This Week in Classical Music 11/26/17

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Hvorostovsky Dead at 55; ECM Full Catalogue Online


It’s This Week in Classical Music, an update on what’s happening in the Classical Music World: I’m Randy Kinkel.


The Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky — one of the most widely respected singers in opera today  has died in London of complications from brain cancer. He was 55 years old.

Born in Siberia, Hvorostovsky was famous for his deep, velvety tone, and incredible breath control. His good looks once landed the singer in People Magazine.

Besides Russian roles, his voice was perfect for Verdi, where his effortless high notes took center stage. The Singer revealed that he was suffering from a brain tumor in 2015, and in December 2016 He shared that he would be withdrawing from all future staged operas.

Dmitri managed one last surprise appearance at New York's Metropolitan Opera, for a poignant performance of the "Cortigiani" aria from Verdi's Rigoletto at the annual gala.

Hvorostovsky is survived by his wife, Florence, and their two children, 2 children from a previous marriagte, and his parents.


Sound quality has always been of paramount importance to Manfred  Eicher, the producer who founded ECM  Records in 1969 and has produced most of its recordings. Over the years, ECM has released an expansive and diverse catalog that includes and intermingles jazz, classical music and cross-cultural fusions from composers and performers like Keith Jarrett, Arvo Pärt and Meredith Monk.

The label had been vehemently against putting their catalogue on streaming services due to inherent sound quality issues like bandwidth limits and non-optimal soundcards in computers and phones. But as of last Friday, everything on ECM is available through the major streaming services.

Some of the New York Times music critics and contributors have recommended some ECM albums for classical fans, including Steve Reich, ‘Music for 18 Musicians’ --Arvo Pärt, ‘Tabula Rasa’ The Hilliard Ensemble, ‘Perotin’ --Andras Schiff, ‘Beethoven Piano Sonatas’.



For More on these and other items and events go to the website,; be listening each week at this time for another update, find us on face book and follow us on twitter, and join us every weekday at noon for the Most Wanted Hour with Linda Cassidy, playing your top 100 classical hits.  I’m Randy Kinkel, for “This Week in Classical Music” on 89-five KBACH, KBAQ Phoenix and HD, a service of rio salado college and Arizona state university.