I first got to know Calleja six years ago, when I got hold by accident a CD of his. Immediately I asked myself the question: why isn't this guy recording more?? The Golden Voice
To cite Riccardo Chailly: Tenor Arias
"For some time I have not heard such a talent at this young age, with a sound harking back to quality I thought we had long lost"
Indeed, I was awestruck by every single note he sang - every one above the G just above the five lines of the score...
After all these years of waiting, here comes a new album. I have resisted the temptation to write a review till I got the chance to compare Calleja with the OLD recordings of Pavarotti and Domingo - you can see that for me, Calleja is already entering the major league in terms of competition. Conclusion:
* he voice is a tad darker than before - as though we switched a silver flute to a gold one - but the high notes remain shiny and sparkling as before;
* as the singer remarked himself, he now has better control of his voice for nuances. I see that he has nothing to be ashamed of when compared to Pavarotti and Domingo at the same stage of their careers;
* Recondita armonia (Puccini) is so outstanding that, by itself, it is worth buying the disk
* Che gelida manina is a bit too rehearsed (studio recording) to my taste. I prefer the Calleja version on... Youtube... a pirate version recorded in a concert...
All said, buy this CD (or at least click on one of the links on this page to sample the tracks). You will see right away that we are talking about a voice that is simply beyond comparison. Here I copy the conservatoire classes of Arthur Grumiaux: music, it is about "sonority (how you sound with your instrument), sonority, and phrasing".