'"'Russian folk culture is one the richest I know. In recent years, some of it lighter aspects have been commandeered by the entertainment and tourist industries: with this recording I wanted to go backwards and present songs I have so often heard - but never sung myself - in a direct and unvarnished, yet classical way. The songs I selected [for CD 1] I feel are truly Russian - many are melancholy, most are bittersweet, with the kind of mocking irony which counterbalances sentimentality. Two, I decided to sing alone, in honour of Chaliapin but in my own way. For the rest of this program I was privileged to work with the magnificent Ossipov Russian Folk Orchestra who live and breathe this music. They made me feel a welcome guest in repertoire far from my operatic home but very close to my heart.' Dmitri Hvorostovsky
This double CD set returns two popular CDs to the catalogue - Hvorostovsky performing songs with orchestra (CD1) and with choir (CD2). Winner of the Cardiff Singer of the World, he has gone on to give great performances in operas by Verdi and is unequalled in the Russian baritone opera repertoire today. This repertoire is dear to his heart and in it he invests every ounce of artistry that marks his performances on the operatic stage and the concert platform."