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Yet another adjective comes to mind as Vargas sings the six Donizetti arias and it is warm. Try this aria -- 'Angelo casto e bel' from Il Duca d'Alba [listen -- track 7, 3:32-4:38].

Vargas is now understandably one of the world's busiest tenors. He has tremendous versatility and his singing is wonderfully musical. There aren't many lead or supporting roles he couldn't do well. He doesn't have the raw, glass-shattering strength of Domingo or Pavarotti, so it's unlikely he'll be among the next generation's Three Tenors. That won't stop those who admire fine singing from enjoying his work and the pieces on this release were well chosen to display him at his best. Marcello Viotti and the English Chamber Orchestra provide sympathetic support. Extended instrumental introductions and occasional solos for guitar, horn and trumpet add tasteful variety to the program. Vargas is a special singer and this release is recommended.

Copyright © 2 June 2004 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


Rossini - Donizetti - Opera Arias

CD 50-9202 DDD Stereo 64'51" 2000 Claves Records

Ramón Vargas, tenor; English Chamber Orchestra; Marcello Viotti, conductor; Nigel Woodhouse, guitar ('Se il mio ...'); Andrew Crowley, trumpet ('Cercherò lontana terra')

Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868): 'Ecco ridente in cielo' (Il Barbiere di Siviglia); 'Se il mio nome saper voi bramate' (Il Barbiere di Siviglia); 'Languir per una bella' (L'Italiana in Algeri); 'D'ogni più sacro impegno' (L'Occasione fa il Ladro); 'Eccomi a voi, miei prodi' (La Donna del Lago); Gaetano Donizetti: 'Se tanto in ira agli uomini' (Linda di Chamounix); 'Angelo casto e bel' (Il Duca d'Alba); 'Una furtiva lagrima' (L'Elisir d'Amore); 'Vivi tu, te ne scongiuro' (Anna Bolena); 'Cercherò lontana terra' (Don Pasquale); 'Fra poco a me ricovere' (Lucia di Lammermoor)


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