Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti in Concert

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Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti in Concert

  • (L')Arlesiana, '(The) Girl from Arles', E la solita storia (Lamento)
  • Core 'ngrato
  • Granada
  • Andrea Chénier, ~, Un di all'azzurro spazio (Improvviso)
  • (L')Africaine, '(The) African Maid', ~, Pays merveilleux
  • (L')Africaine, '(The) African Maid', ~, O Paradis
  • (Das) Land des Lächelns, 'Land of Smiles', Dein ist mein ganzes Herz! (You are my heart's delight)
  • Tosca, Recondita armonia
  • Tosca, E lucevan le stelle
  • Turandot, Nessun dorma!
  • Turandot, Nessun dorma!
  • Rondine al nido
  • Torna a Surriento
  • (La) Tabernera del puerto, No puede ser
  • West Side Story, Maria
  • West Side Story, Tonight (Quintet)
  • Cielito lindo, 'Ay, Ay, Ay, AY,'
  • Cats, Memory
  • (La) Vie en rose, 'Take me to your heart again'
  • Mattinata, '(L')aurora di bianco vestita'
  • Amapola: "De amor en los hierros de tu reja"
  • 'O sole mio
  • Caminito
  • 'O paese d' 'o sole
  • (L')Arlesiana, '(The) Girl from Arles', E la solita storia (Lamento)
  • Core 'ngrato
  • Granada
  • Andrea Chénier, ~, Un di all'azzurro spazio (Improvviso)
  • (L')Africaine, '(The) African Maid', ~, Pays merveilleux
  • (L')Africaine, '(The) African Maid', ~, O Paradis
  • (Das) Land des Lächelns, 'Land of Smiles', Dein ist mein ganzes Herz! (You are my heart's delight)
  • Tosca, Recondita armonia
  • Tosca, E lucevan le stelle
  • Turandot, Nessun dorma!
  • Turandot, Nessun dorma!
  • Rondine al nido
  • Torna a Surriento
  • (La) Tabernera del puerto, No puede ser
  • West Side Story, Maria
  • West Side Story, Tonight (Quintet)
  • Cielito lindo, 'Ay, Ay, Ay, AY,'
  • Cats, Memory
  • (La) Vie en rose, 'Take me to your heart again'
  • Mattinata, '(L')aurora di bianco vestita'
  • Amapola: "De amor en los hierros de tu reja"
  • 'O sole mio
  • Caminito
  • 'O paese d' 'o sole

''Oh what a night!'' as somebody used to sing. Well, I think it probably was a night: to enjoy and remember, that is. Rome's Caracalla makes a picturesque setting, especially ''on a brilliant starlit night with a full moon rising'', which is how the sleeve-note describes the weather conditions and how it appears on the video. The 6000-strong audience and the 200 musicians add numerical impressiveness to the occasion. And then, of course, at the centre of it all, are Zubin Mehta and The Three Tenors: quite an act.
The programme is unashamedly 'popular'; and that a number of operatic arias can still come under that heading is cause for rejoicing rather than otherwise. Songs about places (Sorrento, Granada, Vienna) continue to be popular, as do songs about hearts (mostly in love, sometimes broken, occasionally ungrateful). We also have songs of many nations (Black Eyes from Russia, La vie en rose from France; only The Road to the Isles is missing). Then there are those culture-bridging tunes, Lloyd Webber's ''Memory'' from Cats and others from West Side Story, for which all three tenors are known to have a soft spot. It is no use expecting that the voices might join in a little a capella three-part singing (catches and part-songs by Purcell and Thomas Ravenscroft) or that increasing interest in early music would prompt the inclusion of Monteverdi's Scherzi musicali with continuo.
No doubt much of the remainder of the starlit night was spent by the 6000 in comparisons. I did not hear of hooliganism among the various support-teams, but there would be something wrong if the streets and cafes were void of all controversy after such an event. Between Domingo and Pavarotti I thought the honours fairly evenly divided, with an extra mark to Domingo for including the aria from L'africaine and singing it in French. Carreras sings with heroic fullness and energy, but the sound is too often unsteady, its quality impaired. It's very good to see that the three great ones behave themselves: not that one expected boorishness, but it could have been an occasion for a little clowning and one-upmanship. The only instance of that comes near the very end, and takes quite a charming form, when in the da capo of ''O sole mio'' Pavarotti holds his note, trills, holds it and trills again, a feat which the others good-naturedly mimic when their turn comes. This is at the end of the medley, in which all three join forces. The tunes pass from one to another, sometimes there will be a little elementary two-part harmony, sometimes a grand tutti. At one or two points the flesh creeps with the special frisson that only a great voice can produce: it happens at unexpected moments, as when Domingo takes over in ''Tonight'' and Pavarotti in ''Memory''. Musical 'significance' is no doubt slight: that, strangely enough, does not seem to matter.'

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