PhantomOfTheOpera | Norway | 06/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have a Carreras-recording of Tosca from 1980 and up till now I thought it was the ultimate recording of "Recondita armonia" and "E lucevan le stelle". I honestly thought that no one could sing these arias better. And in a way I'm right. The only one that did it was himself - a few years earlier.....(The two arias in this "golden years cd" are taken from a -76 recording of Tosca). And after listening to these songs I can't imagine that anyone dare say that he is/was the weakest of the three tenors. In my opinion he possesses something that the others don't. (I won't tell you what it is - listen and find out yourself). Even if his voice has changed over the years (and I mean changed, not declined..) something remains unchangeable and that is his ability to evoke emotions. No one can deliver a line like him. And that's something that's going to stay with him forever, because what makes his singing so special comes from within. It's not dependent on the quality of the voice. But in the songs on this cd his voice is pure gold.
Even though I like the whole album, some of the songs on the first cd (which consists of operatic arias) stand out to me - like "Una furtiva lagrima", "donna non vidi mai", "vesti la giubba" and "nessun dorma" (Sorry Pavarotti - José is way ahead of you interpreting this song. It's not enough to sing it on full blast....) Here's also the loveliest rendition of "Forse la soglio attinse". In 1975 the audience at La Scala in Milan went absolutely crazy after he had sung this aria. I have a recording from that night and it sounds as if they are standing on their seats, cheering and applauding. And it's almost like I want to do the same myself after listening to his singing on this album. And in the song "dein ist mein ganzes hertz" he makes me believe that his whole heart really is mine......In my opinion Carreras has the best rendition of this song ever. No one else comes even close to this one. And I mustn't forget his "che gelida manina" from La Bohême. I have the -79 recording it's taken from and it's the ultimate Bohême ever.
The second cd has a "lighter" repertoire with songs from composers like Tosti, Cardillo, Lara and others. My personal favourites here are "Core n'grato", "Ideale" and "Granada". In my opinion no one sings these songs like Carreras. Or rather - no one sings like Carreras. Period!
His singing will no doubt give you goosebumps all over and make your hair stand on end. If not, I bet you're either a Pavarotti or Domingo-fan...."
A great partial overview of an extraordinary career
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 04/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Now a household name by being one of the Three Tenors alongside Pavarotti and Domingo, Carreras' finest recordings were actually done in the 1970s, when his voice had a brilliance and luster that few singers have equaled. Born in Spain in '46, Carreras was a child prodigy, and by his late 20s was a shining star in all the major opera houses. Tragically, in '87, he learned he had leukemia, a disease he battled and won, going on to greater fame than ever before.
Though his voice is powerful and full of beauty, those with keen ears will detect his voice losing a tiny bit of its magnificence starting in the early 80s, and one wonders if the stress and exhaustion of stardom contributed to this as well as to the illness, or whether it was because the seeds of leukemia were taking root.
CD One is the operatic disc, and the two most sublime cuts are both from '76, Puccini's "E lucevan le stelle" (Tosca), and Verdi's "Forse la scoglia attinse" (Un Ballo in Maschera). Another track I adore is the heavenly Lehar "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" (Das Land des Lachelns), from 1978, and few have performed this popular piece with more loveliness.
CD Two is in a lighter vein, and starts with a stupendous rendition of Ariel Ramirez' "Kirie" (Misa Criolla), sung softly and with extraordinary tenderness and artistry.
There are lots of heavenly melodic Italian songs, like "O Sole Mio", and a few in English like the song made famous by Lanza (who according to the liner notes, inspired Carreras to be a singer when he saw "The Great Caruso" at the age of six) "Be My Love " (Brodszky/Cahn).
The foldout insert has complete track list info and liner notes, and mention must be made of the incredible, sensitive sepia portrait of this handsome singer on the cover. Total playing time for CD One is 75'32, and for CD Two 75'47.
A must for Carreras fans, and anyone who appreciates the finest in operatic voices.
carol France | 04/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have never liked the three tenors, never liked famous people, but Carreras convinced me that you can be popular and good.
He is my favorite among the three tenors. Pavarotti has no feeling, Domingo pretends passion, only Carreras is true to himself. He has a moving voice that can become as powerful as any other great tenor.I absolutely love his Puccini's "Che gelida manina", his Tosca's "Recondita armonia", and especially his thrilling "Di quella pira" by Verdi. I have heard a lot of tenors singing these famous arias, but Carreras seems to be the most touching and remarkable of them all. Yes, you can see his naked soul when you hear him."