Luciano Pavarotti, Luciano Pavarotti – Live Recital (40th Anniversary)
The finest, most musical and most moving document of this profoundly great and humane artist
Not one recital, but a collection of recitals given in several houses from 1997-2000. Pavarotti's voice is now, finally, aged, the timbre appreciably rougher, the tone at times struggling to escape from the singers throat and the breath no longer able to support every achingly long, graceful phrase. But there is still a great deal of sonic beauty, and Pavarotti's singing in the upper registers is gorgeous and required only slight preparation. The expression is as conversational and intimate as ever, and the accompaniment by Leone Magiera is more sympathetic than John Wustman at Carnegie Hall. Verdi and Donizetti are here again, as well as a good handful of Bellini, which sounds completely wonderful, as does his singing of Beethoven's "In questa tomba obscura." This set takes on an inevitable valedictory quality, after the fact, but, in its unspectacular way, it is arguably the finest, most musical and absolutely the most moving document of this profoundly great and humane artist.