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Amor ti vieta: Great Opera Arias
Umberto Giordano, Gaetano Donizetti, Ruggero Leoncavallo
Amor ti vieta: Great Opera Arias
Genres: Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

This disc can make a hardened realist believe in miracles. The first is technological: superimposing a new instrumental background on "vocals" recorded between 1902 and 1913. To listeners who cherish Pearl's re-issues of t...  more »

      
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This disc can make a hardened realist believe in miracles. The first is technological: superimposing a new instrumental background on "vocals" recorded between 1902 and 1913. To listeners who cherish Pearl's re-issues of the Caruso Edition, where the voice comes through in all its glory while the orchestra sounds like a village band several miles away, this is naturally a vast improvement. It is also strangely disorienting: with brand-new accompaniments played by an excellent orchestra, the vocal sound shows its age; instead of leaping out from its surroundings, it almost seems upstaged by it. However, the ear quickly adjusts, just as it did to the originals' orchestral sound. The second miracle is Caruso's unique vocal and dramatic artistry. The program features favorite arias as well as unfamiliar ones, such as the disc's title track from Giordano's Fedora and Canio's final aria, rather than the famous earlier one, from Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci. An aria from Verdi's Otello, which he was to sing for the first time at the Metropolitan Opera in 1921, brings home the tragedy of his death at 48 that year. The disc includes some of his earliest recordings (with the orchestra taking over the original piano accompaniments played by the composers), as well as several he made after his operations, when his bright, honeyed, "golden" voice took on its famous baritonal quality: darker, warmer, somewhat heavier. In close juxtaposition, the difference is quite startling, creating the illusion of hearing two different singers. What remains unchanged are his incomparable technique and his inimitable style, though the early tendency toward what now seem excessive slides, portamentos, fermatas, gradually abates. His top notes retained their thrilling, heroic ring, his agility its effortless ease; his breath-control remained uncanny, his charm infectious. Perhaps most striking is his ability to create mood and character, drawing you instantly into the heart of the scene and the person portrayed. --Edith Eisler

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CD Reviews

Quite a miracle
Daniel Matz | Reading, PA | 05/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I bought the first digital Caruso CD, "Caruso 2000", and loved listening to it. Although it was more interesting than artistic. I found the digital process fascinating, however it seemed that too much was erased from the digital recordings, to the point that Caruso's voice lost some nuance. This CD however (the third in this series) manages to somehow filter out (most of)the surface noise and the original accompiament while keeping the voice mostly intact. The balance between the old and the new is also more convincing. Detractors of the Caruso 2000 CD should definitely check this one out. They might be surprised"