Pan classics presents - as re-release of a former release on the Relief label in 2002 - a unique live recording of Pyotr Tchaikovskys "Pique Dame" (The Queen of Spades). The concert performance took place at the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in December 1989 and featured the celebrated Moscow debut of Dmitri Hvorostovsky. It was Yeletsky's part that was of crucial importance in Hvorostovsky's career. The singer, who sadly died in 2017, had just turned 27 and had that same year won the prestigious Cardiff Singer of the World competition, having previously made his operatic debut in the West at the Nice Opera in 1988 in the same role as he sings here. Hvorostovsky continued to perform in productions of "Pique Dame" on the world's greatest opera stages such as Mariinsky, Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, La Scala and Covent Garden. However, his is not the only name highlighted in the cast list; similarly emphasized is the great mezzo-soprano Irina Arkhipova, who performed here the part of the Countess for the first time and died in 2010. There are yet more famous and now deceased singers here, too, including Bolshoi bass Alexander Vedernikov, a fixture in Russian opera for many years who died aged 90 and Grigory Gritsyuk, whose firm, incisive baritone is a really striking asset to this recording; he died prematurely in 2000. Distinguished tenor Vitaly Tarashchenko was one of the best interpreters of Hermann of the 1980's and 1990's, singing here very expressive and with excellent legato. For conductor Vladimir Fedoseyev it was the first time that he turned to The Queen of Spades. Afterwards, at the turn of the century, he became one of the best interpreters of the opera.