Bel Canto Spectacular

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Bellini and Rossini,Donizetti
WORKS: Arias by Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini
PERFORMER: Juan Diego Flórez (tenor); with Patrizia Ciofi, Anna Netrebko (soprano), Daniela Barcellona (mezzo-soprano), Mariusz Kwiecien, Plácido Domingo (baritone); Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana/Daniel Oren
CATALOGUE NO: 478 0315


Some familiar items from Juan Diego Flórez’s repertory here, notably ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ with some attractive decorations, while the top-C-fest from Fille du régiment is heard in the composer’s own Italian adaptation. The nine notes are just as shiny. Indeed, the tenor’s impeccable artistry, founded on the strongest of techniques plus – vitally – the keenest of expressive intentions, is in flamboyant evidence throughout. Particularly welcome are Donizetti’s Favorite aria and the two extracts from the curiously neglected Linda di Chamounix, in all of which Flórez is as graceful as a deer darting through the sunlit forest glade of the composer’s orchestration. Inevitably, perhaps, Flórez casts some of his guest artists somewhat into the shade. In the Puritani scene, Anna Netrebko matches his technique but her vocal colours are more limited. Patrizia Ciofi’s Linda cannot emulate her partner’s immaculate diction. In a bonus item, Plácido Domingo huffs and puffs his way through coloratura that Flórez simply sails through, and even ducks a top note. Decent playing by the orchestra under Daniel Oren’s direction; the recorded sound is rather brittle and has the voices placed too far back. George Hall