Notes and Editorial Reviews
On 26 June 1993 half a million people gathered in New York’s Central Park to hear one of the greatest tenors of the twentieth century. Following the stunning success of his similar concert in London’s Hyde Park the previous year, Pavarotti confirmed himself as the icon of classical music with another bravura performance that seduced the ‘city that never sleeps’. Now, for the first time, the Central Park concert will be available in DTS surround sound, as well as CD-quality stereo. Extras will include the new Pavarotti & Friends DVD Collection trailer (9 mins) and the DVD Showreel (18 mins).
Luciano Pavarotti tenor; Members of the New York Philharmonic conducted by Leone Magiera; Andrea Griminelli solo
flute; The Boys Choir of Harlem directed by Dr Walter J. Turnbull.
R E V I E W S:
This concert took place on June 26, 1993. It began in the late afternoon in bright sunlight and lasted into the night. Reportedly it attracted an audience of half a million people. The concert opened with the overture to Luisa Miller. Pavarotti’s first aria from the same opera was “Quando le sere al placido.” Andrea Griminelli then performed the Rondò russo from the Flute Concerto in E Minor by Mercadante. Pavarotti returned to sing “Tombe degli’ avi miei . . . Fra poco a me ricovero” from Lucia di Lammermoor. The orchestra then played the overture to I vespri sicillani, and Pavarotti sang “E la solita storia” from L’arlesiana.
The next three bands featured the Boys Choir of Harlem, resplendent in red jackets and wearing white gloves, who sang and danced to Take the “A” Train, It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing, and I can go to God in prayer. Serious music-lovers may want to skip these bands, but they are entertaining.
Continuing in the popular vein, Pavarotti sang three Italian songs: Mattinata by Leoncavallo, Mascagni’s Serenata, and Bixio’s La mia canzone al vento. Griminelli returned to perform Fantaisie brillante sur Carmen. Pavarotti sang three more Italian songs: Chitarra romana by Di Lazzaro, La girometa by Sibella, and Occhi di fata by Denzio. In each of these three songs, Griminelli—standing alongside Pavarotti—played his flute. The orchestra then played the Prelude to act III of La traviata, and Pavarotti sang Rondine al nido by De Crescenzo and Non ti scordar di me by De Curtis. Again, Griminelli played his flute.
Five encores concluded the concert: “Pourquoi me réveiller” from Massenet’s Werther, “Recondita armonia” and “E lucevan le stelle” from Puccini’s Tosca, and O sole mio by Di Capua. Predictably, the final number was “Nessun dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot. Throughout the concert, Pavarotti was in excellent voice and obviously enjoying himself. His ability to communicate his enthusiasm to the huge audience is obvious. Leone Magiera’s conducting is supportive, and Griminelli is a fine flautist. The picture and sound quality is excellent. There are no subtitiles.
There are two trailers, both advertisments for other Decca DVDs. One is for the Pavarotti and Friends issues; the other, entitled “Showreel,” contains many brief excerpts from other Decca opera and ballet releases. Strongly recommended.
Bob Rose, FANFARE
1 Titles - Overture to Luisa Miller Verdi 6.07
2 O! fede negar potessi ... Quando le sere al placido 6.27
Verdi Luisa Miller; Cammarano
3 Rondò russo* Flute Concerto in E minor Mercadante 7.11
4 Tombe degli avi miei ... Fra poco a me ricovero 7.04
Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor; Cammarano
5 Overture to I vespri siciliani Verdi 9.02
6 Il lamento di Federico Cilea L’Arlesiana; Marenco 4.40
7 Take the ‘A’ train+ Strayhorn 3.28
8 It don’t mean a thing (if it ain’t got that swing)+ 3.10
Ellington; Mills, arr. Roberts
9 I can go to God in prayer+ Traditional, arr. Sadin 4.00
10 Mattinata Leoncavallo 2.16
11 Serenata Mascagni; Stecchetti, arr. Mancini 3.22
12 La mia canzone al vento Bixio; Cherubini, arr. Mancini 3.27
13 Fantaisie brillante sur Carmen* Bizet/Borne, transcr. Guiot 7.03
14 Chitarra romana Di Lazzaro; Bruno, arr. Mancini 3.31
15 La Girometta Sibella, arr. Mancini 2.06
16 Occhi di fata Denza; Tremacoldo, arr. Mancini 3.30
17 Prelude to La traviata Act III Verdi 4.29
18 Rondine al nido De Crescenzo; Sica, arr. Mancini 3.49
19 Non ti scordar di me De Curtis; Furno, arr. Mancini 3.55
20 Pourquoi me réveiller 2.46
Massenet Werther; Blau, Milliet, Hartmann
21 Recondita armonia Puccini Tosca; Giacosa, Illica 2.46
22 E lucevan le stelle Puccini Tosca; Giacosa, Illica 3.06
23 ’O sole mio Di Capua; Capurro, arr. Chiaramello 3.18
24 Nessun dorma Puccini Turandot, compl. Alfano; 4.28
Adami & Simoni
Works on This Recording
'O sole mio by Eduardo Di Capua
Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Written: 1898; Italy
Turandot: Nessun dorma! by Giacomo Puccini
Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Written: 1926; Italy
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