Verdi’s Requiem Recast as Memorial for Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
lennygoran
Posts: 12863
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Verdi’s Requiem Recast as Memorial for Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Post by lennygoran » Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:04 am

Review: Verdi’s Requiem Recast as Memorial for Dmitri Hvorostovsky

By ZACHARY WOOLFE NOV. 26, 2017


When Verdi’s Requiem has been presented at the Metropolitan Opera, it has often been in commemoration. The company’s first performance of the work, in February 1901, honored the death of Verdi himself, a month earlier. President Kennedy (in 1964); Francis Robinson, a longtime Met official (1981); and Luciano Pavarotti (2008) were all mourned with the Requiem.

This season’s four-performance run, which began on Friday conducted by James Levine, the company’s music director emeritus, was not intended for any such occasion. The Met had originally planned a new production of Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” for this fall under Mr. Levine; when it was canceled as a cost-cutting measure, the Requiem was programmed to fill some of the gap.

But Wednesday brought the melancholy news that the Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, a beloved artist — and distinguished Verdian — at the Met since his debut there in 1995, had died. Over the past few years, Mr. Hvorostovsky had been public about his treatment for brain cancer, and his appearances in New York City since his diagnosis had been love fests, culminating in a tumultuously received surprise cameo in May at the gala concert celebrating the Met’s 50th anniversary at Lincoln Center.


Now dedicated to Mr. Hvorostovsky’s memory, Verdi’s Requiem was enlisted, once again, to do its sad duty. And the start of the work on Friday was a beautiful tribute. Its beginning had a quiet naturalness — modest, human-scale, almost offhand but poised, with no preciousness. The chorus, directed by Donald Palumbo, sang with variety of texture, even in a whisper. The orchestral sound, too, had depth and flexibility.

If those first minutes were more memorable and riveting than the full performance that followed, it might have been because of Mr. Levine. Eschewing Technicolor effects for deliberate, middle-of-the-road progress through the 85-minute score, he also sacrificed the building of momentum; the aim seemed to be a slow burn, but things never really caught fire. The sprightly beginning of the Sanctus barely held together; the Dies Irae lacked grandeur and terror.


And the quartet of vocal soloists, while committed, was not quite glamorous. The bass Ferruccio Furlanetto evoked memories of his magisterially suffering Philip II in Verdi’s “Don Carlo,” with his tone disintegrating into stark fear as he repeated the word “mors” (“death”) in the Dies Irae. But at other points his color grayed.

While the tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko has forceful high notes, his voice grew unsteady elsewhere. The soprano Krassimira Stoyanova produced an otherworldly floated high note during the Offertorium and projected well that distinctly operatic state of dignified victimhood, but her voice had little presence in the vast Met. The best was the mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Semenchuk, focused and straightforward; even she, though, made her impact more through strength of presence than vocal opulence.

It was not a remarkable Requiem. And yet it was a valuable evening: as proof — if any more was required — of the quality of the Met’s chorus and orchestra; and as an acknowledgment of Mr. Hvorostovsky’s decades of service to the company and its audience.



https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/26/arts ... ction&_r=0

Belle
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Verdi’s Requiem Recast as Memorial for Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Post by Belle » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:44 pm

This is a moving and fitting tribute for the late singer. He will be very much missed.

Holden Fourth
Posts: 1368
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:47 am

Re: Verdi’s Requiem Recast as Memorial for Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Post by Holden Fourth » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:57 am

Whenever someone I know and love passes on, the Verdi Requiem is always played as a mark of respect.

jserraglio
Posts: 3389
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Verdi’s Requiem Recast as Memorial for Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Post by jserraglio » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:21 pm

1. Dmitri Hvorostovsky memorial service, Nov. 27, 2017 Tchaikovsky Concert Hall

2. Concert, April 27, 2013 Tchaikovsky Concert Hall

http://meloman.ru/farewell-to-dmitry/

Belle
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Verdi’s Requiem Recast as Memorial for Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Post by Belle » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:39 am

The complete funeral service is on Dmitri's Facebook page, though it is somewhat harrowing. What struck me was his ready smile and warm enthusiasm, and that's what people found so endearing about Hvorostovsky. One of a kind.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26081
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Verdi’s Requiem Recast as Memorial for Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:46 am

Aside from the tragedy of a death from a cause we still have not the slightest idea how to cure, there are other sadnesses here. The Met had to cancel La Forza as a cost-cutting measure? And much of this must surely be owing to the fact that Levine is not and never will be his old self.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
Posts: 12863
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: Verdi’s Requiem Recast as Memorial for Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Post by lennygoran » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:58 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:46 am
Aside from the tragedy of a death from a cause we still have not the slightest idea how to cure, there are other sadnesses here. The Met had to cancel La Forza as a cost-cutting measure?
It's not sad for me-La Forza from a production by Calixto Bieito is welcomed by me--think ET. Regards, Len.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 17 guests