Search - Giuseppe Verdi, Anonymous, Salvatore Cardillo :: 42 Great Performances

42 Great Performances
Giuseppe Verdi, Anonymous, Salvatore Cardillo
42 Great Performances
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
 
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #2


      
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CD Reviews

THE Golden Voice of All Time!
Joann Mura | Wisconsin, USA | 02/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first became a fan of Mario Lanza as a child, (though I didn't know it then), hearing my mother play his music so often in the 1950's. I think something told me even then that his was a very special voice. As a young adult, I eventually matched that unmistakable voice with the handsome face, when his movies appeared on T.V. occasionally, and later still, I purchased my own copies of all 7 films and some of his recordings, which I still enjoy today. My latest acquisition is "42 Great Performances", which I originally bought because it had the most songs & arias I could find and at a great price!! I think it is still an excellent value, because it has 21 popular songs, in English (except Granada), and an equal number - 21 operatic arias, all in Italian - on this 2-disc CD set.

I think the low price of this beautiful collection may be, as I realized upon playing it the first time, that a few of the operatic arias on the first disc are presented out of order of the track list. This starts with #7 which says "A Stranger in My Arms", clearly out of place among the Italian arias, and in fact, is not there. So the next few are out of order, until #10 when one NOT listed is included, "Una Furtiva Lagrima", then after that they are all correct. There is no problem like this on the 2nd CD in the set. This wasn't a problem for us, as we would much rather have "Una Furtiva Lagrima" than that other unknown song!

The important thing is hearing Mario's supremely gorgeous voice, as he sings song after song in all their splendor. He has a very rich, warm baritone-tenor voice, or spinto tenor, with high notes that are up there with the best tenors of the world! His Italian diction is impeccable too, due to his background with the language growing up in Philadelphia. Even his Neopolitan dialect diction on those songs here is excellent, which is no easy feat. For example, Andrea Bocelli, who is from the area of Toscano (Tuscany) in Italy, really has quite a strong Toscano accent which distracts a bit when he sings Neopolitan songs. Mario Lanza is a natural in English, Italian & Neopolitan dialect.

Besides Mario's powerful tenor when singing operatic arias, I love his beautiful mezza-voce, which is both sweet and caressing. You'll hear this especially on Disc 2, in most of the popular songs & ballads, but also on Disc 1,(the Italian disc) when he sings such lovely songs as "A Vucchella", "Mattinata", and Parlami D'Amore, Mariu`", 3 of my FAVORITE Italian love songs. I also love "Cuore 'n Grato", "O Sole Mio", as well as all the opera highlights, in particular the three from La Boheme, Madama Butterfly, and I Pagliacci. Both discs have so much to enjoy, from religious songs like the "Lord's Prayer" and "Ave Maria" to wonderful love songs, like "If, "The Loveliest Night of the Year", "They Didn't Believe Me", and "Be My Love", one of Mario's biggest hits. There are too many to mention - I even grew fond of some of the lessor known songs like, "A Kiss" and "Thine Alone". There are even a couple lively fun songs - "Cosi Cosa" and "Funiculi-Funicula , interestingly sung in English! I do prefer the Italian versions though.

Mario has a very distinctive voice, both very powerful as well as tender, and the great versatility needed to sing equally well opera as well as these popular songs, as you will see. The other thing you should know is that many of the songs are from live recordings, so there is applause at the beginning & endings of many. But when you hear this album set, you'll know what the applause is all about!! Mario Lanza's voice is as relevant today as it was in his prime in the late 40's, and 50's. Because of his ease with both English and Italian, and the natural sound of his voice, it outshined even many big opera stars of the times, who didn't sing popular song as well. I highly recommend this set of Cds, and most other recordings of Mario Lanza you can find on Amazon or anywhere!"