Battle of the Baritones

Am still under the weather, so here are a few videos.

First up, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and BrynTerfel, Battle of the Baritones – kinda dumb, kinda cute – who do you prefer?

That’s not really a very good comparison. Let’s try them separately with the same music – since they mention Ombra mai fu, we’ll try that.

Here’s Dimitri singing the piece in concert

And Bryn – not recording“>in concert, sadly, but a recording.

They’re both wonderful, but I say Bryn is more expressive and has a more relaxed legato! Because he wins, he gets a solo! Here he is, brilliant and funny with Rossini: Miei Rampolli Femminini

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Piano Girl

    OK ~ you can have Bryn, and I’ll take Dmitri, how’s that for being fair! I think I liked Bryn’s only slightly better because it was in a different key and had a brighter sound to it. It’s amazing what a difference just 1/2 step can make in how we hear music. I found it interesting that the timing for the piece was different by only 5 seconds for both of these recordings. Both men are fabulous, and I would welcome the opportunity to hear Bryn in person, and to hear Dmitri again…I sat so close to him that I could see his diaphragm working for him! We are so fortunate to have both of these extraordinary artists on the concert stage today.

  • rightwingprof

    I’m certainly no early music purist, but Ombra mai fu sung by a baritone is just barbaric. It was written for a castrato. The closest we have today is the counter-tenor. Here it is, sung by the great Andreas Scholl. This is what Handel meant it to sound like. [edited to insert link - admin]

  • TheAnchoress

    Thanks, prof – lovely.

    My son being a baritone, I rather like him singing whatever he cares to sing, though…can’t wait for his Ombre…meanwhile his An Die Musik is gorgeous! :-)

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  • Piano Girl

    Right Wing Nation ~ there may be “some things that civilization requires that you not allow”, but I would suspect that even Handel would love hearing Bryn & Dimitri sing his music in any key, no matter who it was written for, just as I think Bach would enjoy hearing Buddy Green play “Jesu, Joy” on the harmonica (check it out on you tube.) I’ve heard some truly awful music (most of which is being written today), so perhaps I’m a bit jaded when someone wants to place limits on who can perform what. Meanwhile, I’ll look forward to hearing The Anchoress’ son sing An Die Musik one of these days!

  • rcurmi

    Anchoress, I agree with you that Bryn Terfel is more expressive than Dmitri Hvorostovsky in this case. I think Bryn Terfel uses more of a bel canto technique and this makes the voice sounds free because sounds are not produced in the throat whereas Dmitri’s voice sounds “cupped” at times. But I have to admit that Ombra mai fu sounds much better when a mezzo soprano sings it. Although there’s nothing wrong with these two interpretations, the two baritone voices sound too heavy for this aria whereas a mezzo soprano’s voice would give Ombra mai fu a completely different dimension.