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Artist Portrait: Placido Domingo
1 Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)

Celeste Aida (Aida) (1871)
2 Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1857-1919)

Vesti la giubba (Pagliacci) (1871)
3-4 Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)

E lucevan lestelle; O dolce mani (Tosca) (1900)
5 Giuseppe VERDI

Ingemisco (Messa da Requiem) (1874)
6 Francesco CILEA (1866-1950)

La dolcissima effigie (Adriana Lecouvreur) (1871)
7 Maria Theresa LARA

Piensa en mi

8-10 Agustin LARA (1897-1970))

Granada; Solamente; Arcáncame la vida
11 Claude-Joseph Rouget DE LISLE (1760-1836)

La Marseillaise (arranged Berlioz)
12-13 Georges BIZET (1838-1875)

Le fleur que tu m’avais jetée; C’est toi? (Carmen) (1875)
14 Giuseppe VERDI

Ma se m/è forza perdeti (Un ballo in maschera) (1871)
15 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)

Winterstürme (Die Walküre) (1871)
16 Giacomo PUCCINI

Nessun dorma (Turandot) (1924)
Placido Domingo (tenor)
Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin/Nello Santi (1, 2, 6, 14, 16)
Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma della RAI/Zubin Mehta (3, 4)
Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Daniel Barenboim (5, 11)
VVC Symphonic Orchestra * Solo Musicians; Bebu Silvetti (7, 8, 9); José Codángelo (10)
Julia Migenes Johnson, Orchestre National de France et Choeurs et Maîtrise de Radio France/Lorin Maazel (12, 13)
Staatskapelle Berlin/Daniel Barenboim (15)
Rec May 1968: Nos. 1, 2, 6, 14, 16, Großer Festsaal, Berlin; December 1982: Nos. 12, 13, Studio 104, Radio France, Paris; July 1992: Nos. 3, 4, original locations in Rome; September 1993: No. 5, Orchestra Hall, Chicago; November 1993: No. 15, Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin; January 1998: Nos. 7-10, Hollywood, Miami, New York
WARNER CLASSICS 0927 49707 2 [75.07]


The CD catalogues now hold an enormous volume of treasures, and this latest compilation of past treasures by Placido Domingo is among them. As the listing shows, the recordings collected here span a twenty-five year period, during which Domingo has remained centre-stage as one of the greatest artists of the era.

There are many things that mark this artistry and stature, including his range of style and repertoire, his commitment to characterisation, his vocal prowess. And all these are reflected in this entertaining and stimulating collection. In fact the desire to show the range of Domingo’s achievement must have been a priority when the decisions were taken about what to include. As such the concept does much justice to him and is a true ‘artist portrait’.

Among many highlights a few are worthy of special mention. The items from Tosca remind us of just how powerful is his interpretation of the role of Cavaradossi, while his Don José in Carmen was also a special interpretation. More recently several Wagnerian roles have been undertaken with success, including that of Siegmund in Die Walküre, whose great solo Winterstürme is represented here. However, contractual restrictions presumably stood in the way of his marvelous Walther from Die Meistersinger finding its way onto the disc.

There are also some fine Verdi items, the recital starting with a magnificent Celeste Aida that ends in a resplendent ringing fortissimo. But from this critic, alas, this is cause for complaint rather than celebration, since it is surely better to end the number with the pianissimo that Verdi actually wrote, rather than to show off. The popular songs, led by a splendidly vibrant Granada, make a stirring impression, though some of the arrangements are banal, to say the least.

Terry Barfoot


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