“Wait for me, And I’ll be back. But please, just wait.”
One evening in the summer of 2001, Delos founder Amelia Haygood and I were relaxing with Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Constantine Orbelian in a Moscow restaurant after a recording session for Dmitri’s Verdi Arias album (DE 3292). Dmitri and Constantine began describing some of their favorite Russian popular songs written during World War II and in the war’s aftermath. They had both grown up with these songs — Dmitri in Siberia and Constantine in San Francisco. As they took turns singing phrases to Amelia and me, we all began to recognize a recording plan taking shape: Where Are You, My Brothers? — Songs of the War Years (DE 3315) and, two years later, its sequel, Moscow Nights (DE 3339).
When the first of these two albums, “Where Are You, My Brothers?” was ready for release (2003), Amelia described it as “an emotionally charged program… something so special that I know my description won’t do it justice. I didn’t grow up knowing these songs, as Dmitri, Constantine and all of the other performers did, but I grew up knowing the sentiments expressed so poignantly, and I know that handkerchiefs will be appropriate gear when listening to this album. At the time we were making the recording, we had no idea how many people around the world would soon be experiencing some of the feelings expressed in these songs.”
American Record Guide summed up the response to Where Are You, My Brothers, and encouraged us in our plans for Moscow Nights: “Hvorostovsky’s dark, lyrical, burnished baritone treats this material as if it were among the great Russian art songs… and Orbelian gets a good deal of soul out of them… I was stirred by these songs, and hope Hvorostovsky and assisting forces are planning a follow-up.”
Moscow Nights became a favorite Delos title as well; and some ten years later, we recorded the poignant songs presented in Wait for Me — the third album in this unique series. Wait for Me was released in 2015, just two years before Dmitri’s untimely death at age 55, and is still being “discovered” by listeners.
We hope that Wait for Me continues to be inspirational to all listeners — including those who know personally about the side-effects of war, and those battling disease and determined to “find a way” back to health.
In celebration of the five-year anniversary of the release, and in honor of Dmitri Hvorostovsky’s birthday, this weekend (from Oct. 16-19, 2020), save 20% on Wait for Me.