Dmitri Hvorostovsky performed this past weekend in San Francisco, the following are some reactions from that performance:
‘Slavic Soul’ on display at Davies Hall
By Cheryl North
“A bit of a shock wave seems to course through a hall at the onset of any recital by Siberian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky. First, there’s his very appearance — his confident, masculine stride on stage accompanied by a delighted grin as he acknowledges the inevitably enthusiastic applause. Then, there’s the rapt silence evoked by the initial sound of his distinctive voice as it cuts a clean swath through the hall — warm and embracing, but propelled by its piercing focus and colored by a hint of duskiness. Then, add the breadth and depth of his musicianship to the mix and you have the recipe for an unforgettable concert experience.
So it was Sunday night at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. It also helped mightily that Hvorostovsky had one of the premiere pianists in the business as his musical collaborator, Ivari Ilja from Estonia…
…Quite predictably, audience emotions were rallied to a point where Hvorostovsky and Ilja were compelled to provide a couple of particularly impassioned, bravura encores. The first was an all-out stunner: a powerful interpretation of Iago’s chilling “Credo in un Dio crudel” from Verdi’s “Otello.” Hvorostovsky brilliantly tailored his own powerful dramatic instincts and vast palette of vocal color to create a definitive portrait of Iago’s malevolent cunning.
His second encore was an unaccompanied primeval-sounding lament, “Farewell, Happiness,” which, of course, was in Russian. A favorite closer of Hvorostovsky, the piece usually stills an audience to silence and brings things to an end.
But not this time. The audience’s standing ovation summoned the performers back for a final, glorious, culminating masterpiece: Sergei Rachmaninoff’s rapturous, “In the Silence of the Night.”
A ‘Personal Best’ by Hvorostovsky
By Janos Gereben
“Hvorostovsky — not always a quiet, intimate communicator — virtually spoke the Tchaikovsky song, conveying its deep melancholy, without posing, without visible or audible effort. It was the kind of affecting performance you wish would be followed by silence, but no such luck with a noisy audience that interrupted with applause at every possible moment, between songs of a cycle, and even before the pianist could conclude the piece.
That was a shame all the more because Hvorostovsky’s accompanist, Estonian Ivari Ilja, was both a superb pianist and a true partner to the singer. In the Liszt, there are three important solo passages for the piano, and Ilja played them with special brilliance.”
Big news from Sondra Radvanovsky
Sondra will be performing for the opening night of Luc Bondy’s Tosca at Teatro Alla Scala in Milan tonight!
Check out some of the reviews from her recent performance of Tosca at the Met:
From the Classical Music Rocks blog:
“Sondra Radvanovsky brought her fierce physical presence and her ripe, wide-ranging voice to the celebrated larger-than-life diva, who had also somehow remained a simple girl at heart, relentlessly fighting for her lover’s life with all the might she probably never knew she had. Her “Vissi d’arte” was the show-stopper of the evening, so finely tuned in its intense desperation, and easily brought down the house. But dazzling aria or not, this was a superbly alive performance that did more that justice to one of opera’s most hot-blooded heroines.”
Listen to Sondra Radvanovsky talk about Tosca and her inspirations for the role, the opera, and Vissi d’arte which happens to appear as an encore on “Verdi Opera Scenes.”
Andrew von Oeyen taking YouTube by storm
Andrew von Oeyen recently added videos from a performance of Chopin, and check out what people are saying:
“I am tempted to think that Andrew von Oeyen has mastered Chopin’s sensitivity like no other contemporary artist. He and the piano become elegantly complex. No dominance over the piano but a perfect immersion into the artist and the instrument with a vengeance, then backing away in a delicate passage. Extraordinary.”
“I’ve been fortunate enough to hear Andrew perform many times. What a gorgeous interpretation of Chopin this is. His talent is extraordinary. I look forward especially to his new Liszt CD.”
“Listening to Andrew’s performance makes me feel very peaceful and refreshed. Thank you for sharing your beautiful performance with the world! I am looking forward to getting your new album that will be out soon–the Liszt Piano Music.”
Judge for yourself:
Verdi Opera Scenes in stores February 22nd.
Liszt Piano Music in stores February 22nd.