PERFORMER: Dimitri Kharitonov (baritone), Leif Ove Andsnes (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDC 5 56814 2
Couched in the unusual form of a melodrama – in which music is combined with the spoken word – it takes as its basis Tennyson’s lengthy narrative poem and adds to it a full-blown piano accompaniment, conceived at times almost on an orchestral scale. Sections in which music and speech combine are interspersed with others in which the text is recited on its own.
This live performance benefits from the extraordinary dramatic presence of Canadian tenor Jon Vickers, whose intensity of emotion in his stage performances is recalled here in his remarkable powers of declamation. The range and depth of human experience encompassed in his reading are extraordinary. Marc-André Hamelin attacks the piano part with the authentic Romantic sweep, though his tone is not flattered by the boxy acoustic. George Hall