Marcelo Alvarez – French Arias (2002) {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Marcelo Álvarez – French Arias (2002)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 67:43 minutes | Full Art (PDF) | 2,72 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Art (PDF) | 1,16 GB

Marcelo Raúl Álvarez is an Argentine lyric tenor who achieved international success starting in the mid-1990s, and at the end of the twentieth century, become an international opera star. This release from Sony Classical features the works of Massenet, Offenbach, Donizetti, Gounod, Verdi, Meyerbeer, and Rossini.

This is a very satisfying recital, one that avoids the usual same-voice-for-an-hour tedium by dint of Marcelo Alvarez’s ability to color his tone and words with elegance, energy, and intelligence. The voice is a real lyric tenor; the notes above the staff are a correct extension of the ones below, and there is no change in tone from the voice’s top to its bottom. The CD gets off to a beautiful start with one of the most affecting readings of Werther’s “Pourquoi me reveiller” Alvarez caresses the word “caresses” with real feeling, and without resorting to any cheap tricks. In fact, one of the glories of this disc is Alvarez’s refusal to add sobs and unnecessary emphases to his words; he allows the innate plangency of his tone to spin out freely, and the attention he gives not just to the individual aria but to the character himself could stand as a lesson to other, better-known tenors.

He differentiates the two sections of Hoffmann’s “Kleinzach” aria splendidly; his Tonio in ”Fille du Regiment” is as vital as his Werther is morbid (and the nine high-Cs are all in place); he sounds truly despairing as Fernand in ”Favorite”; and the two arias from ”Manon” show the two sides of des Grieux with great clarity. The crown in the recital is Arnold’s long scene from the last act of Guillaume Tell (for which Sony also wisely provides a chorus, whereas it doesn’t in the Fille scene where it would have been equally welcome). Here he comes closest to heroic, singing with firm, full tone and tossing off the outlandish high notes with ease and capping it with a high C that goes on, handsomely, for what seems like days. I wish he hadn’t rushed through “Ah, leve-toi soleil” (and had attempted a sweet ending, as written), and breathing before the ascent to Faust’s C in “presence” is an unmusical no-no–but just being able to nit-pick on such a level implies how otherwise remarkable his work here is. Mark Elder and his Nice Orchestra and Chorus are all wonderful. Great tenorizing here!
— Robert Levine,

01. Massenet: “Pourquoi me réveiller” from Werther
02. Offenbach: “Il était une fois à la cour” from Les Contes de Hoffman
03. Offenbach: “O dieu, de quelle ivresse” from Les Contes de Hoffman
04. Donizetti: “Ah, mes amis…Pour mon âme” from La Fille du Régiment
05. Gounod: “L’amour, l’amour…Ah! Lève-toi, soleil” from Roméo et Juliette
06. Donizetti: “Seul sur la terre” from Dom Sébastien
07. Massenet: “Je suis seul!…Ah fuyez, douce image” from Manon
08. Donizetti: “La maîtresse du roi?…Ange si pur” from La Favorite
09. Massenet: “Alors, c’est bien ici…Je ne sais si je veille…O nature pleine de grâce” from Werther
10. Verdi: “Fontainebleau! Forêt immense…Je l’ai vue et dans son sourire” from Don Carlos
11. Massenet: “En fermant les yeux…c’est un rêve” from Manon
12. Gounod: “Salut demeure chaste et pure” from Faust
13. Meyerbeer: “Ah! quel spectacle…Plus blanche que la blanche hermine” from Les Huguenots
14. Rossini: “Ne m’abandonne point…Asile hereditaire…Vengeance! vengeance…Plus de crainte inutile” from Guillaume Tell

Produced by Grace Row.
Recorded at Jedrinsky Hall, Nice, France, 2001.

Marcelo Álvarez – tenor
Orchestre Philharmonique De Nice
The Chorus of The Opéra De Nice
Mark Edler – conductor



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