Domingo the Verdi baritone

Domingo_Verdi_baritone_arias

At age 72, Plácido Domingo continues to astonish.

We have known him as a tenor in over 140 operatic roles, performed at the leading houses of the world. We know him as the general director of both the Washington National Opera, and the Los Angeles Opera. We also follow his wholly reputable career as conductor.

It is time to consider Domingo as the baritone he is becoming.

This is surely a mark of Domingo’s musical intelligence. He has always understood how to penetrate a role, and manage a career. Recently overcoming both colon cancer and a stroke, he has now released “Verdi”, a selection of 18 baritone arias on Sony Classical.

His transition from tenor to baritone began several years ago. Although his first auditions, in Mexico in 1959, were as a baritone, he has made most of his spectacular career in the upper altitudes. But in 2009 he made his ‘debut’ as baritone, and it has been a steady ascent ever since.

In this recording, we find Domingo the dramatist we have always known. His vibrato remains an ornament, and not a disease. His famous warmth translates to this new repertoire. Above all, we hear an unforced luminescence that has always been part of his signature.

In these 18 arias, accompanied by Pablo Heras-Casado and the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, he surveys the best-known Verdi, from Macbeth to Forza, Ballo to Boccanegra, Trovatore to Traviata – and much more. It is a pleasantly difficult task to single out any of them.

Surely, though, his realizations of  Di Provenza and È questo will bring the warmest of smiles to all who know the roles, and who have followed the man. His work is beyond admirable. It is deeply informed, and gratifying.

This new recording is strongly recommended to all who admire its singer, and as a starter kit for all who wish to discover the central Verdi baritone repertoire in the hands of one of our great musicians.

We have, for 50 years now, been living in the Age of Domingo. This album opens a new era in that age. One small miracle follows another.

DOMINGO / VERDI  2013
Plácido Domingo, baritone
with other artists
Pablo Heras-Casado, conductor
Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana
Valérie Gross, Executive Producer
Matthias Spindler, Associate Producer
Christopher Alder, Recording Producer
Stephen Flock and Daniel Kemper, Recording Engineers
Sony 88883733122

Liner notes by Kenneth Chalmers, with texts in Italian and English

$17.99 CDN
Available at Sikora’s Classical Records

TRACKLISTING

Macbeth
01 - Perfidi! All’anglo contro me v’unite! ... Pietà, rispetto, amore

Rigoletto
02 - Pari siamo! … Io la lingua
03 - Cortigiani, vil razza dannata

Un ballo in maschera
04 - Alzati; là tuo figlio … Eri tu che macchiavi quell’ anima

La Traviata
05 - Di Provenza il mar, il suol

Simon Boccanegra
06 - Abbasso le spade! … Plebe! Patrizi! … Popolo dalla feroce storia!
07 - Ecco la spade

Ernani
08 - È questo il loco
09 - Oh, de’ verd’anni miei

Il Trovatore
10 - Tutto è deserto …
11 - Il balen del suo sorriso
12 - Qual suono!...Oh ciel!....Per me, ora fatale

Don Carlo
13 - Son io, mio Carlo
14 - Per me giunto è il dì supremo
15 - Che parli tu di morte?

La forza del destino
16 - Morir! Tremenda cosa
17 - Urna fatale del mio destino
18 - E s’altra prova rinvenir potessi?

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