Classical crossover mainstay Andrea Bocelli's first greatest-hits collection to date, released nearly a decade and a half after he made his album debut in 1994, The Best of Andrea Bocelli: Vivere includes many of his best-known songs plus five new recordings exclusive to this compilation. His international breakthrough album, Romanza (1997), is well represented with a few inclusions, including his English-language duet with Sarah Brightman on "Time to Say Goodbye." His most successful album, the classical crossover follow-up effort Sogno (1999), is likewise well represented with a few inclusions, including his English-language duet with Celine Dion on "The Prayer." Later albums Cieli di Toscana (2001) and Amore (2006) are also represented with a couple inclusions on The Best of Andrea Bocelli: Vivere. The five new recordings exclusive to Vivere include "La Voce del Silenzio"; "Dare to Live (Vivere)," a duet with Italian pop star Laura Pausini; "A Te," which features Kenny G on saxophone; "Io Ci Sarò," a David Foster co-write that features Lang Lang on piano; and "Bellissime Stelle." While many of the songs compiled on Vivere are no doubt already familiar (if not overly familiar) to Bocelli fans, especially those from Romanza and Sogno, the new recordings are substantial enough to make this compilation a rewarding listening experience for fans regardless of its redundancies. As for neophytes, Vivere is an ideal introduction to Bocelli's classical crossover work. While Romanza and Sogno are still great entry points and are perhaps the better albums from the standpoint of stylistic consistency, the wide range of musical styles showcased on Vivere makes it a great summary of Bocelli's album output to date.
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier