RECORDS / New Releases: Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin. Hvorostovsky, Focile, Schicoff, Orchestra de Paris/Bychkov (Philips, CD)

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Young Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky is the sell on this new issue: dark-timbred, beautifully cultivated in tone, and better heard in the recording studio than at Covent Garden recently. Nuccia Focile has a refreshing, watery lucidity as Tatyana, tremulant with heart-rending expectation in the Letter Scene. And although Semyon Bychkov's tempi can be slow, the score feels nurtured and its details lovingly prepared. A good addition to a catalogue that doesn't shine with all-round recommendable Onegins.