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José Cura - Verismo

2 customer reviews

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World-famous for his intense and original interpretations of opera characters, as well as for his unconventional and innovative concert performances, tenor José Cura is a familiar name atop the marquees of the most prestigious theaters in the world.

2007 saw the world-premiere of La Commedia è finita, this show designed and directed by José Cura, marked the beginning ... Read more in Amazon's José Cura Store

Visit Amazon's José Cura Store
for 28 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

José Cura - Verismo + Puccini Arias + José Cura - Anhelo
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Product details

  • Performer: José Cura
  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Composer: Ruggiero Leoncavallo, Alfredo Catalani, Umberto Giordano, Francesco Cilea
  • Audio CD (11 Oct. 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Erato
  • ASIN: B00000K2WD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  DVD Audio
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,532 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Prologo: Si puo?
2. Recitar... Vesti la giubba
3. Intermezzo
4. Musette!... Testa adorata
5. Nel Verde Maggio
6. Improvviso
7. Come Un Bel Di Di Maggio
8. Amore ti vieta
9. Dolce notte misteriosa
10. La Dolcissima Effigie
11. L'anima Ho Stanca
12. Lamento di Federico, E la solita storia del pastore
13. Studenti! Udite!
14. Preludio e Siciliana. O Lola
15. Addio alla madre, Mamma, quel vino
16. Se Franz Dicesse Il Vero
17. Non altro che delirio

Product Description

Cura,Jose ~ Verismo

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Feb. 2002
Format: Audio CD
A collection of gritty down-to-earth arias from well-known and lesser known composers. There is not a weak track on the CD. Some are quite surprising. Cura's voice is powerful and mature and in some places he verges on the baritone. The Mascagni and Leoncavallo arias are particularly well performed. It is good to be introduced to some of the less 'popular' material.
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By Tamas Vig on 31 May 2013
Format: DVD Audio Verified Purchase
This is the only José Cura recital to date that was recorded to DVD Audio. The sound quality of this DVD-A is very good. A 96/24 surround recording as stated in the booklet. The tracks are a bit less than on the CD version of this recording. Anyway it's ideal for testing your home audio system.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 22 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An interesting, if sometimes overbearing, release 27 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Jose Cura has, undeniably, a fine, healthy voice and will, no doubt, have more than a successful career as an opera singer. Notwithstanding, he, in my opinion, needs to work considerably on his vocal shading and phrasing. He is a passionate and powerful singer, two very necessary qualities when singing verisimo, but he has the tendency to approach almost every aria on the CD in the same fashion: Head on, bluntly and forceful. It's all a matter of opinion, I know. I, however, prefer my tenors to sound a little less like they're marching off to war unless, of course, that's what they're singing about. This is a good effort, if only for the rare and sadly neglected arias that are all worth more than they have been given credit for. It is in these little gems that Mr. Cura shines beautifully. His conducting is more than serviceable; only occasionally does one hear a glimmer of his potential in this field. Though he is a genuine talent, I feel it would be in his best interest if he utilizes his vocal prowess in a more intelligent, lyrical and subtle fashion. Incidentally, if anyone is interested in hearing "Addio alla Madre" sung with gut-wrenching ardor and pathos, listen to Bergonzi; I guarantee they'll be a lump in your throat the size of a golf ball.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Exceptional Interpretations by Today's Most Exciting Tenor 13 Oct. 1999
By Mary Neuhoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Interesting it indeed has been to read Levine's and then the other eight customer reviews of this CD. Before I go a word more into my review, just in case it doesn't become apparent: I think Jose Cura is the best tenor thing that has happened to opera in the last 30 years and that his edge is not those beautiful, perfectly formed, technically correct tones that many must hear or be disappointed, but his interpretation of just about anything he sings just about any time he sings it. And, trust me, I have heard Jose Cura sing an enormous variety of operatic and nonoperatic music.
OK, as to this "Verismo" CD specifically: I don't find his voice any darker here than on the Puccini CD. It IS a dark voice. It is a fascinating, velvety sound. I can understand it not being to everyone's taste. Those who want just "pretty" tenor singing should listen to the likes of Ramon Vargas, whose voice I find glorious, but so far he lacks the capacity to thrill me. Cura, on the other hand, offers in this collection a rich treasure of feeling, from very subtle to overwhelmingly powerful.
"A music fan from Miami" 9/27 suggests Cura "has the tendency to approach almost every aria on the CD in the same fashion: Head on, bluntly and forceful." This is not, as this reviewer says, a matter of opinion; it is simply untrue. There is enormous variety of tone and shading on this disk. The only track that fits this reviewer's description is the "Germania" aria, which is thoroughly-and quite spectacularly-stentorian in delivery. It indeed does sound like he's marching off to war.
"AMFF New York" 9/25 accuses Cura of singing without musicality and suggests he didn't study long enough before beginning his career. I'm not going to argue with anyone who doesn't like Cura's sound or style, because that is a matter of personal taste, but the man is a sound musician who is much respected by the conductors with whom he works. Yes, he scoops (not swoops) sometimes, mostly slightly. But grunts? Come on now! And Cura studied a long time before launching his career at 28.
In sum, I find "Verismo" is an unusual collection of familiar and unfamiliar arias, delivered uniquely by a most enjoyable, ever intriguing singing musician.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Verismo at it's best 24 Mar. 2005
By James A. Holland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am amazed at the many utterly and overly negative comments posted regarding this CD.

Let me be clear about this. Jose Cura is NOT, nor will he EVER be, a lyric tenor!

It is my impression that too many reviewers of this particular CD are not quite aware of the this fact, and tend to compare Cura to other, far more lyrical tenors.

See, that's the beauty of Grand Opera. The composers wrote different operas for different voice types. Cura's voice is perhaps the penultimate spinto voice of the modern opera scene.

It is upon this very precept that I base my evaluation of this CD.

Now, on the actual CD.

With the exception of the fact that, indeed, Cura should have left the conducting to someone more qualified other than himself, this CD offers the listener the best Verismo selections available by a contemporary tenor.

In reviewing the comments regarding this CD I am reminded of the terrible critizism leveled upon the late Mario delMonaco during his lifetime.

Judging by contemprary reviews of the late Maestro, his was the worst tenor voice ever, and save for the sheer volume of his voice, and his Hollywood looks, he would never have had a career.

It wasn't until after delMonaco retired, and moreso until after his death, that the very critics that once denounced him as unworthy of his status, hailed him as one of the greatest dramatic tenors of all time!

I say this only to illustrate my point regarding the bad press this CD has received.

Having said this, Cura does an excellent job with this material.

His voice and phrasing often harkens memories of both delMonaco and Corelli, yet his interpretation is uniquely is own.

My favorite selections here are "Vesti La Giubba" from I Pagliacci, "Amor Ti Vieta" from Fedora, "Lamento Di Frederico" from L'arlesianna and "O Lola" as well as "Addio alla Madre" from Cavalleria Rusticana.

These selections highlight Curas prowess as the pre-eminent dramatic tenor of today beyond reproach.

On a final note, I often see that Cura is being hailed as Domingos' successor in both vocal quality and acting ability.

That's utter hogwash in that Curas' voice is much closer to that of delMonaco in both weight and power and acting wise, I doubt that we'll soon see another tenor as prodigiously gifted as was Domingo in that regard.

Jose Cura is a great DRAMATIC tenor folks. There's nothing lyrical about him and that's precisely why I appreciate his style and, subsequently, this CD.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely worth listening 3 Nov. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The first indication that Jose Cura is worth listening to is this: it is only mediocre artists that don't stir up any controversy. His voice and acting require time and effort to understand and appreciate. The marketing lately really appears to be shoving him down people's throats a bit, but that's not a sign that he has no abilities to back this hype up.
By no means would I call him the best, particularly in the past 30 years. That would be a gross mistake of discrediting many great artists who will forever hold their place in our hearts (e.g. chronologically, Wunderlich, Kraus, Bergonzi, Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras). Not that he wants to be compared to the greats yet, modestly saying that he would need to have 30 years of singing to stake his claim. On stage he is exciting and convincing actor, even though he struts around a little too much which is generally expected from Hollywood pretty boys and not from opera singers who are supposed to show more class than that. Only ugly men would feel so bitter that they would critisize his good looks though. A singer should be pleasant to look at as much as to hear him or her sing. Granted, Happner or Margison have good voices, but by being, ahem, large, they are somewhat difficult to imagine as Calaf or Chenier. The case of "looks=stardom" is more applicable to Marcello Alvarez or, ironically, to Andrea Bocelli. Despite all the hype, you absolutely can't accuse Jose Cura of lack of musicality: he obviously gives serious effort to understand and interpret the works in his own unique way. He is not vulgar: unlike the celebrated golden age "screamers" he is able to sing in sotto voice and project nice pianissimos, although his instrument by its very nature would never allow for exquisite tender romantic moments that the Big Three, for example, are able to deliver.
Luckily, Jose Cura knows to stay clear of Donizetti or Bellini for now and focus on what he does best - verismo, the subject of this album. Yes, like many, I feel that he should have gotten an esteemed conductor for this album, thankfully there are still a few who would love to work on this rare under-explored material. On several selections the slow tempi proved difficult even for him to manage. The sobs and sighs have to go, in most cases the composer did not really intend them; often they are appropriate on the stage, but not on studio disc (the laughter in Vesti La Giubba excepted). Generally the program here consists of selections nearly impossible to find elsewhere. Thus, it is hard to compare the character study that Cura offers to others. Overall, this album is a welcome addition to a music library and must be appreciated.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
what a waste! 5 Jun. 2004
By "montecastello" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Initially I was excited: at last, I thought, here is a voice of Del Monaco weight but with infinitely more variety and color. But upon repeated hearing, I came to the conclusion that the varied tone was often simply the result of a poorly modulated voice in which the top and the bottom blended poorly at times with the mid-range. Worse yet, his foolish decision to serve as his own conductor does not serve him well. Often, as in the Fedora aria (which should have suited his voice well) he winds up chopping off the end of phrases because of his choice in tempos or perhaps the difficulty of accompanying oneself. Many of the interpretations are mannered--a good producer or conductor could have helped him avoid these lapses of judgement. The decision to lead with Tonio's prologue (a baritone aria) is embarrasing. Although he does indeed have a baritonal-sounding tenor at times, this doesn't make him a baritone by any stretch of the imagination. As a result, the aria is not even remotely satisfactory--it requires vocal resources a tenor just doesn't have (as well as dramatic resources Cura also does not reliably offer). I'm happy to have the arias from Lodoletta and Germania in modern sound (the Marcella aria really needs another voice type) and in spite of my criticism there are moments of real beauty in Cura's voice. Yet what a pity that humility, self-discipline,and good taste were not given to him in equal parts with beauty of voice. After a month with this record I begin to long for the direct, unselfconscious if rather crude sound of del Monaco. Any number of comparably voiced tenors of the last twenty years, like Giacomini or Martinucci, who were never recorded as much as they deserved were vastly superior to Cura in musicality and self-awareness. Behold the power of a pretty face!
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