Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Juan Diego Flórez|
Bel Canto Spectacular
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 fa... more »
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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)!
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.
Also available is a special deluxe limited edition package that includes the CD and a DVD of interviews, performance clips, a picture gallery and more!
FLOREZ HITS ANOTHER HOME RUN
L. Mitnick | Chicago, Illinois United States | 08/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The previous reviewer alluded to a bonus DVD accompanying this recital. I can't comment on it because it is not included in the particular edition I received upon delivery by Amazon. What I have is the recital itself, which, I suppose, is quite sufficient. It's a real stunner. To my ear, Florez' voice sounds even brighter and sunnier when he sings the "Fille" aria in Italian. The vowels are opened wider, and the voice itself seems to ingratiate itself even more vividly than it does in French. The "Puritani" duet is very, very well done, with Anna Netrebko singing a beautiful Elvira. We we get here is the traditional duet, which does not include the extra music included by Pavarotti and Sutherland on their complete London recording. The "L'Elisir d'Amore" aria "Una Furtiva Lagrima" is spun out like silk, with some new variations I've never encountered before. In fact, all the Donizetti selections are as well done as you are ever likely to hear them, with the duet from "Linda di Chamounix" (with the noted European soprano Patrizia Ciofi) proving that there's a lot more good music in this particular opera than merely the one showpiece soprano aria (made famous by Beverly Sills on her very first recording after she reached international attention). The bonus track contains the two-tenor duet, where Florez is partnered with Placido Domingo no less. Domingo, of course takes the lower line, which is appropriate at this time in his fabulous career (his continued vocal health continues to amaze me - I mean, at age 67, to sing this well, is a miracle), and he makes a grand account of it. Florez, of course, sails through this music like a race horse at the flick of a whip. I am a tremendous admirer of Mr. Florez, and I freely admit that I find him astounding. Unlike the previous reviewer, I do not hear any opaqueness or
hints of strain in his top notes. While I enjoy and repeatedly play the "Arias for Rubini" album of Florez, I do agree with the previous reviewer that this recital is more enjoyable. For anyone who wants to hear truly great singing of a repertoire long known for it's vocal difficulties, you can't go wrong with this. The music just bursts from this beautiful Decca release."
Bel Canto Spectacular, indeed!
wolfgang731 | 02/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As much as I enjoyed JDF previous effort, Voce D'Italia - Arias For Rubini, there were times when the voice sounded a bit too pressurized and strained, though his musicality and intelligence were never more present. We have none of the former in this new recording, the aptly titled "Bel Canto Spectacular." This recording is also a bit more varied in the repertoire than its predecessor and that makes for a more stimulating sonic experience; it thankfully avoids being tiresome. As thrilling as the bravura arias are, high C after high C (and occasional high D) can prove a bit wearing. There was far too little room left for him to exhibit the seamless legato and the multi-hued qualities of his voice. Last year, I had the pleasure of hearing JDF live in concert and it proved a magical experience, especially after he delivered what to me was the most moving and eloquent "Una Furtiva Lagrima" that I've ever heard, surpassing (sorry folks) Kraus, Gedda, Bjorling and Gigli in terms of phrasing and all around purity of tone and an aching, lyrical quality that nearly brought me to tears. It was a heartfelt a performance as one could possibly wish for. In this recording he's managed to recapture the magic of that evening. What amazes me most about this artist is his ability to make the most difficult musical feats sound positively effortless as if though throwing out 9 high C's were the most routine thing in the world; as natural as yawning. Though I've enjoyed Ciofi in the past, I must admit that I'm not too thrilled with her in the Linda Di Chamounix duet. I found the voice a little lacking in heft and color but it blended nicely with Florez's. Anna Netrebko is in very good voice and her contribution to the Puritani duet wants for nothing. I'm afraid I could have done without Daniela Barcellona's presence. Ms. Barcellona's voice sounded labored and is tinged with a Slavic tonal quality that seems to work exclusively in Eastern European repertoire, but certainly is very much out of place in the frothy world of Rossini's Viaggio A Reims. The contrast between her voice and that of Florez's is positively jarring. Domingo's role is a minor one, but as one has come to expect from this legend, is delivered with commitment and panache; quite comfortable (some straining notwithstanding) in the duet from Otello, which serves as the disc's bonus track. The orchestra provides glorious support as does the chorus in its too brief appearances. Lovers of first rate singing should not pass this up. Vocal recitals such as this are very rare."
A Promise Fulfilled
Stanley H. Nemeth | Garden Grove, CA United States | 02/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though I've always admired the singing of Juan Diego Florez, I've questioned whether his voice is one the microphone does justice to. Having heard him on several occasions in the opera house, I've lamented the tendency of CDs to highlight an unpleasant stridency in his topmost notes and to fail to capture the sweeter, fully-rounded sound that distinguishes his live performances. Happily, this current CD does the Peruvian tenor far more justice. Though a few topmost note do sound bleated out, for the most part, along with his skills in the upper register and in fioritura passages, the frequent beauty of his voice in mid-range and softer passages for once is adequately captured. He is able to come off a high note into a dimuendo and sound tender without being saccharine.
I agree with an earlier reviewer that Florez' "Una Furtiva Lagrima" is a standout. He ornaments the familiar, beautiful aria in a tasteful way, and he emerges as second to no other current singer in this repertoire.
Simarly, his Rossini duet with an astonishingly fresh sounding Placido Domingo is a must hear for all opera fans. Bravo to the new king of bel canto.