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Dmitri Hvorostovsky - Arie Antiche (1998)

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Dmitri Hvorostovsky - Arie Antiche (1998)

Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Director: Sir Neville Marriner

01. Carissimi: Vittoria mio core
02. Vivaldi: Se il cor guerriero
03. Gluck: O del mio dolce ardor
04. Giordani: Caro mio ben
05. Handel: Dignare o domine
06. Vivaldi: Orribile lo scempio
07. Cakdara: Selve amiche
08. Gluck: Che faró senza Euridice
09. Handel: Ombra mai fu
10. Sorge infausta
11. Caldara: Come rragio di sol
12. Durante: Vergin, tutto amor
13. Handel: Che sprezzando
14. Scarlatti: Gia il sole dal gange
15. Anon: Nina
16. Durante: Danza, danza, fanciulla
17. Caccini: Amarilli, mia bella
18. Cesti: Si mantiene il mio amor
19. Stradella: Pieta, signore

Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Baritone)
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields 
Sir Neville Marriner (Conductor)


Hvorostovsky brings to these works the beauty of tone and elegance of phrasing that he acquired from bel canto, sometimes having an extra degree of intensity that puts the emotion of the music before its mere form.

Taking time out from his nights at the opera in Eugene Onegin and Don Carlo, Dmitri Hvorostovsky is here found moonlighting with the music of an earlier era. There is no point in being snooty about this, as he is following in an honourable tradition. Any favourite among the one antiche, such as Giordani's Caro mio ben, has acquired quite a roll-call of major recording artists down the years: Caballe, Wunderlich, Pavarotti, De Luca and Schlusnus, to name only the most prestigious. Most of them have favoured an orchestral arrangement of the music and Hvorostovsky is no exception, employing a rather sweet-toothed one made by his conductor, Sir Neville Marriner. The Gluck and Handel arias are naturally performed in their original orchestrations, but the other items on this disc have all been arranged by various hands. Marriner and the ASMF make sure the accompaniments are always lively, not least thanks to a hyperactive harpsichordist who is overkeen to make his presence felt, and the recording is well balanced.

How does Hvorostovsky deport himself in this baroque apparel? Of course, there is nothing 'authentic' about his approach, but the cut of the music suits him well enough and he brings with him the style that he has acquired from the bel canto repertoire. That means beauty of tone and elegance of phrasing, heard typically in the sacred extracts from Handel's Dettingen Te Deum and Brockes Passion. On the best tracks he goes further: Caldara's moving Come raggio di sol and Durante's Vergin, tutto amor are both sung with an extra degree of intensity that puts the emotion of the music before its mere form.

It is surprising how many of these songs and arias coincide with the choices made by Dame Janet Baker in her various recital discs devoted to Gluck, Handel and arie amorose, the latter also conducted by Marriner (Philips, 1/93). Comparisons show Baker to be the one who illuminates the music from within, while Hvorostovsky is more generalized — for example, a sad and passive Gluck Orfeo alongside her urgently dramatic portrayal. I enjoyed the two numbers arranged by Hvorostovsky himself, where he sings with a nice freedom. The final track — Niedermeyer's sombre Pieta, Signore, powerfully delivered — is the longest item and gives the disc a last-minute sense of substance. Hvorostovsky's many admirers have no reason to hold back. -- Gramophone [3/1998], arkivmusic.com

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Last Updated (Monday, 28 October 2013 16:21)


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