"If you could have only one or two CDs of Luciano Pavarotti, this 2-CD set probably would be an excellent choice. The first CD contains a great selection of 21 arias (such as Nessun dorma, Brindisi, Di quella pira, M'appari, Una furtiva lagrima, Amor ti vieta, La donna e mobile, etc.) recorded over a period of three decades (from 1968 to 1997), and the second CD comprises 20 beautiful songs (mostly Italian lyric songs, such as O sole mio, Torna a Surriento, Core 'ngrato, Ave maria, Caro mio ben, Santa Lucia, etc.) recorded from 1974 to 1995. Two songs in CD #2 appear to be ill-chosen among the otherwise excellent selections: "My Way", where Pavarotti sings along with Frank Sinatra, is not the sort of song one would expect in this CD set. In "Notte 'e piscatore", where Andrea Bocelli joins Pavarotti, Bocelli's voice is rather disappointing in comparison to Pavarotti's. But overall this CD set is, in my opinion, the best of Pavarotti's CDs. If this set is too pricey for you, you may want to consider Pavarotti's "Romantic Italian Love Songs", which has a good selection of arias and Italian lyric songs (a total of 17 selections) in just one CD."
The best compilation available.
insoc | Miami, Florida United States | 02/05/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, the price is a little high but amongst the many official and unofficial Pavarotti compilations out there, this is the most comprensive compilation available. Disc 1 is a Pavarotti classical compilation, gathering his most notorious arias performances, Disc 2 is Pavarotti "popular" compilation, having songs like My Way and Caruso. So you get both sides of Pavarotti, classical and popular. The selection as you can see is great. Why did I give it 4 and not 5 stars? Because the quality of the sound recording is not that great (im not saying is awful but is like 6.5 out of 10) and the booklet is very omise and lack a lot of information, actually, I wouldnt call it a booklet. Anyway, you just cant get a compilation like this. Thats why I bought it. It could have been 5 stars, but it is 4."
Great Music......Horrible Mastering
Paul K. Ross | Seattle, WA | 07/23/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Pavarotti has a voice that can take hold of you and change your entire mood...even if you don't know Italian. The problem with this set is the mastering (mastering evens out the volumes and signal to noise ratio on an album). The first CD in this collection is so quiet that you literally have to crank your player to get any kind of volume. For a professional CD this is absolutely unacceptable. The song choices are good with the exception of "My Way" with Frank Sinatra. Both singers sound ....ummm...let's just say less than their best on the recording. It sits out like a boil on a pretty girl's face."
Cornucopia of Pavarotti's works
Steven A. Peterson | Hershey, PA (Born in Kewanee, IL) | 03/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a "Super hits" CD, with over forty different cuts (quite a few of which have appeared elsewhere, of course). For those who are aficionados of Pavarotti, this is what might be called "hog heaven."
Disc 1 features estimable works such as "Nessun dorma" (well done, with his voice showing to good effect), "Che gelida manina" (excellently done, with good characterization), ""Celeste Aida" (elegantly sung), "Di quella pira" (a much better than average version), "E lucevan le stelle" (Pavarotti does a nice job in the Puccini-Verdi repertoire), "La donna e mobile" (sung with aplomb), "Recondita armonia" (the other aria from Tosca, which also shows Pavarotti's voice off to good effect), and so on.
Disc 2 is especially interesting, because it features a more popular set of works, from the redoubtable "O sole mio" (richly orchestrated and nicely sung, not overpowered by Pavarotti's operatic voice), "Core n'grato" (compare with Caruso's version), "Oh, holy night," "La danza" (spritely sung with excellent breath control in a treacherous song), "Santa Lucia" (again, smoothly sung), "Ave Maria" (seemingly sung with respect and affection).
A cornucopia of Pavarottiana. For those fans of Pavarotti, this "greatest hits" collection will be welcome. For those who may not be aware of this tenor when his voice was still fresh, this is a fine entrée to his work. "