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4.5 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 18 September 2007
This is the recording of the first performance in the so-called `Three Tenors' series of concerts. Staged on the eve of the 1990 FIFA World Cup final in Italy on 7th July 1990, and broadcast live around the world, the event probably widened the listening audience of opera music more than any event in history and subsequently elevated the status of the three tenor singers Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti to superstar level.

This latter point led to some disapproval of the sceptics who suggested that rather than bring music to the millions, it made millions for the musicians. In fact, probably both these statements are true and while it may be easy to criticise the singers for their financial gain, the contribution they have made to the opera genre is probably more valuable than their combined wage cheques for these events (rumoured to be $1 million each incidentally).

Opera purists also voiced disapproval at the large-scale amplified events staged in big arenas by suggesting that they do nothing for the understading and appreciation of opera music, but the response (when interviewed in 1998) by Domingo demonstrates these concerts were aimed at a different audience `I understand the complaints of purists, but I don't want the purists to go to the Three Tenors'.

Of the Three Tenors, Pavarotti has perhaps maintained the most popular appeal and has been embraced by the pop/crossover fan base, due in no small part for his popular version of `Nessun dorma' which became the theme tune for the BBC TV coverage of the 1990 World Cup and has since been performed many times as a concert finale by the singer.

Since its release in 1990 this album has been hugely successful having sold 10 million copies worldwide, and sales will no doubt be revitalised since the death of Luciano Pavarotti. This may not be the best of recordings, for the orchestra sounds a little thin probably due to the open air venue acoustics, but this is of little consequence for the singing is brilliant and the album probably represents the pinnacle of Pavarotti's career.

There will be many obituary albums to celebrate (and make some money from) Pavarotti's fame but this one will be difficult to upstage.
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on 6 July 2005
This cd is a must-have for anyone even slightly interested in opera. And when you're at it - why don't buy the dvd from the concert? It will make you appreciate the cd even more.
In my opinion you have to be dead not to be touched by Carreras' rendition of "Lamento di Federico" and "L'improvviso". If anybody can deliver a line it has to be Carreras. When it comes to his interpretation of "Granada" even conductor Zubin Mehta was gobsmacked. Watching the dvd you can see him putting down his baton and applauding. He even steps down from his podium to hug José.
I have to say I'm not too keen on the two other tenors, although I have to admit I loved Pavarotti's "Torna a Surriento" and "Rondine al nido". The thing about Pavarotti is that he has a great singing technique and he's also in possession of this "push-button" which make him sing a lot of high notes, but that alone isn't enough to stir emotion.
As for Domingo, even if he's giving it all in every song, I think he's a bit too much on the nasal side. He's okay when they all perform together, but his "E lucevan le stelle" is sending shivers up my spine - and not of delight. I'm practically unable to sit still and listen to his solos. If you really want "fire and pain" in this song you should check out Carreras in the Tosca-recording from -79, or his recording from -76. It's really breathtaking and I promise you'll end up in tears!
At the end of this concert the three tenors perform a medley together. Their voices blend perfectly and it's powerful to listen to them giving it all. A lot of people are talking about their mis-pronounciations. I for one, think it only adds to the charm of the performers. Pavarotti has some problems with the English songs (okay, big problems..), Domingo stumbles in the words in the beginning of "Wien Wien nur du allein", and (this you'll see in the dvd) in the same song Carreras is actually reading the text from a piece of paper as he's singing and his facial expressions when getting his head around the German words are really hilarious. O sole mio as an encore is fabulous when Pavarotti pushes his button and shakes out his trill.... And I love it when the two other join forces and repeat his trill to perfection.
All in all this is a wonderful album. And well worth 5 stars.... José alone gets 10 stars!!! And after having listened to the cd, I bet you'd want the dvd as well.
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on 12 May 2016
Ha, this one was a very big disappointment. the sound quality of the recordings is quite poor, and the selection did not satisfying me; I was expecting all the items I had seen on the viewing of the concert on TV.
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on 9 November 2013
In opinion not as good as the Doger Stadium cd, but still very good it includes Granada, Nessun dorma & O sole mio to name but a few, the best section is the finale medley which lasts over 20 minutes & includes meny good songs.
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on 26 May 2007
This is the first operatic CD I ever listened to and since then I have been hooked.

The arias performed are great choices and Carreras especially sung the most profound.

I have never been a real fan of Pavarotti I find him too 'wooden' and sure he may be technically perfect and can hit those high notes, he has no emotion or conviction.

Domingo I don't think was at his best during this concert the songs are a little force but he sings them well and at least puts emotion into it.

Carreras is my favourite tenor and I always find him highly under-rated....'the other guy' for any Seinfeld fans! He sings superbly and so heart-feld I can't understand anyone who isn't moved to pieces whilst listening to L'improvvisio.

The CD isn't hardcore opera it is light hearted and a great introduction to this genre of music. The medleys are fun and good spirited. Everyone should own a copy of this DVD, even if they aren't opera fans.

BUY THIS NOW and you will not regret it. Promise!
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on 5 February 2013
This CD is fantastic. The accompanying blurb contains all the words that are sung and also a translation into english. If you are beginning to be interested in opera this CD is a must.
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on 4 January 2013
I originally bought this album on vinyl in 1990 which wore over the years and was delighted that Amazon were selling it at such a good price so I purchased it on CD. I think that the 3 tenors are a class act and this album captures the atmosphere of a concert by them. Would definitely recommend this album.
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on 11 July 2003
This is certainly a CD worth listening to. From Domingo's sensitive rendition of "O Paradis", to a spectacular five track finale. Pavaroti's phenominal singing technique, together with Domingo's musical sensitivity and the beauty of his voice, added to the brilliance of Carreras, and you have a spectacular event. Mehta's superb control of the orchestra, brings out the musical nature of the arias. The CD as a whole is impressive, but it is the finale, and particulary the famous recording of "O Sole Mio" which ice the cake. Though a little under-controlled when singing in unison, the harmonies and individual efforts come across strongly. Admitedly, the CD could probably do without the broadway classics featured from both "Cats" and "West Side Story", however, it is a small price to pay for the level of satisfaction obtained upon hearing the rest of this equisite, one-off treat.
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on 25 January 2004
This is one of the particularly good 3 Tenor cd's. I became disappointed with them when they performed a mock-operatic version of Singing In The Rain etc for their American performance in 1994. Somehow that one struck me as being a little too eager-to-please, and I didn't particularly appreciate it. However, this one is a very enjoyable cd and never too far from my player.
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on 7 February 2010
As always with these Tenors the singing is top-class. I've said it before and I will say it again, to have Voices like this is a GIFT FROM GOD. It was a great loss to the world when Pavarotti died. I highly reccommend this c.d.
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