Juan Diego Florez (tenor)
Orchestra E Coro del Teatro Comunale di Bologna | Michele Mariotti
Good for Juan Diego Florez for this release! I'm second to none in my love for the bel cantists, but it's good to hear a "pigeon-holed" tenor in repertoire that is somewhat different. Happily, it's not a Christmas CD despite such favorites as "O Holy Night", sung in French and then English, and capped with a glorious high B, "Adeste fidelis", which starts out in Latin, passes through German and winds up in English, and "Panis angelicus". A surprising "Ev'ry valley" from Messiah gets a spiffy reading, with long breaths, clean runs, and good attempts at trills, and it is sung in very fine English, I might add. Two excerpts from Rossini's rarely heard Messa di Gloria are chock-full of the composer's usual roulades and high notes, but the number from the more familiar Petite messe solonnelle is not as challenging. Florez sings all three with style and energy.
Schubert's Ave Maria gives us the tenor's middle-range, warmer and more elegant than a few years ago, and a beautiful legato as well. A fine aria from Haydn's Die Schöpfung shows up unexpectedly, in fine German, and it is balanced by the Kyrie from Ramirez's Missa Criolla. An aria from a Bellini mass and a cantata by Joseph Fux are welcome rarities and show the tenor at his most virtuosic. The CD ends with Florez's own composition, a number called "Santo" that has a nice Latin American flavor. The engineering is superb and the accompaniments are excellent. This whole CD is a delight.
Source: Classics Today | Robert Levine