José Carreras sings French Operatic Arias
Three arias on this recital indicate Carreras's desire, already exhibited in some of his other recordings, to stray away from the hard-ridden track of the tenor repertory, and he is to be applauded in tackling the pieces from Sapho, Herodiade and Polyeucte. Even in these, more so in the familiar extracts, he runs up against the competition on the well-stocked record shelf. Luccioni's ''Source delicieuse'' is just as heroically delivered and with more incisive tone. ''Ah! qu'il est loin'' finds in Thill a more eloquent, plangent interpreter. Ansseau is that little more affecting in Jean's great outburst from Act 3 of Herodiade. Yet, away from these comparisons, there is much to admire in Carrera's sensitive phrasing and always involved singing.
As a whole I find the programme rather too strenuously delivered. That the Spanish tenor can employ a sensuous mezza voce is shown at the close of the Cavatine from Romeo (where he floats a delicate B flat), in much of the always welcome Aubade from