MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs
 

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World


all Nimbus reviews



all tudor reviews


Follow us on Twitter


Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

alternatively AmazonUK AmazonUS

 

The Essential JosÚ Carreras
CD 1:
Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901)
La traviata:
1. Libiamo [2:57]
Umberto GIORDANO (1867–1948)
Fedora:
2. Ma dunque Ŕ amore? … Amor ti vieta [2:44]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924)
Tosca:
3. Dammi i colori… Recondita armonia [4:12]
4. E lucevan le stelle [3:18]
5. O dolci mani [1:44]
Turandot:
6. Non piengere, Li¨ [2:24]
7. Nessun dorma [3:15]
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797–1848)
Poliuto:
8. Tu sei commosso!... [3:31]
9. D’un’alma troppo fervida [1:59]
10. Ah! fuggi! da morte … [3:31]
11. Fia vero! ... Di! [1:37]
Umberto GIORDANO
Andrea Chenier:
12. Un dý all’azzurro spazio [4:22]
13. Come un bel dý di maggio [7:00]
Jules MASSENET (1842–1912)
Werther:
14. Orchestral introduction … [2:28]
15. Il faut nous sÚparer … [1:59]
16. Mais vous ne savez rien de moi … [3:36]
17. Rŕve! Extase! [3:31]
Pietro MASCAGNI (1863–1945)
Cavalleria rusticana:
18. Tu qui, Santuzza? … [9:41]
19. La tua Santuzza [2:19]
Georges BIZET (1838–1875)
Carmen:
20. V’est toi! C’est moi … [4:22]
21. Mais moi, Carmen, je t’aime encore [4:53]
CD 2:
Richard RODGERS (1902–1979)
South Pacific:
1. Some enchanted evening [3:15]
2. Twin soliloquies: This is how it feels [1:47]
3. This nearly was mine [3:45]
4. Finale ultimo: Dites-moi … Some enchanted evening [4:15]
Edvard GRIEG (1843–1907)
5. T’estimo (I love Thee) [2:38]
Federico MOMPOU (1893–1987)
6. Damunt de tu, nomÚs les flors (Above you, nothing but flowers) [4:02]
Trad. (arr. Joan Casas)
7. Els contrabandists (The smugglers) [2:18]
Eduard TOLDR└ (1895–1962)
8. Festeig (Courtship) [2:57]
9. A l’ombra dell lledoner (In the shadow of the nettle tree) [4:19]
10. Canšo de passer cantant (Pass by singing) [2:45]
Vincenzo BELLINI (1801–1835)
11. La ricordanza (Recollection) [5:45]
12. Malinconia, ninfa gentile (Melancholy, gentle nymph) [1:58]
13. Vaga luna (Lovely moon) [3:19]
14. Per pietÓ, bell’idol mio (In pity, my fair idol) [2:36]
15. Il fervido desiderio (Ardent desire) [2:42]
16. Dolente imagine di Fille mia (Sad image of my Phyllis) [3:30]
Fermin Maria ALVAREZ (1833–1898)
17. Pregarýa (El cant de l’anima a la verge) [4:24]
Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949)
18. Wiegenlied (Cradle song) [4:10]
JosÚ FELICIANO (b. 1945)
19. Feliz navidad [2:58]
JosÚ Carreras (tenor)
Agnes Baltsa (mezzo) (CD 1 tr. 1 & 14-21), other soloists incl. Katia Ricciarelli, Kiri Te Kanawa, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti; Martin Katz (piano) (CD 2 tr. 11-16); orchestras conducted by Placido Domingo, Giuseppe PatanÚ, Michael Tilson Thomas, Lorin Maazel and others
rec. 1983 – 1999
SONY CLASSICAL 88697214412 [76:19 + 65:03]

 

Experience Classicsonline


To be honest “The Essential JosÚ Carreras” is to be found elsewhere. By 1983, when the earliest recordings on this compilation were made, his originally beautiful lyric tenor had already started to deteriorate. There was a harder, coarser tone at forte and above and much more strain than before. His lyrical qualities can still be enjoyed in his honeyed mezza-voce singing, which he employs skilfully and elegantly. Try the opening of E lucevan le stelle and O dolci mani (CD 1 tr. 4-5). There is a lot of sensitive phrasing throughout the two discs, paired with his deep involvement and dramatic intensity. In many ways his career came as a latter day parallel to that of Giuseppe Di Stefano. Both were the possessors of extremely beautiful voices, cut out for singing bel canto roles and the lighter Verdi and Puccini roles. Both chose to tackle heavier roles far too early and the effects in the case of Carreras can be heard here. The results are not bad but considering how much better they could have been if he had chosen repertoire more discriminatingly they can be dispiriting.

Among the better items are the arias from Turandot, which are also the earliest recordings. There he still has some youthful sap in the voice. He sings with a great deal of sensitivity in the excerpts from South Pacific, better I would say than in West Side Story that he recorded a couple of years earlier for DG, also with Kiri Te Kanawa and with Bernstein conducting. Principally, though, it is the wrong voice since the role was conceived for a bass and the original Emile de Becque was Ezio Pinza no less. He also sings with feeling in some of the Spanish songs on CD 2, especially those by Catalan composer Eduard ToldrÓ. The Bellini songs, with stylish piano accompaniments by Martin Katz, also have something to offer, not least La ricordanza, which is a reworking of the soprano aria Qui la voce from I puritani. Unfortunately he too often indulges in shouting towards the end and that is a recurring feature of his singing but in general he is fairly stylish in these songs. Hearing Grieg’s Jeg elsker dig (I Love Thee), sung in Spanish and with an orchestral arrangement by Carreras himself, is more a matter of curiosity but he sings it wholeheartedly and with feeling. 

In the operatic excerpts on CD we hear some impressive singing from his partners: Eva Marton’s big-voiced Fedora, and an involved and nuanced Katia Ricciarelli in Poliuto and Agnes Baltsa is splendid as Charlotte in Werther, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana and truly formidable as Carmen. Here Carreras is also at his dramatic best but he is preferable on the complete recording of the opera on DG with Karajan conducting and Baltsa again his Carmen. The excerpts from Werther involve a continuous scene from the orchestral interlude – well conducted by Domingo – to the end of act 1. It is always good to have longer scenes like this instead of isolated arias but in some instances I must question the producer’s choice. Why, for instance, continue the track with Recondita armonia another full minute with the Sacristan’s mutterings? And why, in Andrea Chenier, continue for several minutes after Come un bel di di maggio; we hear nothing from Chenier – he has already left the stage – but a dialogue with GÚrard and Schmidt and later Maddalena? It is supposed to be a portrait of Carreras, isn’t it? On the other hand the aria In dý all’azzurro spazio, according to the track-list, is supposed to be preceded by Colpito qui m’avete ov’io geloso, where Chenier actually sings, but here it is omitted. A bit slip-shod, isn’t it? 

The final tracks on CD 2 are a couple of excerpts from a concert in Vienna in December 1999 with The Three Tenors but we hear more of Domingo and Pavarotti than Carreras. 

Fans of Carreras should disregard anything negative I have said so far but others are advised to sample before buying. People should be aware that “The Essential JosÚ Carreras” is to be found in the Philips catalogue of the 1970s supplemented by a selection of items in the DG and EMI catalogues of the late 1970s and early 1980s. There are no texts and no comments on the music. The sound is variable and there are some clumsy cuts in excerpts from complete operas. 

G÷ran Forsling 

 




 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Past and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.