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Kalinka: Russian Folk Songs
Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Russian Traditional
Kalinka: Russian Folk Songs
Genres: Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1

Dimitri Hvorostovsky, born and bred in Siberia, has Russian folk music in his soul. So do about 100 million other Russians, of course, but they don't have his magnificent voice. When his artistry is joined with that of the...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Russian Traditional
Title: Kalinka: Russian Folk Songs
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Philips
Release Date: 1/12/1999
Genres: Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
Styles: Vocal Pop, Opera & Classical Vocal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 028945639925

Synopsis

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Dimitri Hvorostovsky, born and bred in Siberia, has Russian folk music in his soul. So do about 100 million other Russians, of course, but they don't have his magnificent voice. When his artistry is joined with that of the Saint Petersburg Chamber Chorus, the result is hard to beat, especially when the arrangements were made by such composers as Shostakovich and Rimsky-Korsakov. Don't expect happy songs, although some of the offerings on this disc, such as the title song "Kalinka," have their rollicking passages. In characteristic fashion, the lyrics dwell plaintively on laments for lost love or melancholy recollections of the Russian countryside. Unusually for a Russian chorus, the Saint Petersburg ensemble is not dominated by the lower-pitched male voices but by the women, blissfully free from stridency, who swell their cadences in the way so typical of Russian liturgical music. The disc is accompanied by the Russian text and a useful English translation, although both suffer from minor errors. --Ed Killham

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CD Reviews

A cup half full, but still splendid
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 05/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With his rich and powerful dark honey voice, Dmitri Hvorostovsky is one of the greatest operatic baritones alive, and as an interpreter of Russian music, no singer can top him; his exquisite renditions of folk melodies, as well as the rapturous songs of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff on his other recordings are sublime.
Here he is backed not by an orchestra, but by St. Petersburg Chamber Choir, and together they present a superb collection of traditional melodies. Unfortunately for those of us who are big Dmitri fans, he only sings on 10 of the 18 tracks, and though the chorus is excellent, his magnificent voice would have made these songs even better; the "chorus only" tracks are 4-5, 8-10, 14, and 16-17.
The popular title track, "Kalinka", has probably been included in practically every film with a Russian theme I have ever seen and is instantly recognizable, and some of the others are rare gems, but all of them will be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates Russian music.My absolute favorite is the final "Vihaztu adin ya na darogu" ("I set off alone down the road"), which with its beautiful melody and soulful singing is glorious. Dmitri recorded this song for his first CD of folk songs in 1991, with the Ossipov Russian Folk Orchestra, with balalaikas instead of a chorus to back him; both versions are wonderful, but with this one having the edge, as I think he sings it on this recording with more emotion.
Total running time is 56'41."
Here is proof that Russian vintage only gets better with age
Alejandra Vernon | 06/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dmitri Hvorostovsky has outdone himself, which means his admirers are in for a treat. Maturity only adds depth to his interpretations of Russian folk songs, now on a larger scale than on the earlier CD 'Dark Eyes'. His musicianship is such that he blends in perfectly with the superb St. Petersburg Chamber Choir whenever this is called for. Marvelous stuff here - highly recommended."
The Power of Voice, The Music for the Soul
Z. Yang | Hockessin, DE USA | 05/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Listening to these eighteen Russian folk songs, artistically arranged and vocalized, one feels that the musical border between folksong and opera has somehow been melted away, and what are heard are the best aspects of both. There is something very special in Russian folk music. Dmitri Hvorostovsky and St Petersburg Chamber Choir have grasped the spirit of it with their heartbreaking vocal force. Whether it is the melancholy melodies; the somber harmonies; or the primordial elements, they pierce directly through your heart and get to your soul... Simply wonderful!"