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Tender longing

Daniil Shtoda sings Russian songs -
reviewed by DAVID WILKINS

'... wonderfully expressive ...'

songs - Larissa Gergieva - Daniil Shtoda. © 2002 EMI Classics Ltd

I have to admit to responding to this disc as one who was pretty overwhelmed by the essaying of Russian songs in tenor register by Sergei Larin. There were doubts expressed about his voice in high register -- as there will, probably, always be about the tessitura of this repertoire: usually sung by female voices or male practitioners of deeper Russian tone-colour. But he does the business. Not only well, but superlatively.

It seems to me, however, that Shtoda does, also, have a really lovely sound and this enterprising disc in EMI's 'debut' series does him, the invaluable treasures of Russian art-song, and all of us interested in both the singers and the songs a very great service.

Inevitably, there is a lot of soul-searching angst in this repertoire. You have to get a long way into the selection of Tchaikovsky songs before any mention of 'happiness' is made: and, even then, it's 'happiness' recollected from sorrow. Anyone inclined to wonder when these Russians will stop whinging had better direct themselves elsewhere.

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Copyright © 6 July 2003 David Wilkins, Eastbourne, UK


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