Flexibility and beauty
Ramón Vargas sings Rossini and Donizetti arias -
'... his singing is wonderfully musical.'
This is a reissue of Ramón Vargas' first solo recording. It was originally released in 1992. It's a
little unusual to see a tenor launch a career without a heavy dose of Verdi and Puccini, but these
selections are a perfect match for the flexibility and beauty of Vargas' voice. In the album notes
Rodolfo Celletti says it's 'rich and velvety, silvery and brilliant' and I agree. A reviewer needs more
than the usual number of adjectives. My main addition would be 'effortless'. Rossini favored
bel canto and his arias require agility and range. The romantic Donizetti excerpts add emotional
variety. They also suggest enough power to take on the more popular operatic composers.
The recital begins with five Rossini arias including two favorites from Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
'Ecco ridente in cielo' is the first and immediately demonstrates the young singer's appeal
[listen -- track 1, 1:00-2:34].
'Languir per una bella' from L'Italiana in Algeri confirms the listener's initial impression.
Vargas has everything he needs to be exceptional in Rossini
[listen -- track 3, 3:10-4:44],
and since this recording he has been an important part of several highly successful performances of
Rossini operas. Gramophone called Decca's Il Turco in Italia, with Vargas in the role of
Narciso, the best operatic release of 1998.
Copyright © 2 June 2004
Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA