NEW YORK, NY – On June 9, 2017, Delos releases Russia Cast Adrift [DE 1613] featuring legendary baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in a newly-orchestrated version of the beloved song cycle by Russian composer Georgy Sviridov (1915-1998). Led by conductor Constantine Orbelian with the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, the recording also features the Russian folk ensemble Style of Five, whose pianist Evgeny Stetsyuk created new orchestrations for the recording. The album also includes a Bonus Track, “The Virgin in the City,” the ninth and final song from Petersburg, a vocal poem, which was written for Hvorostovsky by Sviridov in 1995.
Hvorostovsky first met the Russian composer in 1994 on the occasion his Moscow performance Russia Cast Adrift. The performance was young baritone’s first encounter with Sviridov’s songs, and the composer was immediately impressed with his interpretations. Until then, the 1977 song cycle – originally written for tenor and piano to verses by poet Sergei Yesenin (1895-1925) – was largely known in Russia due to performances by mezzo-soprano Elena Obraztsova. Two decades later, Hvorostovsky along with pianist Michail Arkadiev performed Russia Cast Adrift at the Los Angeles Opera to a standing ovation and in 1996 their recording of the cycle was released on Philips. This new recording grew not only out of an artistic desire by Hvorostovskyto revisit Sviridov’s cycle after two decades but to realize the intention of the late composer to have the songs orchestrated. The version on this recording, created by Evgeny Stetsyuk for orchestra and the Russian folk quintet Style of Five “closely reflects the sonic effects and colors of the vividly depictive piano score,” notes Maya Pritsker in her excellent booklet notes.
The baritone, whose discography on Delos currently includes seventeen recordings, wrote about Sviridov: “Working on Sviridov’s music was a very important educational experience for me. At first glance, his songs seem simple. However, they demand the deepest emotional involvement. It is not enough to just sing them beautifully. From the first note, you are immersed in his whole world.” Sviridov later went on to compose Petersburg: Nine Songs on poetry by Alexander Blok for Hvorostovsky, which he recorded for Delos along with the 1935 cycle, Six Romances on Verses by Alexander Pushkin.
LISTEN HERE: https://soundcloud.com/delos-radio/dmitri-hvorostovsky-sviridov
1. Autumn (2:22)
2. I Left My Home Behind (2:22)
3. Open Before Me, O My Guardian Angel (3:23)
4. Silver Path (2:31)
5. Russia Cast Adrift (2:00)
6. Simon, Peter ... Where Are You? Come to Me (4:04)
7. Where Are You, O My Father’s House? (2:46)
8. Beyond the Hills of the Milky Way (1:41)
9. It Sounds, It Sounds, the Fateful Trumpet! (3:05)
10. An Owl Cries in Autumn (2:42)
11. Oh, I Believe, I Believe in Happiness! – O My Homeland, O Joyful and Eternal Hour! (5:23)
12. Bonus track: The Virgin in the City (from Petersburg, a vocal poem) (4:15)
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Internationally acclaimed Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky was born and studied in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. From the start, audiences were bowled over by his cultivated voice, innate sense of musical line and natural legato. His career has taken him to all the world’s major opera houses and renowned international festivals, including Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Salzburg Festival, La Scala Milan, Vienna State Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera.
A celebrated recitalist in demand in every corner of the globe — from the Far East to the Middle East, from Australia to South America – Dmitri has appeared at such venues as Wigmore Hall, London; Carnegie Hall, New York; the Teatro alla Scala, Milan; the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, Moscow; the Liceu, Barcelona; the Suntory Hall, Tokyo; and the Musikverein, Vienna.
Dmitri retains a strong musical and personal contact with Russia. He became the first opera singer to give a solo concert with orchestra and chorus on Red Square in Moscow; this concert was televised in over 25 countries. Dmitri has gone on to sing a number of prestigious concerts in Moscow as a part of his own special series, ‘Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Friends’. He has invited such celebrated artists as Renée Fleming, Barbara Frittoli, Elīna Garanča, Sumi Jo, Sondra Radvanovsky, Jonas Kaufmann, Marcello Giordani and Ildar Abdrazakov. In 2005 he gave a historic tour throughout the cities of Russia at the invitation of President Putin, singing to crowds of hundreds of thousands of people to commemorate the soldiers of the Second World War. Dmitri has major annual tours throughout Russia and C.I.S. countries.
Dmitri’s extensive discography spans recitals and complete operas. He has also starred in Don Giovanni Unmasked, an award-winning film (by Rhombus Media) based on the Mozart opera, tackling the dual roles of Don Giovanni and Leporello. Recent CD recordings include Wait for Me (Russian War Songs with orchestra conducted by Constantine Orbelian); Simon Boccanegra (with Barbara Frittoli, Ildar Abdrazakov, Stefano Secco and Constantine Orbelian); all have been met with much critical acclaim. For a complete discography, please visit his website.
Dmitri has established great collaboration with the Russian popular composer Igor Krutoi, with very successful concerts in Moscow, St Petersburg, Sochi, Kiev and New York. www.hvorostovsky.com
For over 20 years Grammy-nominated conductor Constantine Orbelian has been a central figure in Russia’s musical life — first as Music Director of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia of Russia, and as guest conductor with a number of illustrious Russian orchestras. Currently Chief Conductor of the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra in Lithuania, Orbelian leads concerts and recordings there with some of the world’s greatest singers, in projects such as a recording of Simon Boccanegra, with Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the title role. In 2016 he became Artistic Director of the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater in Yerevan, Armenia. He is the also founder and Music Director of the annual Palaces of St. Petersburg International Music Festival.
Opera News calls Orbelian “the singer’s dream collaborator,” and commented that he conducts vocal repertoire “with the sensitivity of a lieder pianist.” The conductor tours and records worldwide with American stars such as Sondra Radvanovsky and Lawrence Brownlee, and with Hvorostovsky and other renowned Russian singers. He has also participated on televised concerts with Renée Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Van Cliburn, and conducted several historic live telecasts from Moscow’s Red Square, with such artists as Hvorostovsky and Anna Netrebko. His frequent collaborations with Hvorostovsky include repertoire from their Delos recordings of universally sentimental songs Where Are You, My Brothers? and Moscow Nights, as well as their 2015 recording in the same series, Wait for Me.
Born in San Francisco to Russian and Armenian emigré parents, Constantine Orbelian made his debut as a piano prodigy with the San Francisco Symphony at the age of 11. After graduating from Juilliard in New York, he embarked on a career as a piano virtuoso that included appearances with major symphony orchestras throughout the U.S., U.K., Europe, and Russia. His recording of the Khachaturian piano concerto with conductor Neeme Järvi won “Best Concerto Recording of the Year” award in the United Kingdom. Orbelian’s appointment in 1991 as Music Director of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra was a breakthrough event: he is the first American ever to become music director of an ensemble in Russia. A champion of Russian-American cultural exchange and international ambassadorship through his worldwide tours, he was awarded the coveted title “Honored Artist of Russia” in 2004, a title never before bestowed on a non-Russian citizen. In 2012 the Consulate in San Francisco awarded him the Russian Order of Friendship Medal, whose illustrious ranks include pianist Van Cliburn and conductor Riccardo Muti. In 2001 Orbelian was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award given to immigrants, or children of immigrants, who have made outstanding contributions to the United States.
The Russian folk ensemble Style of Five was founded in 1994, when five leading St. Petersburg musicians came together to develop musical programs that explore fresh applications of Russian folk instruments. The group’s unique distinction is that, apart from using traditional Russian instruments (gusli, domra, bayan (accordion), double-bass and balalaika) the ensemble uses electronic keyboards as well. The ensemble’s high degree of collective and individual mastery has earned them top prizes in All-Russia as well as international competitions. Its members – all graduates of the St. Petersburg Conservatory – are able to perform almost every kind of musical composition. Their appearances on tour have won the hearts of audiences across Russia, as well as in nations around the globe. They also remain in steady demand at leading international festivals.
The group has long collaborated with superstar baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, as they have in this release. In addition to touring extensively with him and Maestro Constantine Orbelian in highly visible concerts – including a 15-concert series celebrating the 60th anniversary of Russia’s victory in WW II – they have helped to add Russian spirit and soul on four of his CDs (also a DVD) for Delos. The label has also released a separate CD of their unique and charmingly idiomatic playing. Style of Five’s musicians are Evgeny Stetsyuk (piano, keyboards, composer/arranger), Natalia Shkrebko (domra), Irina Ershova (gusli, alto domra), Victor Semenkin (bayan-accordion), and Sergey Rouksha (balalaika, contrabass). www.styleoffive.com
Founded in 1967 in the city then known as Leningrad, the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra has long been a prominent fixture in St. Petersburg’s musical scene. The ensemble was originally known as The Orchestra of Ancient and Modern Music. Under the decade-long leadership of Russian conductor Edward Serov, the orchestra performed throughout the Soviet Union as well as in many foreign countries, attended prestigious festivals, and made many recordings for the Soviet Melodiya label. Then the city’s third-ranked orchestra, it still attracted many renowned conductors and soloists. Considering the ensemble’s vital role in Leningrad’s artistic life, the orchestra’s status was elevated in 1985, when it was renamed the Leningrad State Orchestra. From then until 2004, the ensemble flourished under the primary leadership of its chief conductor Ravil Martynov, who guided the orchestra into the post-Soviet era. From 2004 until 2007, the orchestra was headed by Martynov’s distinguished protégé Vasily Petrenko, then by the equally prominent conductor Alexander Titov.
Vladimir Lande, a prominent American musician, became the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor in 2008. Under his baton, the orchestra has made recordings for the world’s leading labels, including releases on Delos of cello concertos by Shostakovich and concertos for cello and clarinet by Sean Hickey. Since 2014, Belgian maestro Walter Proost has been the orchestra’s principal guest conductor. www.spb-orchestra.ru/en/about/