Here is the great Russian baritone who vanquished Welsh local favorite Bryn Terfel in the final round of the 1989 Cardiff Singer of the World competition. (What an impossible choice for that jury between two such exceptional voices!) And this is one of the selections that tipped the scales: Dmitri Hvorostovsky sings Posa’s death aria from Verdi’s Don Carlo in a performance at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall in 1991:
And the same aria again in St. Petersburg in 2003, by which time his vocal artistry had further deepened, and he had firmly established himself as the leading Verdi baritone of his generation:
This video and those described below can be viewed by clicking on
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He was also the leading interpreter of the Russian vocal repertoire. This harrowing performance of the first of Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death – the greatest of all Russian cycles – comes from a 1998 concert with Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra:
At his Schubert Club recital in 2014 – not long before he was diagnosed with the brain tumor that would tragically take his life only a couple of years later at the age of 55 – Hvorostovsky presented a mostly Russian program, similar to what he performs in this Moscow Conservatory video from 2012. The recital concludes with an astonishing performance of Iago’s Credo from Verdi’s Otello and a dashing one of the Neapolitan evergreen Core ’ngrato:
Artist note by Richard Evidon