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Joseph Calleja sings his most popular programme yet, and one inspired by romance.
The Maltese tenor evokes the golden era of Mediterranean song connecting with the great legacy of songs performed and recorded by, among others, Gigli, Schipa and the legendary Enrico Caruso.
Calleja's "Golden Voice" takes us through repertoire such as La Serenata and Barcarolle, to cinema classics by Morricone, 'Time To Say Goodbye / Con ti Partiro' (made famous by Andrea Bocelli), and di Capua's perennial 'O Sole Mio' to round off a captivating programme of compositions known and loved by millions worldwide.
The album features three duets with Nicola Benedetti including 'Mattinata', which they performed together at the UK Last Night of the Proms 2012.
Calleja's sublime artistry combined with sumptuous new orchestral arrangements enhance the beguiling attraction of Amore.
Top customer reviews
This album is lighter and more easy listening than his last offering (also superb) and features songs from Italy and the Mediterranean area as well as film and other works. He has been compared to Pavarotti but my opinion is that he has a more distinctive voice that is more Caruso/Schipa/Bjorling in that it has a distinctiveness that not only takes him from the mainstream of 'same' voices but also makes him easy to identify.
I really like his interpretations of these songs, my favourite probably being La Vie en Rose which surprised me. There is not a bad track on this album and I believe 90% of listeners will enjoy 90% or more of the content (assuming you didn't arrive here by mistake while looking for Led Zepplin). The fact that they have included duets with Nicola Benedetti including Mattinata, which they performed together at the Last Night of the Proms 2012 enhances the album further.
I am reviewing this from Spotify and the quality on the High Quality stream is excellent so I have to assume the CD quality will be better. Engineering seems to be very good and the BBC Concert Orchestra under Steven Mercurio are sympathetic to Joseph Calleja's interpretations.
I look forward to seeing him in the role of Enrico Caruso in the forthcoming major film The Immigrant starring Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cottilard, due for release at the end of this year I think.
This new CD has been a year coming, and finds him going down a lighter path than in his last tribute to Mario Lanza, Be My Love, which in itself was lighter that his previous more purely operatic discs. The emphasis here is on the beautiful tune bursting forth spontaneously and within a fairly narrow range stylistically. It starts in a subdued manner with two charming numbers, Tosti's La Serenata, which I didn't know, and Besame Mucho, which everyone knows. Personally I love Dalida's version of this classic and Calleja can't match her shimmying, willowy form on stage, perhaps, but as with everything the sound is so beautiful he convinces you this is THE version as you listen. By track four he has risen to a massive crescendo of superb intensity in Dalla's Caruso, cushioned by a sonorous orchestral backing. Two songs by film composer Ennio Morricone come across particularly well, one of them a duet with Nicola Benedetti on the violin, called Mattinata. Another duet with her is an arrangement of the slow movement of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, which is very heavy-sounding after the airiness of the original, but actually sustained and impassioned in a way I'm sure Rodrigo would have liked. The numbers are nearly all highly memorable and emotional, concluding with Tchaikovsky's None but the Lonely Heart and an arrangement of a Chopin Etude, before a tasteful but powerful rendering of O Sole Mio. I would say this disc is absolute confirmation that Calleja is incomparable. His timbre can touch you in a unique way, and he spins pure gold out of every song he gives his voice to.
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