Before automatically dismissing the idea of the 72-year-old tenor Plácido Domingo reincarnated as a baritone, consider that he started out as one on the zarzuela stage many moons ago. In this selection of Verdi baritone arias, he sounds like the same Domingo so many millions of people have known and loved, just taken down a few scale degrees. That's both a good thing and a bad thing. You don't necessarily want a baritone to sound like a tenor, and in a few of these arias, which move the action along more than a tenor aria would, you feel that he's not really digging into the lyrics. But let's face it: who else among Domingo's tenor contemporaries could have pulled this off? The voice is not just recognizably Domingo but pleasingly Domingo, with the characteristic mixture of power and relaxed flexibility that has endeared him to listeners who have never heard any other opera singer, or any other opera singers than the Three Tenors. Domingo sounds terrific. He gets dry, competent support from the Orquesta de la Comunitat Valenciana and its associated chorus under Pablo Heras-Casado; the orchestra keeps the focus on Domingo's voice, right where it belongs. If this album were by anyone else, it would hardly work; from Domingo it is something to prize.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Un ballo in maschera|
|La forza del destino|