The young Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecień (Difficult to pronounce? I am going to help you! It is, in Dutch: Marjush Kfjetsjenj) is hot, really hot. The ‘Barihunks’ site was created especially for him. Still ….. no matter how much I admired the young Pole’s acting skills and charisma – the voice usually left me cold. But little boys grow up and the truth must now be told: I was mistaken.
When I saw his Onjegin directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov (Bel Air BAC046), I was already won over, but now, with his first (sic!) solo CD, I can only deeply bow my head in admiration. First of all, it is the choice of repertoire. Along with his greatest starring roles: Yevgeny Onegin and Krol Roger by Szymanowski, he sings mainly unknown treasures from the Slavonic operas.
As an opera lover, you may know the baritone aria from Sadko by Rimsky-Korsakov and perhaps ‘Oh Mariya, Mariya’ from Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa. But have you ever heard of Smetana’s Čertova stěna? Or Verbuum Nobile by Stanislaw Moniuszko? That is what I mean!
Apart from the choice of repertoire, we are dealing with a voice and – it must be said – his voice sounds like a bell! Beautiful, warm and very attractive. The Polish Radio Orchestra, conducted by Łukasz Borowicz, also sounds excellent.
Arias by Tchaikovsky, Moniuszko, Szymanowski, Rachmaninov, Dvorak, Smetana and others.
Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Łukasz Borowicz
Harmondia Mundi HMW906101