Gluck, Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti, Halévy, Cimarosa & Puccini

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Cimarosa & Puccini,Donizetti,Gluck,Halévy,Rossini,Verdi
LABELS: Decca
ALBUM TITLE: Juan Diego Flórez
WORKS: Arias by Gluck, Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti, Halévy, Cimarosa & Puccini
PERFORMER: Juan Diego Flórez (tenor); Giuseppe Verdi SO, Milan/Carlo Rizzi
CATALOGUE NO: 475 550-2

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Another congenial programme for the formidably gifted Peruvian tenore di grazia. In Rossini, his ability to capture every single note in a sequence of intricately ornamented roulades contains all the elation of an athlete on top form plus the grace of a ballet dancer. The terrifying aria from Semiramide is meat and drink to him, and though this music is not all about flawless, gleaming top notes, you need them. And boy does he have them. No surprise, either, that in Donizetti’s languid lyricism he moves with the most stylish and well chosen of steps, while in more ebullient mode (as in the rare aria moved by Donizetti from the forgotten Gianni di Parigi to the Italian version of La figlia di reggimento) he changes, as it were, from a vocal Fred Astaire to a Gene Kelly. Some unusual material, too, in the shape of a charming serenade for the second tenor role of Leopold in Halévy’s La Juive, plus items from Cimarosa’s Secret Marriage and Verdi’s second opera. But listen to the way Flórez makes even ‘La donna è mobile’ sound new and fresh-minted. He’s finely supported by secure and stylistically credible accompaniments, and by Decca’s bright and forward sound.

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George Hall