Great Recital - Great Fun! Great Singing! Great Sound!
Doug - Haydn Fan | California | 01/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a shame such an aristocratic tenor as Luigi Alva rarely gets much of a listen these days. Even in these Spanish language works, music touched with a tad more soupiness than I normally am willing to accept, Alva retains the qualities that made him such a light tenor standout. Whether in the early Romantic Italian operas of Donizetti, or as an excellent Mozart/Rossini tenor, Alva remained a notable singer for nearly two decades. He enjoyed a bright clear enunciation set on a fine legato, far above average virtousity in negotitating trickier embellishments, and an honest top, achieved without pushing matters. Here and there in this Cd Alva succumbs to a bit of swooping into his fortes, or swelling a note for effect, when a more straightforward approach might sound more distinquished. However, overall he's quite good, and it's a pleasure to listen to such a fine voice, and one so well used!
In his prime Luigi Alva did not always recieve the credit he deserved, a few critics even carping about his singing in the EMI Don Giovanni set under Giulini! Today, anyone wishing to hear Luigi Alva at his considerable best in opera need only check out Alva's performance as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, a now universally praised performance - Mozart - Don Giovanni / Wächter · Sutherland · Alva · Frick · Schwarzkopf · Taddei · Cappuccilli · Sciutti · Giulini You can hear a snippet of Alva at Sample 26 of the first Cd.
In the Spanish songs on this set, splendidly recorded in stereo by Decca's Kenneth Wilkinson at the start of the Sixties, we can hear the first famous Peruvian-born light tenor in what are basically popular songs, pieces written in those bygone days when the gap between popular and classical was far smaller, even at times indistinct. The famous classical singers of the past enjoyed singing such pleasant tuneful melodies, and did so with little stylistic difficulty. The New Symphony Orchestra backs up Alva with rather too much poshiness, but given the 'crossover' market this album was aimed at back in 1963, it's liveable. Alva records a number of lesser known works to go along with the usual crowd favorites, these rarer songs are in many ways the most enjoyable numbers on the Cd.
The Cds main drawbacks - there are no words - let along a translation - for any of the songs. And to be frank, after five or six songs more variety would go a long way. Very few singers have the imagination necessary for pulling off this potpourri, and good as Alva is, he doesn't make such a select company. (For a Spanish singer of the very highest class, try listneing to the fabled Antonio Cortis, admittedly a dramatic lyric, sing a few similar songs - near the end of the samples strating with 19 on - Antonio Cortis. Oh, and the opera selections of Cortis are pretty good, too!)
Decca offers a reproduction of the original linear notes to the Lp - this in the tiniest most Lilliputian type face I've ever encountered! Fortunately the back of the Cd offers legible information on the songs and composers.
All in all, a diverting, easy-going compilation for fans of Spanish song, far better sung than most! If you're curious, give the samples a try.
Luis E. Lozano | 07/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Years ago I was given this recording (LP) by a friend of mine. I couldn't be more impressed by the beautiful voice of Luigi Alva; it's such a beautiful musical program that somehow disapeared from my collection. It took me many years to find this magnificent recording. I've listened to these seleccions by other tenors; and very good ones, but Luigi Alva's heart and soul in these interpretations have no rival. Bravo Amazon for carrying this album."
A REAL MUSICAL JEWEL
Jorge M. Payet | miami,fl,usa | 01/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ALVA WAS IN THE 50'S TO 70'S THE BEST LYRIC TENOR IN THE WORLD LIKE JUAN DIEGO FLORES NOW.IT IS A REAL TREAT TO THE EAR TO FIND THIS RARE COLLECTOR'S PIECE,A MUST"