Juan Diego Flórez

Voce d'italia: Arias for Rubini

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Giovanni Battista Rubini (1794-1854) was the leading Italian tenor of his generation, during the time Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini were creating some of their greatest works, and all the selections on this album are from operas that were either written especially for him, or in which he performed. Rubini, who was hailed as "king of the tenors," worked most closely with Bellini, who wrote some of his greatest and most demanding tenor roles with his voice in mind. One of the strengths of Juan Diego Flórez's tribute to Rubini is the fact that he largely chooses excerpts from less familiar repertoire over the more famous and frequently performed operas. (Fans hoping for the high F in I Puritani's "Credeasi, misera," for instance, will have to look elsewhere.) In these selections, though, there are plenty of vocal fireworks on display, so the album is not likely to disappoint fans of coloratura bel canto. This early nineteenth century Italian repertoire suits Flórez's voice perfectly, so it makes good sense for him to pay tribute to Rubini's career. Flórez's voice is substantial, but not heavy, and he has the agility to handle the most florid passages with panache. His tone is lustrous, with just enough vibrato, and his legato is supple and sensuous. This album stands out from discs of solo arias because Flórez includes extended excerpts of scenes, including the recitatives, ensembles, and choruses that surround the arias. Besides creating a satisfyingly rich context for the solos, this allows Flórez to display his skill at dramatically rounding out his characters by bringing the recitatives dynamically to life, something at which he is especially gifted. The Orchestra e Coro dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, led by Roberto Abbado, performs with vitality and passion. The balance favors Flórez a little heavily, but that can be forgiven in an album devoted to highlighting his voice.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Il Pirata, opera
1 3:09 Amazon
2 2:15 Amazon
3 4:03 Amazon
Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra, opera
4 4:54 Amazon
5 3:38 Amazon
6 4:01 Amazon
Marino Faliero, opera
7 2:36 Amazon
8 2:35 Amazon
9 4:30 Amazon
Il turco in Italia (The Turk in Italy), opera
10 2:32 Amazon
11 3:11 Amazon
Bianca e Falliero, opera
12 5:10 Amazon
13 1:40
14 2:58
15 0:45 Amazon
16 4:07 Amazon
La donna del lago (The Lady of the Lake), opera
17 0:57 Amazon
18 2:06 Amazon
19 3:41
Guillaume Tell (William Tell), opera
20 3:34 Amazon
21 3:28
22 2:11 Amazon
23 3:26 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick