Andrea Bocelli - Viaggio Italiano
That Bocelli is able to overcome the distasteful presentation of this CD is a tribute to his innate talent and sense of style. This four-year-old recording, a ‘special project’ (whatever that is supposed to mean) of one Caterina Caselli Sugar, has Bocelli recorded with excessive reverberation, pop style, with a jewel-box and insert – no texts and translation – of an impressionistic kind, the meagre notes provided being in almost unreadable colour and type, and with ignorance creeping into the text – ‘Una furtiva lacrima’.
Bocelli sings the five arias included here in that pleasingly plangent tone shown in his previous, admired recital (Philips, 5/98). The voice may not be large, but it is produced with such clarity and point that I imagine it would project, as did Schipa’s (whose timbre Bocelli’s recalls) into a fairly large house. Even so, I doubt if he would want to tackle ‘Nessun dorma!’ very often. The other pieces are well within his range, but he is at his persuasive best, line clean, dynamics varied, in Federico’s lament and Nemorino’s plaint.
For the rest we have popular songs done with grossly overinflated orchestrations (and a hideous choir added to Marenariello), underlined by Fedoseyev’s foursquare, heavy-handed conducting. Here, for all the natural, Italianate charm and style of the singing, one longs for a more personal, intimate approach and a more flexible phraseology. No doubt the producers know their market and many of these titles will get many an airing on Classic fM.'