I bought this for my parents, as they love classical music, and Verdi in particular. They were very pleased with it, they liked the pieces selected for the CD, and thought Placido Domingo's voice sounded wonderful.
. . . but, let's face it, not great either. I can easily believe that, on the stage, with his well-developed histrionic gifts, Domingo can still be effective in the Verdi baritone roles, for the voice has still some warmth and beauty, but it has lost its distinctiveness and, under pressure, some of its firmness too. Perhaps it is remarkable singing for a man of 70+, but if we measure him against Cappuccilli or Bruson or Gobbi in their primes, then the limitations are apparent and the microphone is pretty merciless. The one unqualified success here, to my ears, is "Di Provenza il mar" -- beautifully voiced, and sung with an attention to dynamics that seems absent from the other selections, where the voice comes at you at never less than a pleasant mezzo-forte. I expected more particularly from the "Boccanegra" scene, but it's messy here, and the balancing doesn't help. Also, in general, too often the orchestra seems too recessed and the voice a bit too forward. It's far from a total disaster, but honestly, this program doesn't merit a CD to itself. Domingo was a wonderful tenor, and he has preserved his voice admirably, but this one is a bit sad.
I have recently seen and heard Mr Domingo sing the lead, baritone, role in Verdi's Nabucco. It was a tremendous performance and, quite naturally I wanted to continue the experience of hearing one of the world's leading tenors sing the best of the baritone repertoire - it's a beautiful sound and one I shall never tire of hearing - more, please.
I bought this CD after hearing it reviewed on Classic FM. Whilst I don't like all the tracks equally, this is a CD which demonstrates Domingo's massive talent and highlights the singer's change of range.