Na zemlyu sumrak pal (Dusk fell on the earth) 4:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. 7 Romances, Op. 47: No. 5. Blagoslavlyayu vas, lesa (I Bless you, Forests) 4:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. 6 Romances, Op. 38: No. 1. Serenada Don-Zhuana (Don Juan's Serenade) 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Dmitri Hvorostovsky Store


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Internationally acclaimed Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky was born and studied in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. In 1989, he won the prestigious Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. From the start, audiences were bowled over by his cultivated voice, innate sense of musical line and natural legato. After his Western operatic debut at the Nice Opera in Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame, his career ... Read more in Amazon's Dmitri Hvorostovsky Store

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Tchaikovsky Romances + Rachmaninov Romances + Pushkin Romances - featuring Dmitri Hvorostovsky
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 27, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Delos
  • ASIN: B002KX6GKS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,392 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Every year at "Nutcracker" time, everyone across the board gets a taste of the romantic, Russian mind of Peter Tchaikovsky. We marvel all over again at his gift for melody, his vision, the knackhehasforcapturingourattention. This year has found Tchaikovsky himself ready for his close-up. A new biography has come out from Oxford University Press, unflinchingly chronicling his controversial love life. Just last week a new film turned up on my desk, irresistibly titled "Tchaikovsky's Women." Musically, you are not going to get more intimately involved with Tchaikovsky than with these two dozen songs -- "romances," they are understatedly called -- for voice and piano. Bass-baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky atmospherically aided and abetted by pianist Ivari Ilja, pours his whole barrel-voiced self into these songs. This is all-or-nothing music, as unabashedly emotional as I get the idea Tchaikovsky was in real life. Dark and passionate, the songs can be brooding in that uniquely Russian way. "When roses quietly shed their petals/When stars grow dim in the sky ..." begins one number called "Death." It paints a wonderful portrait of czarist Russian sensibilities, especially when considered together with another recent Delos two-CD set of the romances of Mili Balakirev. Generously, Delos provides translations. But Hvorostovsky's thrilling voice is a delight even if you don't know what he's singing. -- The Buffalo News, Mary Kunz Goldman, November 27, 2009

Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, with the close collaboration of pianist Ivari Ilja, explores the riches of the romances (art songs) of Peter Illich Tchaikovsky. Arguably as great a lyric composer as he was the master of ballet and symphonic music, Tchaikovsky `s reputation in the vocal recital has languished in the west because of the language barrier. If there was ever a singer to break down that barrier, it is Hvorostovsky, whose powerful and magnificently varied voice, rich and broad in compass, and his honest, solid grasp of the poetic values underlying these songs, would seem to make him the ideal Tchaikovsky song interpreter.

The 24 songs spread over 2 CDs in an 83 minute program include the two bestknown of Tchaikovsky's romances, the soulful "None but the Lonely Heart" (Mey, after Goethe) and the fresh and inspiring wanderer's song "I Bless You, Forests" (Aleksei Tolstoy). But other romances in the program show Tchaikovsky just as adept in establishing, and then intensifying, the basic mood of the song so to make the more enduring impression. There is sadness, yearning, fatalism, despair, longing to recapture past happiness and resignation to one's fate in such jewels as "The Fearful Moment" (Anon), where a lover awaits his beloved's answer to his declaration of love, and "The Love of a Dead Man" (Lermontov): " What do I care about God's shining kingdom / His exalted paradise? / I brought my human passions with me / I treasure a dear dream / Just the same; / I desire, weep, envy / Just as in the past."

In other songs, the emotion is more understated, as in "Dusk Fell on the Earth" (Berg): "A lily, awake in its radiant beauty / In its sparkling clothing, smiles kindly, / And greats the heavens / With a cheerful wave to the lake. / But I am full of sadness." "Does the Day Reign" (Apuktin) is filled with a lover's brimming joy: "Whether my life is long or short, / I know that, until I die, / All I do, All for which I give thanks / All is from you!" Here, as in the powerful upsurge of grief and anxiety in "Not A Word, O My Friend" (Pleschcheyev) and "Why?" (Mey, after Heine), Ilja's firm, sure accompaniment reinforces the changing mood of a song or carries it on beyond the final poetic stanza: "Tell me, my heart's beloved, / Why have you deserted me?" -- Audio Video Club of Atlanta, Phil Muse, November 2009

Taking a break from his increasingly ambitious pursuit of demanding Italian roles such as Verdi's di Luna and Simon Boccanegra, Dmitri Hvorostovsky returns to a form long central to his art -- the Russian romans (art song). With Estonian-born pianist Ivari Ilja, the baritone presents two dozen songs by Tchaikovsky, one of the greatest masters of the genre.

The form and idiom suit Hvorostovsky admirably. I heard him sing some of these Tchaikovsky romansy at a Leningrad Philharmonic Hall recital in 1989, the year he won the Cardiff "Singer of the World" competition that catapulted him to fame. At that time, most of his countrymen had no clue who this handsome Siberian with the splendid, dark lyric baritone and admirable (if rather audible) breath control was; but they, and I, were duly impressed. Hvorostovsky recorded six of the most famous of these songs on a fine 1991 Tchaikovsky/Rachmaninoff recital for Philips with Oleg Boshniakovich, plus "My genius, my angel, my friend" (to a text by Afanasy Fet, one of the few first-rate poets represented here) on a 1995 collaboration with Mikhail Arkadiev, My Restless Soul. He and Ilja performed many of them touring in recital last season. Hvorostovsky's older-sounding but still exceptionally beautiful instrument and Ilja's elegant pianism strike a good balance.

Hvorostovsky's musicianship and sound have matured well, and these discs are most welcome for that. Though the texts are pronounced with clarity and understanding, he has never been and for the most part still is not the kind of song interpreter who digs deeply into text and illuminates shades of meaning within a single line. (For that, one would turn to the records of his idol, Pavel Lisitsian.) But there's a sense of feeling and connection in Hvorostovsky's marbled tone, and some performances here, including the Fet settings, transcend a generalized level of "anguish" or "nostalgia." None is less than a pleasure to hear. The selection inherently encompasses a considerable variety of mood; one relative rarity is the despairing, almost Mussorgskian "Love of a Dead Man," to a Lermontov text.

Delos's booklet offers a thoughtful, informative background essay by Maya Pritsker, as well as English translations, but non-specialists should realize that the five texts here attributed to "Tolstoy" are by Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy (1817-75) and not by the author of Anna Karenina. Delos doesn't even include transliterated versions of the originals -- a disservice to Hvorostovsky's legion Russian and russophone fans, though, as Pritsker notes, most educated Russians know most of these songs very well. This generous, beautifully vocalized collection should please them as well as newcomers sampling Tchaikovsky's outstanding lyric output. -- Opera News, David Shengold, December 2009

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This 2CD set contains glorious singing by the reigning Russian baritone of our day, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, presenting music that is clearly close to his heart.

The only fault I find with this collection of Tchaikovsky 'romances' (the Russian equivalent of 'Lieder') is that all that Tchaikovskian melancholy at once is likely to drive you to be thinking of suicide. But taken one by one or only a few at a time, the singing and the melodies will have you in raptures. We in the West don't tend to know much about Tchaikovsky songs beyond 'None but the Lonely Heart' (which is the first track on CD1) and yet there is great richness there. Tchaikovsky wrote over a hundred romances. Here we get only a few of them -- 24, to be exact -- and they represent a peak of Russian song-writing. They do indeed depend largely on that unending wellspring of Russian melancholy and thus they do superficially tend to sound alike. But taken individually there are some really special works here. Even Tchaikovsky's earliest song, 'My Genius, My Angel, My Friend' ['Moy geniy, moy angel, moy drug'], written when he was sixteen, tugs at one's heart in its plea for tranquil dreams. 'Not a Word, O My Friend' ['Ni siova, o drug moy'] whose scene is of friends standing silently together at the tombstone of a loved one is beautifully limned in Tchaikovsky's setting. Even a song like 'Heroic Deeds' ['Podvig'] has its melancholy beauty in the narrator's consideration of 'human evil.' There are, of course, some relatively happy songs, e.g. 'Tell Me What in the Shade of the Branches' ['Skazhi, o chom v teni vetvey'] which celebrates the ecstasy of love, or 'Does the Day Reign' ['Den' li tsarit'] in which the narrator is made thankful for thoughts of his love one.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Classicaljim on September 30, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I had hoped this disc would be an improvement on Hvorostovsky's earlier album covering Tchaikovsky songs, but this is not the case. If you like art songs sung like an opera aria, a-la forte, then you will find much to like here. However, Tchaikovsky's songs and romances are meant to be presented with a much lower volume of the voice. There are several recordings of these songs by other Russian interpreters that are light years more moving then these belted-out numbers. These are tender, moving, and emotionally driven pieces that work so much more effectively when the artist focuses on the words and not the volume of the voice. Considering that these pieces were meant to be sung in people's homes (abit the more wealthy Russians of the 19th century) the space would have generally been in a room seating fewer than 100 versus Dmitri's volume as if he needed to fill the Met. Color, shading of phases here are nearly non-existent. Obviously he knows the Russian language yet at times the words seem run over by the voulme employed. If you are new to this repertoire, then check out the amazing vocal color displayed by Christianne Stotijn with Julius Drake (Onyx), Nina Rautio and Semion Skigin (Conifer), Joan Rodgers and Roger Vignoles (Hyperion) or Evegeni Nesterenko (Melodiya). Once hearing these romances by any of these artists you will understand what I mean completely!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leonardo Martins Vilela on August 9, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A powerful voice singing Romantic songs on poems by Tchaikovsky with an extremely well-played piano. Amazing!
I never imagined that the Russian language could be so beautiful when sung.
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