Pavarotti on the cover of the Gramophone magazine

22 Apr

Pavarotti is on the cover of the Gramophone magazine this month. Inside the magazine is a six page article on the first decade of Pavarotti’s career. Buying the magazine this month is really worth its money.

To appear on the cover of this prestigious UK classical music magazine is really an honor. Pavarotti did manage that at least four times in his lifetime. Take a look! This month’s cover of the Gramophone magazine is the last one.

gramophone-pav-1980

gramophone-pav-1991

gramophone-pav-1997

gramophone-pav-2001

gramophone-pav-2014

This post was originally published 22-04-2014. Last revision 22-04-2014.

Pavarotti in Berlin (10): More arias from Pavarotti’s 1983 Berlin recital

11 Apr

Pavarotti held on 15th May 1983 a recital at the Deutsche Oper Berlin with John Wustman at the piano. There are many audio tracks from this recital out there on YouTube, so many that I think that the entire recital is out there!

In an earlier post I published four arias from that recital. Here are six more from that very same recital.

More about Pavarotti in Berlin in future blog posts!

Anyway, I’m off to Berlin! Soon! Very soon! :)

pav-recital-piano

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This post was originally published 11-04-2014. Last revision 11-04-2014.

Easter with Pavarotti: O Jesu mi dulcissime by Guida

11 Apr

Easter, the most important Christian holiday, is here. This is a good excuse as any to give you Pavarotti singing the lovely religious song O Jesu mi dulcissime by Guida.

The recording on the video is taken from the live solo album Pavarotti at Carnegie Hall. This album was recorded at a recital at Carnegie Hall in New York in November 1987. Pavarotti is accompanied by John Wustman on piano.

pav-wustman-cd

Pavarotti at Carnegie Hall is available on Decca CD, download and streaming. It’s a beautiful album that is highly recommended.

I wish you all a good Easter holiday!

This post was originally published 11-04-2014. Last revision 11-04-2014.

Pavarotti message of the month: It’s spring! It’s April!

7 Apr

It’s the month of April! It’s springtime! Let’s celebrate with Pavarotti singing the lovely song Aprile by the Italian composer Tosti.

Pavarotti recorded this song for his Decca studio album Mattinata. This album was recorded in 1977 and 1982, was issued on LP in 1983, and is now available on Decca CD, download and streaming. The National Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Antonio Tonini. This recording of Aprile is also available on several Pavarotti compilation CDs. You can hear this recoding in the first video below. This video also contains English translation of the lyrics.

pav-mattinata-cd

Pavarotti also sang this song in his recitals. At least one live version of Aprile sung with piano accompaniment is available on several unofficial Pavarotti recital CDs. The last two videos are from such live performances (audio only). There’s no information about the first, but the second is taken from a recital at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 15th May 1983 with John Wustman at the piano.

So enjoy spring! Enjoy April! Enjoy Life!

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This post was originally published 07-04-2014. Last revision 07-04-2014.

Pavarotti in commercial for financial services firm

31 Mar

In this tv commercial for the financial services firm J. G. Wentworth the image and voice of Pavarotti in the 1981 San Francisco Opera production of the Verdi opera Aida is used. Margaret Price sings the title role and Luciano Pavarotti sings the role of Radamès. This performance is also out on DVD. This tv commercial is probably not. But it’s funny anyway!

This post was originally published 31-03-2014. Last revision 31-03-2014.

Diana Ross live in concert at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

26 Mar

Diana Ross is a living a legend. Her fantastic live shows and TV appearances, especially the ones in the 1970s and 1980s, are two things that made Diana Ross a legend.

Her concert at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 1979 is one of those legendary live shows. This concert was later televised and has also surfaced on various DVD releases in later years and of course on YouTube.

diana-ross-ultimate-diva

In the two first videos below Diana Ross sings Touch Me In The Morning and The Boss from this concert.

This is such a fantastic show from beginning to end. The opening and closing of the show is magnificent! See the entire concert from beginning to end in the last video below!

See my other blog post about Diana Ross here and here. I also recommend you to check out The Official Diana Ross Facebook Page and this wonderful fan site.

I especially recommend the wonderful blog The Diana Ross Project which is a track-by-track analysis of the Diana Ross discography! Yay! Check it out! :)

Have a very Diana Ross day!

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This post was originally published 26-03-2014. Last revision 26-03-2014.

12 fantastic Diana Ross songs that might explain why I became an opera lover

26 Mar

I’m just thinking: Maybe Diana Ross can explain why I became so fascinated with opera? Or is pop music in general to blame?

And by the way: For those of you who think they are a diva or a prima donna: You wouldn’t last a night at Caesars Palace! No one can match miss Ross!

Anyway, here are 12 fantastic Diana Ross songs to enjoy! :)

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This post was originally published 26-03-2014. Last revision 26-03-2014.

Diana Ross & Luciano Pavarotti

26 Mar

Today is a very special day. The legendary African-American pop/soul singer and actress Diana Ross celebrates her 70th birthday!

For Diana Ross fans like me there are really no words to capture her greatness as an artist, but I could try: The ultimate entertainer, the supreme diva, the queen of Motown. One thing is for sure: Legendary doesn’t quite cover what she means for us fans!

Diana Ross was born on March 26, 1944 in Detroit and shoot to fame in the 1960s as the lead singer of the Motown girl group The Supremes. Motown’s boss (and Diana’s lover) Berry Gordy saw the star quality in Diana and made her the lead vocalist of the group, and in 1967 the group was renamed Diana Ross & the Supremes. To this date Diana Ross & the Supremes is the most successful girl group ever.

Diana left the group in 1970 to pursue her solo career. After a string of hits in the 1960s with The Supremes, she continued to have a number of hits in the 1970s, 1980s and even in the 1990s. Her live shows and TV appearances, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, are legendary. Diana also pursued a movie career with movies such as Lady Sings the Blues and Mahogany.

Frank Sinatra, joins Diana Ross, Luciano Pavarotti, Montserrat Caballe

And Ross is still performing! In the last decade Ross hasn’t recorded any new albums but she’s constantly on tour the world over singing her hits spanning her 5o year career from the early 1960s to this century!

Diana Ross didn’t sing together with Pavarotti, but on March 18, 1984 Ross and Pavarotti joined forces with Frank Sinatra and Montserrat Caballé at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in a benefit concert for cancer research. The picture is taken before their performances. Wow! Talk about music royalty! :)

To celebrate the most successful female artist ever and her 70th birthday I’ve chosen three music videos. The first two videos are from some fabulous shows in the 1970s. The first video starts with a very moving monologue before she starts singing and the second video contains some good old fashion diva behaviour and a medley of Supremes hits. The third video is one of her last hits from around the turn of the century entitled Not Over You Yet.

What more is there to say? So much more. I’m Not Over You Yet, Diana Ross!

Happy birthday Diana Ross! You are truly supreme!

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This post was originally published 26-03-2014. Last revision 26-03-2014.

Pavarotti: The 50 Greatest Tracks – The marketing story

24 Mar

When it was time to celebrate Pavarotti’s 50 years on Decca Classics and 50 years since his international debut, a brand new compilation, Pavarotti: The 50 Greatest Tracks, was released in October 2013 on Decca CD (2 CD set), download and streaming.

The marketing of this release was massive, including a website for sharing photos, and another website to record and publish your own version of Pavarotti arias such as Nessun dorma!

Prior to the release, as part of the marketing strategy, the press reported that this compilation would contain a newly discovered Pavarotti recording, but as I wrote in August 2013 that was a bit far from the truth. Be that as it may, with this compilation Pavarotti once again topped the charts, six years after he died!

Besides the so-called newly discovered Pavarotti recording (which wasn’t!), the compilation didn’t contain any real surprises as all were previously released. Read more about each tracks here.

pav-50-greatest-tracks-original

In addition to the standard 2 CD set two additional releases followed (both on Decca):

The 2 CD set was also released as Pavarotti: Les 50 Triomphes by Decca in France. Other national releases may exist as well.

The CD artwork and the ads on TV and online were quite creative. There was a one minute teaser and a 20 seconds TV-spot, both narrated in English. However, on YouTube I’ve found many other versions of the TV-spot from various countries.

This was absolutely a marketing campaign for the greatest singer that ever lived!

Teaser UK

TV-spot UK

pav-50-greatest-tracks-deluxe

TV-spot Germany

TV-spot The Netherlands

pav-50-greatest-tracks-24-bits

TV-spot Denmark

TV-spot China

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TV-spot South Africa

This post was originally published 24-03-2014. Last revision 24-03-2014.

Pavarotti sings 101 Handel

24 Mar

The baroque composer George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759) was one of the greatest composer who has ever lived. He composed many works in a range of genres. There’s so much Handel to handle … well … to explore!

101-handel-decca-cd

If you’re not familiar with Handel there’s a great compilation to start your exploration into his compositions. 101 Handel is a 6 CD box set with 101 Handel tracks covering many of his most famous works, including instrumental works such as Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks,  Concerto grossi, Organ Concertos, and vocal works as such as anthems, Messiah and various opera and oratorio arias.

The compilation 101 Handel is a very good introduction to Handel as it covers the entire spectre of his works. 101 Handel was released in September 2013 and is available on Decca CDs, download and streaming.

The only Handel aria Pavarotti ever sang, the wonderful Care selve from the opera Atalanta, is included on this compilation. This aria is taken from his Decca studio album “Pavarotti in concert” (recorded in 1973, issued on LP in 1975, and now available on Decca CD, download and streaming). Richard Bonynge conducts the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna.

Listen to the video below (The aria starts 14 seconds into the video).

can-you-handel-it

This post was originally published 24-03-2014. Last revision 24-03-2014.

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