Saturday, November 26, 2011

Russian Beefcake: Dimitri Hvorostovsky

Dimitri Hvorostovsky

It drifts toward you darkly, like a storm cloud, as if arriving from far away.

So has one critic described the burnished baritone voice of Dmitri Hvorostovsky, one of the current generation’s most dramatic and luscious opera singers.

Hvorostovsky who was born in Siberia but who has lived in London for most of his professional career crashed on to the classical music scene in 1989 when he performed a gigantic upset by winning the Cardiff Best Singer of the World Competition by beating hometown favorite, and stone cold superstar of the opera world (not to mention one of the Washerman’s Dog favorites), Bryn Terfel. Immediately signed to a lucrative recording contract, Dima as Hvorostovsky, is affectionately known, began to tear stage after stage around the world up with his polished Russian baritone.

Blessed (or cursed, depending on what time of the day he is being interviewed) with pound for pound more beefcake then most Hollywood leading men, silvery locks and rugged Slavic features, Dima has been labeled the Elvis of Opera and even had his looks ranked against those of George Clooney in the pages of People magazine. (He was in the global top 50).

Thus far he’s managed to avoid the traps of such media-created celebrity and stuck to the classical straight and narrow. Unlike his great peer and professional rival Terfel he’s avoided the dreaded ‘cross-over’ album and focused on producing serious classical vocal music.

Such as tonight’s feature Credo a stunning collection of Russian church music. Accompanied by the St Petersburg Chamber Choir, Hvorostovsky gives a soul melting and  exhilarating concert that ranks as some of the best baritone singing I’ve ever heard.

         Track Listing:
         01 Come To Me, All You Who Labour
02 The Good Thief
03 Praise Ye The Name Of The Lord
04 Great Doxology
05 Cherubic Hymn
06 Symbol Of Faith (Creed)
07 Our Father
08 Blessed Is The Man
09 From My Youth
10 Let My Prayer
11 Gabriel Appeared
12 Strengthen, O Lord
13 We Praise Thee
Listen here.

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