The 2019 documentary film Pavarotti directed by Ron Howard has had a mixed critical reception, but the soundtrack featuring the great tenor himself, is a success. It naturally enough sticks to big tunes and greatest hits, although there are three unreleased tracks, including one with Bono. The film was made with the cooperation of the Pavarotti estate, enabling Howard to access some unusual material. It's not likely to tell Pavarotti lovers anything they didn't know before, but for the purpose it serves, the album has a fine selection. Not only do you get the big arias that made Pavarotti a household name, you get one of them, Puccini's "Nessun dorma", live from the original 1990 Three Tenors concert in Rome, which still packs a punch. Many of them reveal the little details that made Pavarotti great beyond his sheer power and musicality. The "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto is a fine example, with Pavarotti sacrificing most of the consonants in the first verse in order to propel the melody forward. The early Pavarotti tracks are also well chosen to reenact the world's discovery of the tenor. Sample "Pour mon âme que destin" from Donizetti's La fille du regiment. This was recorded in 1968, and the almost polyphonic quality of the 33-year-old Pavarotti's voice seems to spring to life in full color. The remastering of a large variety of sound sources is sufficiently done so that the listener experiences no distraction, and in general the large public drawn to the film by Howard's presence is going to get a reasonable introduction to Luciano Pavarotti.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|La fille du régiment|
|L' elisir d'amore|
feat: Andrea Bocelli