Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Gaetano Donizetti|
The Essential Pavarotti
Genres: Pop, Classical
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Pavarotti in fine voice
Steven A. Peterson | Hershey, PA (Born in Kewanee, IL) | 02/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD finds Luciano Pavarotti in fine voice. The CD catches his career while it was at its zenith. The selections run from his operatic repertoire to some popular songs. He carries off both well (not all opera singers handle popular tunes well). So, how does he do with his "greatest hits"? My reaction to a sampling of the cuts follows. . . .
The CD begins with that wonderful work, "La donna e mobile" from Verdi's "Rigoletto." Pavarotti shows to good effect his smooth and attractive voice. One thinks of how distinctive that voice is; anyone with familiarity with opera would instantly recognize it. This is a spirited version, taken at a nice clip. Sometimes, he appears a bit overexpressive; when he moves from a lower to a higher note, he emits a bit too explosive a sound on occasion. The final high note is nailed well.
"Che gelida manina" must be one of a tenor's favorite arias. His voice works well with this piece. He sings expressively and in character. Very nicely done.
The dramatic piece, "E lucevan le stelle," is well sung, too. Pavarotti does well by Puccini's operatic works. Indeed, the next cut is from yet another of Puccini's operas, "Turandot." His "Nessun dorma" shows his off his voice well again. The final high note, on "Vincero," seems a bit strained, but it is effective nonetheless.
One of the great tenor show stoppers in the repertoire is "Di quella pira," from Verdi's "Il Tovatore." Once upon a time, I recorded something like 10-15 different versions back to back, just to compare which tenors clearly did the best job. Richard Tucker ranked toward the top and quite a few toward the bottom (names not to be mentioned here). Pavarotti would clearly rate nearer the top, according to this version. His "shakes" are much better than the awful sound issued forth by Mario del Monaco. His voice shows real power. He hits the high C dead on. His voice soars over orchestra and chorus at the end. Well done!
For other tunes. . . . Caruso could not manage his breath properly while singing Rossini's treacherous "La Danza." Pavarotti has no breathing issues here. This is sprightly sung, and he shows an extremely agile voice. He seems to enjoy attacking this trifle. "Volare" is a song that can be overdone by an operatic voice (e.g., think of how Mario Lanza or Richard Tucker might "oversing" this). Pavarotti begins with what I think is a bit overdone introduction. After that, though, he sings this for what it is--and does it well. Finally, that wonderful chestnut, "Funiculi-Funicula." Simply, well done and sung with genuine zest.
All in all, this is a good CD to hear the range of Pavarotti's singing. He sings well; his voice is lush and near its peak, I would think. The selections show his strengths in the Puccini/Verdi repertoire. His singing of more popular songs shows another side of his art. In the final analysis, if a person wants one CD to learn of Pavarotti's work, this is not a bad one to purchase.