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Arias For Rubini
Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835)
Il Pirata - Nel furor delle tempeste ...
Del disastro di queti infelici ... Per te di vane lagrime [9.30]
with Filippo Adami Itulbo; Ugo Guagliardo Goffredo
Bianca e Fernando - Tutti siam? – Si,
tutti uniti ... Eccomi alfin, guerrieri ... All’udir del
padre afflitto ... Degna suora di Fernando ... Odo il tuo
pianto, o padre [14.45]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra - Che
intesi! ... Deh! troncate i ceppi suoi ... Vendicar sapró l’offesa [12.35]
Il turco in Italia - Intesi: ah! tutto
intesi ... Tu seconda il mio disegno ... Si il mio rival
La donna del lago* - Pace non trovo
... Tu sorda ai miei lamenti ... Ah! come nascondere [6.47]
Guglielmo Tell - Non mi lasciare, o speme di
vendetta ... O muto asil ... Vendetta! ... Corriam! voliam! [12.42]
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848)
Marino Faliero - No, no, d’abbandonarla
senza un addio ... Di mia patira o bel soggiorno ... Ma
un solo conforto [9.43]
Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Roberto
rec. Sala Santa Cecilia, Auditorium Parco
della Musica, Rome, 29 August-10 September 2006, DDD
Sung texts enclosed
* World premiere recording of 1825 Paris version.
DECCA 475 9079 [71.41]
Battista Rubini (1794-1854) was one of the greatest tenors
of all times. He was an Italian who took the tenor’s role
to a new dimension, adding dramatics, incredible vocal dexterity
and beauty to the various operatic parts in a way that none
of his contemporaries was able to match. Rubini was alive
at the same time as the top bel canto composers of
the first half of the 19th century: Donizetti,
Bellini and Rossini. His voice inspired them to compose many
operatic roles specifically for him, which, after his death,
have been almost impossible to cast. Therefore any project
where a tenor is singing arias that were written with Rubini’s
voice in mind is extremely ambitious indeed. Few would dare
to attempt it and even less would actually manage to do it.
Juan Diego Flórez
undoubtedly belongs to this last category.
difficulty of execution of the arias included in Flórez’s latest CD “Arias for Rubini”,
meant as a tribute to the great tenor, can only be described
as fiendish. It requires ringing,
expressive coloratura, extreme high notes, sustained
beautiful legato and an impeccable technique. Amazingly,
it’s all there. Flórez delivers all
arias in his trademark fresh, pure, crystalline sound, clearly
pronouncing all words, singing with immaculate precision
and beauty. He told me once that he believes bel canto should
be virtuosic and beautiful at the same time, and that this
is what he always tries to do. He certainly achieved it here
with brilliance and style.
is a joy to listen to his singing throughout the record,
perfectly accompanied by the Orchestra and Coro dell’Accademia
Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, but there is more to it than that. Flórez’s
colourful, luminous voice dazzles the ear, especially in
its highest register, exuberantly displayed in this work,
truly exploding in sparkling, acrobatic vocals. If the aria Ah!
Mes amis…”, with its nine consecutive high Cs, from Donizetti’s La
Fille du Régiment is often described as ‘The
Everest for Tenors’, then the arias that Flórez sings in
this CD can only be described as a climb into the vocal stratosphere.
He does it to perfection from the first moment we hear him
in Bellini’s Il Pirata, continuing throughout the
other tracks on the CD, many of which are little known gems,
such as Donizetti’s Marino Faliero, to the end where
he finishes with a real vocal fireworks display in excerpts
from Rossini’s Guglielmo Tell.
One could be forgiven
for thinking that significant manipulation by the sound engineers
was required; surely nobody can naturally sing such fiendishly
difficult pieces so beautifully and so effortlessly without
the technical wizardry present in a modern-day recording studio.
But, if like me, you have seen and heard Flórez live,
you will know that his voice is the real thing.
to end on a high note, if Rubini was the stuff of legend,
with a voice out of this world, then we certainly have in
Juan Diego Flórez a rightful and
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