Since I first heard him in 1986, José Carreras has been my favourite tenor. His lyrical voice has captured my heart completely. No other voice moves me as Carreras' does. He moves me to tears, to laughter, to love, to beauty - to remembrance, to peace - and to HOPE!
As for this recording, my favourites are "Una furtiva lagrima" (Donizetti), "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" (Das Land des Lächelns), "Che gelida manina" (La Bohème) and yes, "Nessun Dorma" (Turandot) - and no, it's not always about the strongest voice.
I have lots of other recordings with Carreras. Spanish songs, German songs, love songs, mixture of opera arias and popular songs and of course, opera. I have reviewed "Carmen" conducted by von Karajan in Berlin in 1982 where Carreras sings "the flower aria" as it has never been sung before, with a pianissimo ending. Any admirer of José Carreras who has not heard his interpretation of this famous aria in this recording, has missed something. Amazon has it, hurry and buy! ("Carmen" 1982 - Agnes Baltsa, José Carreras, Katia Ricciarelli, Herbert von Karajan).
I love Carreras' "singing from the soul" (the title of his biography). He has something very special which affects me as no other singer does. No matter how high Pavarotti goes, or how complete and full and "having it all" Domingo's voice is said by so many to be - Carreras has something entirely unique. A Swedish journalist who was writing a review of a concert with Carreras, pondered about the difference between the three. Why this seemingly less famous of them moved him so deeply. He finally concluded: "What is it with this little Spanyard. He does not reach as high as Pavarotti, or has the fullness and strength of Domingo, and yet, he sings as if every little tone were the last..."
This album is probably the best collection with Carreras, although many of these arias/songs are also to be find on other recordings. However this selection is both large and varied and does indeed show Carreras at his best. It's a perfect introduction to people who want to hear more of José Carreras.
Finally, In 1990, José Carreras held his first concert after his illness in Oslo Konserthus (Norway). This was no large performance in a huge hall used also by rock bands etc. The kind of performance with lights in different colours, very stashed up in every way. As the newspapers wrote afterwards, it was not the regular first night audience in Oslo Konserthus that night. It was the real music lovers who sat in silence and enjoyed and contemplated the sublime art they were listening to. No one got their favourite aria, this was an evening for less well known material, but oh, so exquisite.
I have heard Carreras afterwards in more glamorous settings but shall never forget that evening in April 1990. A man, his voice and a piano.
I would like to recommend this recording warmly and everything else José Carerras has sung for that matter. And for those who are not so keen on opera, there are lots to chose from, not the least film music and plenty of varied love songs. Carreras has a beautiful voice for popular love music and I see this as a perfect way of inviting an even wider public to enjoy his wonderful voice.