Ondine’s third release with the star baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky is devoted to sacred works by Russian composers and Russian folk songs. Hvorostovsky is accompanied by the prestigious Russian Grand Choir “Masters of Choral Singing,” conducted by Lev Kontorovich, a choir that keeps up the best traditions of Russian choral singing.
The world premieres of Iolanta and The Nutcracker took place on 18 December 1892 at St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre. “The execution of both,” wrote the composer to his brother Anatoly the next day, “was magnificent, and that of the ballet perhaps too magnificent – its brilliance made one’s eyes tired.” Gustav Mahler conducted the first performance of the one-act opera outside Russia on 3 January 1893 in Hamburg and also directed the Viennese premiere of Iolanta on 22 March 1900.
This is a star-led performance of one of the most popular romantic operas with the unrivalled pairing of Fleming and Hvorostovsky as the doomed lovers. Their onstage chemistry, emotional singing and outstanding acting make this a truly special and unique production. Thousands of movie-goers watched this production live in cinemas across Europe and the US in February 2007, when the production and the singing of the central characters met with great critical acclaim. Valery Gergiev, Russia's greatest living conductor, leads Russia's classic opera, with a thrilling account of Tchaikovsky's most intense and passionate score.
This disc brings together a selection of songs by the five members of the Mighty Handful, and serves as a useful and economical introduction to their Read more The Miserly Knight, Alexander Serov’s Judith (both on Harmonia Mundi), and Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery (BMG). He also appears in recordings of Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night and Shostakovich’s unfinished opera The Gamblers (both on Capriccio), as well as a recording of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis conducted by Antal Doráti (BIS). He has performed with major opera companies throughout the world. I have not been able to discover the reason for his name change, but it appears that at a certain point he emigrated to the U.S. You would learn little of this history from the Naxos notes.