Notes & Reviews:
A survey of hundreds of popular and classical song titles throughout the centuries shows that love is by far the leading theme of vocal music. Yet only one track on this album is technically a love song: Tosti' s "L'ultima canzone." The rest are arias, the operatic equivalent of the love song. Luciano Pavarotti made his professional debut in Puccini' s La bohème, and this remained probably his most famous signature role for the rest of his long career. Rodolfo sings tenderly to Mimi "O soave fanciulla" ("O gentle girl, o sweet face bathed in soft moonlight, in you I see the dream I have dreamed forever"). Can you get more romantic? Some of opera' s great lovers are here, including the Duke from Verdi' s Rigoletto, who starts out as a callous seducer and ends up a gibbering jellyfish, madly in love with the lady he kidnapped for sport.