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on 29 May 2013
Outside Austria, the wonderful world of Viennese operetta is largely overlooked. We might occasionally see a new professional production of Die Fledermaus or Die lustige Witwe, but revivals of the other classics, not least from the Silver Age of Lehár and Kálmán, are scant. Luckily there are still singers who cherish those scores, the latest among being Piotr Beczala, whose first disc for Deutsche Grammophon is a lustily sung tribute to Richard Tauber, the tenor doyen of the genre.

Beczala gives us a veritable grabbag of Tauber's film and stage hits. Many of the original performances can be seen on YouTube, cherished for their ease and artless artistry. Beczala provides a more full-throated presence here and, given the advances in orchestral playing, singing technique and sound since the 20s and 30s, this is a truly luscious disc.

Always disarming, Beczala brings a suitably rich ring and superb diction (in German and English) to Lehár, Stolz and Kálmán's ardent tunes. When he sings 'You are my heart's delight' (recorded in both languages) you can't help but feel it's directed to you. And with Anna Netrebko on hand for 'Lippen schweigen' and Tauber, no less, for a rendition of 'Du bist die Welt für mich' (taken from his 1934 recording), there would appear to be little room for complaint.

Occasionally, however, the performances are guilty of little too much Schlag. There's not always quite enough swing and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra stints on Wienerisch upbeat Luftpausen. Likewise Beczala could provide a dose more wit, rather than his impressive but tenacious forte. Certainly if you listen to Tauber in 'Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume' you'll hear conversational bounce and throwaway phrasing that really enlivens the song. But this recording, like Joseph Calleja's recent Mario Lanza disc, is a well-performed and heartfelt tribute, ably demonstrating just how rich this repertoire is.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 May 2013
Using the latest technology Beczala sings a unique version of 'Du bist die Welt für mich' perfectly with Richard Tauber and for this alone the album is worth 5 Stars.

The careful selection of popular repertoire will I think appeal to most Tauber fans and those who perhaps know of Tauber but are not as familiar with his recordings. with the operettas and songs of Lehár, Kálmán, Stolz, Erwin and others and collaborations with guest artists like Soprano Anna Netrebko and mandolinist Avi Avital. Piotr Beczala interprets these songs beautifully and intelligently, playing to his strengths with a colour of sound and purity of tone that is matched by his ability to project 'theatre' (does that make sense to anyone other than me?) into each song but remaining fully in control of each one.

I am reviewing this based on the FLAC 24bit 96kHz Studio Master Version from linnrecords dot com not the CD Version. I am sure the CD version will be excellent based on the high quality of the Studio master recording. The Studio master also has an extra track - Brunetki, blondynki made famous by the well known Polish singer of the 20's and 30's, Jan Kiepura.
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on 26 June 2014
This is Piotr Beczala’s first CD with Deutsche Grammophon and, as a Piotr Beczala fan, I bought it. I have to admit that I hadn’t had high expectations, as I didn’t like operetta. But I was wrong. This CD made me love operetta, which I had underestimated in the past.

The tracks sung here are truly amazing and have a wonderful melody. I truly fell in love with “Dein ist mein ganzes Hertz”, “Ich küsse Ihre Hand Madame” and “Lippen Schweigen” (featuring a special guest appearance by Anna Netrebko, my favourite soprano!!). Also I really liked “Komm Zigany” and “Wien du Stadt meiner Traüme”.

But what was really special was Piotr Beczala. His warm and seducing voice delivers all the tracks awesomely!

So spend one hour from your life and immerse yourself in these romantic songs. Recommended to every opera fan who wants a little romance in his life!
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on 31 March 2014
This is a beautiful disc sung by a new tenor of the highest calibre Mr Beczala. He has the most beautiful focused lyrical tenor voice I have heard recently. His instrument is unforced and sits well with this repetoire. A world class voice backed by musicians of the highest calibre and a wonderfull label who have engineered this disc to the highest quality. buy this with confidence!!!!
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on 14 September 2013
I like the type of music Richard Tauber sings and was very pleased with this cd and like it more with each playing.
The track on which you can hear snatches of Taubers voice with Beczala is quite fascinating. Over all a cd which I
found to be a worthwhile purchase.
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on 20 August 2013
A real tribute from one singer to another. Some of the material is a bit old hat - excuse the pun - but lovingly performed. The only disadvantage is, of course, that you can buy remastered CDs of Tauber himself!
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on 12 June 2013
This new CD has a wide range of music and it is very well presented and extremely well sung in all the languages used.
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on 9 March 2015
I love this CD, since I am old enough (just) to remember Richard Tauber. This is a good memento of his songs, a golden age of Viennese Operetta although Tauber was a serious singer of Mozart etc.
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on 12 August 2013
This CD is wonderful and Beczala performed superbly with grace and intelligence. I am sure the composers and Richard Tauber would rejoice if they heard him sing.
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on 9 November 2013
Lovely recording, couldn't help thinking of Richard Tauber, this chap has a fine voice. Delighted with my purchase as usual. Carol
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