Tenor Lawrence Brownlee is largely considered by critics and audiences alike to be the world’s leading bel canto tenor. His previous release on Delos was an enchanting array of Rossini arias which garnered him a Grammy nomination. Brownlee has a rich and varied repertoire, which is evident on this release. He has mixed standards such as Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, and L’elisir d’amore and Bellinis’ I Puritani with lesser-performed pieces like Donizetti’s Rita and La Favorite. For this release, as in his previous, Brownlee is joined by Lithuania’s Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra and the Kaunas State Choir. The brilliant interpretations and sensitive reading from conductor Constantine Orbelian lend themselves beautifully to Brownlee’s impeccable voice.
The tenor’s renown owes much to his breathtaking flair for executing Rossinian fiorature, but the expansive melodic lines of Vincenzo Bellini and the dramatic bel canto of Gaetano Donizetti are equally apt outlets for Brownlee’s prodigious gifts. Avoiding the forcing that compromises many singers’ endeavors in this repertory, Brownlee’s singing on Allegro io son possesses an evenness spanning the full range that, though perhaps easier to control in the recording studio than in the theatre, cannot be faked. As with the sincerity of his expression, the authenticity of his vocalism is remarkable, especially as it is employed in the performances on this disc.
– Voix des Arts