Heroes and Villains
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Top Customer Reviews
In four languages, the fifteen arias in this album offer a variety of roles - mostly new to his operatic repertoire - with masterful interpretation. I was not very familiar with Anton Rubintein's operatic work before, but I have become very interested in them after I heard the three beautifully rendered arias in this album. The Italian repertoires couldn't be any better. With such virile timbre, Hvorostovsky's powerful delivery of Scarpia's "Te deum" in Pucinni's Tosca proves that he'd make a convincingly villainous, and yet very sexy Scarpia. Personally I find the French repertoire in this album most exciting! He's sung Valentin in Gounod's Faust on stage, but it's his first time to record Valentin's famous aria. The tone of the voice and the quality of the singing is beyond excellence. Bizet's Toreador Song is probably one of the most popular arias, and people probably have heard too much of it. With his charisma naturally infiltrated into the singing, Hvorostovsky's version will simply knock your socks off!Read more ›
In this diverse collection of what would most probably be the most demanding in the baritone repertoire, DH's vocal ambitions are self-evident.
For the listener, the focus is - how far, or rather, how well, has his ambition been realised?
There are roughly 4 groups of arias/scenes, ranging from Russian to German, Italian and French.
DH is well-known for his Russian and Italian repertoire. He has proven, on numerous occasions, that he is adept at those, especially the former. As for the latter, until recently, he has concentrated on the lighter roles. In the more recent years, he has dipped into the heavier and more dramatic Italian baritone repertoire.
As a dedicated DH fan, I would not hesitate to claim that the first part of this album is sheer marvel. While we may not have heard him singing Wagner, his Wolfram's aria from Tanhausser seems to suit him very well.
As for the Italian ones, they are very good, but it would be a bit over-stating to say that DH is able to surpass predecessors in this genre such as Pietro Cappucilli. In my own subjective opinion, his timbre has more of Fischer-Dieskau's dark alluring qualities than Cappucilli's smoky Italianate flavour.
The French arias are admittedly a bit uneven. Much as I admire DH's beautiful singing, I could not help feeling that in these tracks, neither his top register nor the low register resound with his usual well-known sparkle.
One wonders if at this stage of DH's great career, it really pays for him to venture into the unknown areas?
When listening to that fabulous voice all the stress just goes away.
What a magnificent gift. He certainly has the WOW factor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hvorostovsky has one of the best baratone voices in the world. The Russian Philharmonic Orchestra is one the finest in Europe. Read morePublished on April 2, 2009 by Sherman Lambert
After hearing the first item on it I have ordered more of his CD's.
DO not miss this artist!
I just leave a comment not to talk about this superb CD, but to point out that the title of this album is not "heroes and vill-IA-ns" but "heroes and Vill-AI-ns". Read morePublished on July 14, 2008 by Norman R.