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4.7 out of 5 stars53
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2011
This is a great CD that clearly demonstrates Joseph Calleja's increasing versatility as a singer. The shimmering vibrato, reminiscent of the great Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, is still there, but it is less pronounced than in Calleja's earlier two CDs. Joseph Calleja's fine lyric tenor voice can also be compared favourably with such giants as John McCormack, Tito Schipa and Jussi Bjoerling. Calleja sings the Puccini items very well. The arias from Tosca, for example, show that we do not always need the heavier voices we often get in these roles. Also, those who have seen Klaus Florian Vogt in Lohengrin will know that a lighter voice often adds something especially beautiful to music that isn't usually performed this way; so it is with many of the arias in this recital.
Perhaps my favourite track on the CD is "Salut, demuere" from Gounod's Faust. Joseph Calleja's performance of this aria epitomises why you should treat yourself, get this CD, and enjoy some beautiful and stylish singing.
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on 6 September 2011
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".
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on 14 August 2013
There's a lot to like in this recital, and one would be delighted to hear such secure singing in the opera house, even with the reservation that the expressive powers need some development (and his French could do with a little work too). Positives first: the voice seems to have plenty of body -- to be a more robust instrument than, say, Alagna's or Villazon's. It also is all of a piece -- from low to high, it is recognizably the same voice, and the usual "breaks" between the registers aren't there: his attack throughout is very secure, and that bespeaks an excellent basic technique. And finally, it's pleasant voice, not highly individual, and yet it falls easily on the ear. One feels that Calleja could go along way with this basic equipment. My reservations up to this point have to do with expression. Granted that it's hard to characterize in a recital of this kind, this could be better. It all comes at you in a pleasant mezzo-forte. There are some dynamic variations, but they seem a bit arbitrary -- let me go soft here, just to show you I can do it. Well, he can do it, but he needs to work these "effects" into organically conceived dramatic phrasings, and he's not there yet. Related to that, he needs to give emotional contour to an aria -- here "Ah! Fuyez!" from "Manon" has no light and shade at all. The young Bjoerling could shape it much better. Likewise the "memory" section of "Kleinzach." Only perhaps in the "Boheme" excerpts, does he sound totally at home expressively. The "Pearl Fishers" duet that (we're told) won a 30-minute standing ovation, is very plain fare here, and the soprano sings with a feeling that Calleja doesn't find. And in "Guinto sul passo" anyone with a memory of Pavarotti will soon see what's lacking here: a sweetness and delicacy and sense of resignation. However, there's no reason to think that Calleja can't sing more expressively, and it might be that in live performance, he does. So let's enjoy what's here ( and it's not inconsiderable) and see how he develops.
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This is a great CD showcasing one of the best new talents in operatic singing. I'm no expert but Calleja's voice seems wonderful to me. If you like opera you will know most if not all of the arias so it's really all about the voice. If you like opera buy this CD!
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on 5 January 2012
Disc received in excellent condition, and received in very good time.
Calleja`s voice is excellent, comparable to the best Italian tenors. At his age he is idealy suited to sing in Verdi`s Operas, but he must notover do it, I remember what happened to Roberto Alagna and Giuseppe di Stefano,their voices became strained by singing the "spinto" arias demanded by Verdi. However he is still young and Puccini`s music is his ideal. But I am sure that at 40 years he will become a great tenor and will be excellent also in Verdi`s operas.
Bravo Joseph Calleja.
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on 22 August 2011
Joseph Calleja's voice is just wonderful, clear diction, beautiful tone and deep feeling. It is just a joy to listen to this CD at every moment available to me, at home, in the car. I just love it! I have also seen this video about him and he is a charming, talented young man. He has a great future.
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on 15 September 2011
Excellent CD, good service and prompt, have seen this artist on many occasions in Malta and this CD does him justice. I would recommend this music to anyone with a taste for the classics.
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on 25 November 2011
This CD was all I wanted it to be. Very good sound quality and good selection of songs,pieces on it Thanks.
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on 17 April 2012
There can be no doubt in my mind that Calleja is one of the best contemporary tenors... this CD just reinforces that opinion.
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on 24 January 2012
This is Joseph Calleja at his best. Or is he ? I am quite sure that he has not reached his peak yet and even more sure that we still have to listen much more of his beautiful voice.
In the meantime I would recommend this CD not only to dedicated opera lovers but even to those who just love to listen to good music.
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