Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Juan Diego Flórez|
Bel Canto Spectacular - Deluxe Edition
This Special Deluxe Limited Edition includes the CD and a DVD of interviews, performance clips, a picture gallery and more! For this special album, Florez is joined by an all-star roster of his friends, including Anna Netr... more »
This Special Deluxe Limited Edition includes the CD and a DVD of interviews, performance clips, a picture gallery and more! For this special album, Florez is joined by an all-star roster of his friends, including Anna Netrebko, Placido Domingo, Mariusz Kwiecien, Patrizia Ciofi and Daniela Barcellona. Rarely have so many talents come together on one all-new recording. The "King of the High Ds" returns with an all-new album of bel canto arias and duets. Juan Diego Florez once again proves why he is THE tenor in demand around the world for the operas of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini. In fact, he even broke the 70 year-old taboo against encores at La Scala in Donizetti's La Fille du Régiment, effortlessly tossing off 18 high Cs in a row (twice as many as other tenors)!
Another winner from Florez
Ralph Moore | Bishop's Stortford, UK | 07/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If anything, this recital shows Florez to be in even better voice than in his last album "Voce d'Italia: Arias for Rubini" (see my review). Despite the beauty of Florez' singing there, a few top notes showed signs of strain; here, the voice is more easily produced, sweeter and more characterful than ever before. For me, the plum item is his newly minted account off that old warhorse "Una furtive lagrima"; he sings with power and delicacy, managing some heart-stopping diminuendi and maintaining seamless legato. The Italian version of Florez' calling card aria with the nine high C's is as thrilling as ever and the more interesting for being less frequently heard. The choice of repertoire is judicious: a preponderance of Donizetti but a very varied selection of his arias, then two excerpts from Rossini and one by Bellini ; five are solo arias and the other five are each with a different "guest artist". I cannot, in all honesty, say that I am as impressed by any of those five other singers as I am by Florez himself; Netrebko sounds very like Freni at the beginning of her "Puritani" duet but the voice lacks the older artist's delicacy and nuance - fine singer though she is. The Polish baritone Kwiecien and Patrizia Ciofi are both fine, if nothing special; Ciofi's attractively smoky, slightly breathy voice combines well with Florez in the romantic duet from "Linda di Chamonix", and Kwiecien sings ably but ordinarily, with a rather lumpen sound and a wide vibrato. I positively disliked Daniella Barcellona's rather clumsy, laboured singing as the Marchesa Melibea in the duet from "Il Viaggio a Reims" - her voice really does not match his. Placido Domingo, in the "bonus aria" from Rossini's "Otello" proves that, despite a little straining, his voice is a miracle of preservation. Perhaps inviting distinguished guest artists is a confirmation of Florez' standing in the operatic world today and perhaps Decca wished to avoid the charge of monotony which a whole disc of one beautiful, but intense tenor voice can provoke, but the fact remains that the raison d'etre of this recital is Florez himself, and the solo items are the best things on this CD.
If you buy the set with the bonus DVD, you have a not very interesting talk by Florez about bel canto in general, his fellow singers, and the specific repertoire he has chosen to sing on this disc, then two excerpts from RAI and Zurich productions - the former being, of course, THAT aria - this time in French, the second being, rather disappointingly, only the recitative before the big romantic aria "Cerchero lontana terra", not the aria itself. However, rather confusingly, the cover states that we are to have the aria, too -but it doesn't feature on my copy! (I would be interested to know if other purchasers' DVD's have the same flaw - or maybe it's just my copy. I don't think so, as the aria is not mentioned on the menu.) The trailers for the DVD's are quite good for giving a flavour of their quality, giving quite extended snippets, but it's the recital I wanted, not the extra fripperies.
Ne'er so good to be alone?
Abel | Hong Kong | 10/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Juan Diego Florez has carved out an illustrious vocal career through distinctive artistry and a rare and wonderful high tenor voice.
All too often, however, he finds himself a 'lone voice in the wilderness' for lack of competent support from fellow performers.
His previous solo albums have full solo vocal tracks plus some scenes with choruses.
This new album showcases some duets with different partners: tenor, soprano, mezzo-soprano and baritone.
Even so, still, as the previous reviewer so aptly commented, Florez is pretty much the only person in the show.
In the past, famous singers all have their reputations garnered by partnering other equally competent singers: Callas/di Stefano; Corelli/Nilsson; Tebaldi/del Monaco; Domingo/Caballe; Carreras/Freni; Sutherland/Pavarotti...and nowadays, Villazon/Netrebko.
Who, then, would rightfully partner Florez in his bel canto repertoire? Markedly, Natalie Dessay and Diana Damrau.
At least, Florez's agent and Decca should seriously think twice in future albums to see to it that the partners are vocally on par with Signore Florez in the bel canto repertoire, as none of those in this album seems to be adept at, Domingo included."
An inexcusably subjective appreciation
w. s. itoga | 03/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"the lost world of bel canto for men is back - in one voice. i love everything about this man but i would offer that in one of the duets [di che son reo from il viaggio], mr. florez' voice seems to lack heft in relation to mme. barcellona. be that as it may, his call of "linda, linda.." in the duet from linda di chamounix is magical and the impressions left after hearing this disc are ones of awe, mastery, and artistry. selections are also well balanced in that one is not overwhelmed by too much floridity or one vocal type. choral parts are, as on all of mr. florez' albums, included - as are the responses from other characters in the scene. i know this is a bit cheezy and discrediting, but i travelled specifically to see mr. florez sing tonio in la fille from a met box, and what a handsome and sexy man he is [those hairy legs in lederhosen] - the art work and the bonus disk acknowledge this beauty as surely as the peruvian sun rises and shines."