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This performance and recording is dedicated to the memory of Russian operatic baritone Dmitri Hrorostovsky (who died in 2017 at the age of 55) and seems a fittingly grand tribute to a singer prematurely lost. Whatever one thinks of the Verdi Mass – whether in definitional terms – is it a Mass or some kind of ‘sacred opera’ – or its occasionally OTT elements, it is a remarkable listen, either in a hall or through some suitably robust speakers. The Russian executants seem to play down the operatic elements a little, which is intriguing, and give the piece a more solemnly ritualistic feel than it often gives off. This might not be an automatic first choice for the Verdi collector, but it delivers powerfully and is not without its subtler reinterpretations, particularly in the second half.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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