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Lanza: Greatest Hits
Nicholas Brodszky, Guy d' Hardelot, Jerome Kern
Lanza: Greatest Hits
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1


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Not bad as an introduction to Lanza
D. MCGOVERN | New Zealand | 11/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I recommend this collection as a good starting point for those interested in this extraordinary tenor. It's not a complete representation of the man by any stretch of the imagination, but it includes a handful of unforgettable recordings that will make newcomers to Lanza sit up in astonishment.Highlights include the immortal Serenade & Golden Days from The Student Prince, Beloved (from the film version of the Student Prince, and arguably Lanza's best English-language love song), Because You're Mine, If I Loved You, and the stirring Addio Alla Madre from Cavalleria Rusticana. If love songs seem a little over-represented at the expense of arias and (notably) Italian & Neapolitan Songs, then blame BMG for their habitual neglect of Lanza's more serious side. In any event, this is essentially a one-CD version of the three-CD set, The Mario Lanza Collection. All of the renditions are the same as on the earlier CD, as are the sound sources. With the exception of The Student Prince Serenade, most of the selections here have never sounded better.Be aware, however, that several of the arias are in fact retakes of more familiar versions. Vesti La Giubba, for instance, is an alternate take from Lanza's May 1950 session, and although the tenor is in great voice, the orchestra lets him down on the climactic phrase by moving on before he has finished his High A on the word "infranto". The Flower Song is even more unrestrained than the familiar take - great fun, but not the kind of recording you'd want newcomers to Lanza to hear! (Lanza never quite "nailed" this aria, but his heart was in the right place.) La Donna E Mobile is the familiar 1950 version in the first half, but is replaced by an inferior retake in the second half, followed by an edited-in High B ending (on "pensier") from the original recording! The only truly bad recording is the inexplicably popular With A Song In My Heart. Lanza is unfocused, and strains his way throughout the piece. Yours Is My Heart Alone is somewhat better, but is easily surpassed by the tenor's 1956 recording with the conductor Henri Rene (and currently unavailable on CD).The "Greatest Hits" are here: the million-selling Be My Love, Loveliest Night of The Year and the aforementioned Because You're Mine. I have to confess to an aversion to the first two - Lanza was often a far better singer than these recordings suggest - but most fans, I'm sure, will continue to cherish them. Besides, what tenor since Lanza has ever sung Be My Love without straining his way through the wretched thing and then fudging the High C at the end? Lanza made it his own, and to be fair to the song, it is actually a very difficult piece to pull off, as Messrs Domingo, Carreras and Leech will no doubt attest. But that was also one of Lanza's most under-appreciated strengths - he made everything sound so easy. Listeners accustomed to the laborious efforts of most present-day tenors will be astounded by the freshness, ease, and sheer bravado of these performances."
Great CD!
Catherine Williams | Bluff City Tennesee | 03/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've listened to Mario Lanza sing for 40 years or more and still consider him one of the best. This CD has all the different songs I love to hear him sing. What a great tenor voice!"
The Greatest Tenor of the 20th Century.
Dick Bobnick | Burnsville, Minnesota United States | 01/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In a professional career that lasted just a bit over ten years Mario Lanza created more memorable recordings, broadcasts, concert perfomances and feature films than any other major vocalist in the classical and pop-jazz music genre. He was a man blessed with arguably the finest tenor voice in recorded music. Fans of Caruso, Pavarotti, Jan Peerce, Placido Domingo or Careras may argue that their tenor interpreted a particular aria better than anyone else but few if any can argue against the sheer beauty, power and emotion of Mario Lanza. He achieved worldwide success too fast and his penchant for the good life: wine, women and good food got the best of him in the end. It is so sad, when one contemplates Lanza's short but brilliant career and what might have been, that he was gone at age 38, an age when some tenors are just beginning to hit their stride. This album is a fine overview of some of his most memorable heavy classics as well as lighter operetta standards and showcases his voice so well. Nearly fifty years have transpired since his untimely death in 1959 and there is yet to appear on the scene a tenor with the power, charisma or sheer beauty of Lanza's voice. I highly recommend this album to the Lanza novice or those just starting their Opera CD collections.