Amici Forever is made up of five camera-ready young singers with talent and charisma to spare. So what distinguishes them from the burgeoning ranks of crossover hopefuls? The group's wide vocal range and imaginative approach enables it to transform even a much-abused warhorses into fresh-sounding anthems. Their formal training provides the necessary technique and understanding to do justice to the classics, and the enthusiasm and respect they show for their material steers them far clear of the banality that mars a good deal of crossover music.
DEFINED picks up where the quintet's enormously successful debut disc, OPERA BAND, left off, with more stylish arrangements of memorable melodies from the orchestral repertoire, as well as soaring, quasi-operatic ballads. Highlights include impressive vocal renditions of themes from Beethoven's Seventh Symphony ("Land and Freedom"), Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto ("Nostalgia"), Khachaturian's 'Spartacus' ("Ocean Heart"), and Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez ("Aranjuez Ma pensee"). The group also works its magic on two original songs by Ronan Hardiman, "So Far Away" and "La Fiamma Sacra," as well as Ennio Moriccone's "Nella Fantasia" and the classic Neapolitan song "Core 'ngrato." Amici Forever expertly delivers another guaranteed crowd-pleaser with DEFINED.