Pavarotti: Classic Duets

Album cover art for upc 028947875833
Label: DECCA
Catalog: 4787583
Format: CD

Luciano Pavarotti

1. Libiamo ne lieti calici (Brindisi) 2. Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo 3. O soave fanciulla 4. Vogliatemi bene 5. Teco io sto ... M ami, m ami 6. Suzel, buon dì 7. È il sol dell anima 8. Bella figlia dell amore (Quartet) 9. O terra, addio; addio valle di pianti 10. Au fond du temple saint 11. Qui di sposa eterna ... Ah! Verranno a te sull aure 12. Chi mi frena in tal momento? (Sextet) 13. Già nella notte densa ... Venga la morte 14. Vicino a te s acqueta ... La nostra morte è il trionfo dell amore 15. Nessun dorma! Nature and nurture enabled the young Luciano Pavarotti to develop a lyric tenor voice of uncommon beauty. The great artist s mature career, outstanding in so many ways, unfolded thanks to his shrewd choice of roles and wise approach to the art of singing. His vocal production appeared effortless, in part because of the hard work that went into perfecting his technique, genuinely bel canto in its tonal nuance and eloquence. Having constructed one of the twentieth century s finest operatic voices, immediately identifiable and deeply moving, Pavarotti maintained its flexibility and open-toned allure by performing the music to which it was best suited. When he ventured into heavier roles such as Verdi s Otello and Radamès, he remained true to his instrument s essential character: Pavarotti created dramatic tension not by brute force, but with compelling dynamic gradations, refined expressive shadings and the ringing clarity of his high notes. He applied those qualities with equal skill to his emotionally charged interpretations of Bellini, Donizetti, early Verdi, Puccini and the all-too-human characters of verismo opera. Pavarotti belonged to a golden generation of singers that included his close friend and fellow Modenese Mirella Freni; Montserrat Caballé; Maria Chiara; Sherrill Milnes; Renata Scotto, and such younger colleagues as José Carreras, Ghena Dimitrova, Plácido Domingo and Kiri Te Kanawa.Renata Tebaldi and Joan Sutherland were already household names by the time they recorded with Pavarotti, while Nicolai Ghiaurov, the mighty Bulgarian bass, was in demand thanks not least to his dark-hued performances of Mussorgsky s Boris and Verdi s Philip II. So many of the studio recordings they made together in the 1970s project the spontaneity of live performance into interpretations that also sound timeless. In the later years of his recording career, Pavarotti worked with stars of the next generation, June Anderson and Cecilia Bartoli among them. Anderson made her long-awaited debut at New York s Metropolitan Opera in 1989 singing Gilda in Rigoletto, with Pavarotti as the Duke. Soon after, they recorded the work together in Bologna. The tenor s first Decca Rigoletto, made in company with the legendary Gilda of Joan Sutherland, contains a gripping interpretation of the opera s famous Quartet, the dramatic intrigue intensified by the distinctive vocal personalities of each of its four singers. Almost three decades after making his first complete opera recording, L amico Fritz, Pavarotti recorded an impassioned account of Mascagni s Cherry Duet Suzel, buon dì , with the young Cecilia Bartoli, already ranked among the world s leading bel canto artists. Pavarotti s 1972 studio recording of Nessun dorma! became a massive bestseller after it was used by the BBC as theme music to its coverage of the 1990 World Cup in Italy. The song reached new ears thanks to its inclusion in the first Three Tenors concert, performed at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome on the eve of the tournament s final game and televised to a vast global audience. Domingo and Carreras helped up the aria s emotional ante by singing successive phrases and partnering Pavarotti in its final sustained high B. This performance, like the other tracks on this album, reveals the power of great singing to penetrate regions of the soul usually obscured by daily cares and superficial distractions, to open listeners to new ways of being in the world.

Price: $13.98