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Joseph Calleja - The Maltese Tenor


Release Date: 10/24/2011 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001574702  
Composer:  Giacomo PucciniGiuseppe VerdiJacques OffenbachArrigo Boito,   ... 
Performer:  Joseph CallejaAleksandra Kurzak
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande OrchestraGeneva Grand Theatre Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  


Notes and Editorial Reviews


Now only 33, Joseph Calleja has just released his third solo CD. Wonder of wonders, the hope one had for him is being realized: this disc is superb. The previous two showed a fine voice with a wiry and very prominent vibrato that made some people nervous; at any rate, it seems to have settled down. It is still a major aspect of Calleja's sound but it is never intrusive. Although comparisons are never a good idea, I must say that he may not have the interpretive imagination of Jonas Kaufmann or Rolando Villazon, but he is certainly more thoroughly Italianate than the former and sings less muscularly than the latter. In fact, it seems as if there's nothing the voice can't do.

As far as
Read more his characterizations go, since he is so wonderfully musical, his obedience to the composer's dynamics comes to equal interpretation. Like most tenors, he has two modes--anger and sadness--but his phrasing is so attentive to the words that he manages depth. The tear in his voice--almost Bjoerling-like--makes his Riccardo in Ballo a very moving interpretation, and I love the way he caresses the word "meditar" sweetly in Faust's "Dai campi, dai prati"--the best reading of this aria since Gigli's. He makes Faust, here early in the opera, a truly religious and philosophical type.

He really sings out in the recit before Adorno's aria from Boccanegra, at full, impressive throttle; contrast this with his gentle singing at the start of the Pearl Fishers duet, where he sings handsomely with the lovely Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak. And they both end the duet with high B-flats in perfect voix-mixte. The diminuendo on the high C in "Salut demeure" is remarkable, though I would've liked the next note held a bit longer.

I get the feeling that what to do with rubato is lacking in Calleja, or maybe conductor Marco Armiliato is simply too literal. But this is a stunning recital disc--albeit of predictable arias--from a major artist who will probably be with us for another 30 years and should be heard.

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
La Bohème: Che gelida manina by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
2.
La Bohème: O soave fanciulla by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor), Aleksandra Kurzak (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
3.
Simon Boccanegra: O inferno! Amelia qui!...Sento avvampar... by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; Italy 
4.
Les contes d'Hoffmann: Il était une fois "Kleinzach Legend" by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Geneva Grand Theatre Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Paris, France 
5.
Tosca: Recondita armonia by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
6.
Tosca: E lucevan le stelle by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
7.
Mefistofele: Dai campi, dai prati by Arrigo Boito
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Italy 
8.
Mefistofele: Giunto sul passo estremo by Arrigo Boito
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Italy 
9.
Faust: Quel trouble inconnu...Salut! demeure chaste et pure by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
10.
Manon Lescaut: Tra voi, belle by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Written: 1893 
11.
Manon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
12.
Manon: Je suis seul...Ah! fuyez, douce image by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
13.
Luisa Miller: Oh! Fede negar potessi by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Italy 
14.
Un ballo in maschera: Forse la soglia attinse by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Italy 
15.
Les pêcheurs de perles: De mon amie, fleur endormie by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Joseph Calleja (Tenor), Aleksandra Kurzak (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; France 

Featured Sound Samples

Luisa Miller (Verdi): "Oh! Fede negar potessi"
Manon Lescaut (Puccini): "Donna non vidi mai"
Mefistofele (Boito): "Dai campi, dai prati"

Sound Samples

La Bohème / Act 1: "Che gelida manina"
La Bohème / Act 1: "O soave fanciulla"
Simon Boccanegra / Act 2: Oh inferno...Sento avvampar
Les Contes d'Hoffmann / Act 1: "Il était une fois à la cour d'Eisenach" (La légende de Kleinzach)
Tosca / Act 1: "Recondita armonia"
Tosca / Act 3: "E lucevan le stelle"
Mefistofele / Act 1: Dai campi, dai prati
Mefistofele / Act 4: "Giunto sul passo estremo"
Faust / Act 3: Quel trouble inconnu...Salut! Demeure chaste et pure
Manon Lescaut / Act 1: Ma se vi talenta...Tra voi, belle, brune e bionde
Manon Lescaut / Act 1: "Donna non vidi mai"
Manon / Act 3: Je suis seul!...Ah! fuyez, douce image
Luisa Miller / Act 2: "Oh! fede negar potessi" - "Quando le sere al placido"
Un ballo in maschera / Act 3: "Forse la soglia attinse" - "Ma se m'è forza perderti"
Les pêcheurs de perles / Act 2: De mon amie, fleur endormie...Léila! Léila!...Ton coeur n'a pas compris le mien!

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