The Three Tenors 1994
''They're very good'', said my next door neighbour, who had just seen The Three Tenors on television. He explained that it was not their singing that he had in mind (the goodness of that went without saying) but their work as a team, or as a turn. The event was, I imagine, one for sight as well as sound, and no doubt the video gives a better idea of it than the record. As clapping arises after the chorus in the Traviata Brindisi presumably there was a certain amount of waltzing or capering on stage, and one imagines that a comically competitive element came into play as each in turn adds his ''pensier'' to the end of ''La donna e mobile''. But the CD preserves only the musical aspects, and what was good about them should not take long to recount.
Domingo sings the first phrase of ''Vesti la giubba'' quite beautifully and sustains the broad climax well. With richness of tone, well-covered 'passage' notes, an exciting ring and, in the middle section, non-disruptive emphasis, he gives an exemplary demonstration of how to sing a popular song in his first solo, ''Amor, vida de mi vida''. In Granada he exercises the traditional charm of a good stylist at the point of leading back into the melody. Pavarotti still thrills with the clarity and resonance of his voice in the long line of high As in ''Nessun dorma''. The medleys include some pleasant quiet moments in ''Santa Lucia lontana'' and some unabashed big brassy ones in ''Brazil''. If one were to engage upon a balanced critical account it would have to start with the opening number, Carreras uneven and over-emphatic in the Prayer from Le Cid, and then continue with Pavarotti's Werther sung in