All sixteen tracks have inordinate beauty. The sacred arias wash over me in a musical flood. I am absorbed. The second Ave Maria is my favourite. As the blurb has it, Gounod adds a vocal line of indelible beauty over Bach's prelude. "Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis peccatoribus - Holy Mary, pray for us sinners". Andrea Bocelli holds the sweet notes aloft like coloured ping-pong balls on columns of air, the voice savoured in the mouth, longer it seems than the composer intended. He plays with these sounds, turning them, searching for the precise tone, the exact interpretation, teasing me. His timing is exquisite, his delivery adept in its empathy with his listeners. I'm servile, my being bequeathed to him. At last the phrase is unleashed, spilling like a torrent of water. We are surfing, this singer and I, on a tidal wave of emotion: "Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae - now and in the hour of my death". But not until we reach the Amen, can I subside, drained, the tear unbidden. Buy it! You won't be disappointed.
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