Dmitri Hvorostovsky's fourth release on Ondine features a program of rarely recorded sonnets by Dmitri Shostakovich and Franz Liszt. Hvorostovsky is accompanied by his longtime duo partner, the Estonian pianist Ivari Ilja. Shostakovich's sonnets, considered one of the achievements of contemporary Russian vocal music, were composed as his health worsened and are filled wtih ruminations on mortality. Liszt's sonnets are based on love poems by the Italian Renaissance write Petrarch. Both Hvorostovsky and Ilja brin great empathy to these compositions, matching the contemplative nature of both with quietly powerful and confident performances.