Santo

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Adam,Bellini,Flórez,Franck,Fux,Handel,Haydn,Ramírez,Rossini,Schubert & Wade
LABELS: Decca
WORKS: Sacred Songs by Adam, Bellini, Franck, Flórez, Fux, Handel, Haydn, Ramírez, Rossini, Schubert & Wade
PERFORMER: Juan Diego Flórez; Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra & Chorus/ Michele Mariotti
CATALOGUE NO: 478 2254

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‘Sooner or later a tenor has to record a sacred CD’, says Juan Diego Flórez in the notes with this release, and duly obliges with a superior example of the genre. Firstly, the programme is not too hackneyed, with attractive rarities by Bellini and Flórez’s trademark Rossini snuggling up against the semi-canonical Ave Maria (Schubert) and Panis Angelicus (Franck).

A sidestep into Baroque repertoire – Fux’s vibrant Alleluia (in which Flórez competes with a trumpet obbligato; it’s a draw), and ‘Comfort Ye’ from Messiah, in good English, testify to another vocal realm he could conquer, if he chose. Haydn’s Creation is also sampled to provide a further fine match.

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His own Latin American origins are noted in an atmospheric extract from the populist Misa Criolla by Ariel Ramírez and especially in his self-composed title-track, which if no great shakes musically is no embarrassment, either. But everything he does here Flórez does extremely well, and the sound
quality helps him shine. George Hall