Remembering Dmitri Hvorostovsky

The Russian operatic baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky passed away this week following a two-and-a-half-year battle with brain cancer. He was 55. Here are some highlights from his distinguished career:

In the aria, Ja vas lyublyu, from the second act of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Prince Yeletsky pours out his love for Liza while lamenting her inability to trust him fully. Listen to the way this aria moves from majestically soaring passion to the depths of despair as the final bars fade into the lowest, gloomiest register of the orchestra:

Hvorostovsky was hailed for his performance of the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Here, he performs the final scene with Renée Fleming:

Here is another dark, moody aria from Russian opera- Boris’ monologue (Dastig ya vishey vlasti) from the second act of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov:

At his eclectic blog, Medicine and Opera, Neil Kurtzman wrote that Hvorostovsky “is probably the best Verdi baritone now active.” Kurtzman provides some fascinating background on Era Tu from the third act of Verdi’s A Masked Ball. 

Here is Hvorostovsky’s suave performance of La ci darem la mano from the first act of Mozart’s Don Giovanni:

Recordings

  • Dmitri Hvorostovsky’s complete discography iTunes

Photograph by Chris Lee

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

6 thoughts on “Remembering Dmitri Hvorostovsky

  1. I still cannot believe that Dmitri has gone. Such a powerful and equally suave voice. Still young and full of life. He will be missed and as Shirley Battie wrote, virtually no mention on the press: why should we read every single nonsense of useless “celebrities” and be denied a meaningful obituary on a great singer. Where is culture disappearing to?

    • Prince Harry’s engagement to an American divorced actress 3 years older than he sells more copy and thus more advertising.
      I do think those of us interested in the arts were well aware of Dimitri’s untimely death. He is a profound loss to the world of music.

  2. Me duele mucho que éste gran barítono ruso nos haya dejado a una edad joven todavía, y más me duele que los medios informativos, emisoras de radio y televisiones de todo tipo no hayan informado más sobre su desaparición.

    Asimismo echo en falta programas dedicados a él tanto en radio como en televisión (la 2 por ejemplo)..

    • Translation: It hurts me a lot that this great Russian baritone has left us at a young age yet, and it hurts me more than the news media, radio stations and televisions of all kinds have not reported more about his disappearance.

      I also miss programs dedicated to him both in radio and television (the 2 for example) ..

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