Pavarotti didn’t sing much Baroque music. His core repertoire was Bel canto (Bellini, Donizetti), Italian Romantic (Verdi), and Verismo (Puccini). Pavarotti’s voice was perhaps not the best to tackle the Baroque opera singing style.
Pavarotti didn’t record or perform in any Baroque opera. However, he did record and perform some Baroque opera arias and songs. It wasn’t much, maybe enough for Decca to make a short compilation CD! The CD should of course be entitled: “Pavarotti goes baroque”. That would be so cool!
In 1973 Pavarotti recorded three Baroque opera arias for the Decca LP “Pavarotti in concert” (originally issued in 1975). This album is today available on Decca CD and download, as well as streaming. In spite of the title, this is not a live recording, but a studio recording, and therefore one of Pavarotti’s 12 studio albums. Richard Bonynge conducts the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna on all tracks on this album.
The three Baroque opera arias on this album are as follows: (1) “Per la gloria d’adorarvi” from Griselda by Giovanni Battista Bononcini, (2) “Care selve” from Atalanta by George Frideric Handel, and (3) “Già il sole dal Gange” from L’honestà negli amore by Alessandro Scarlatti.
As previously reported, the Handel aria is the only Handel aria that Pavarotti ever sang. The same could be said about the Bononcini and Scarlatti opera arias. Well, that’s it, as far as I know!
In the YouTube videos below (audio recordings only), the Handel aria is the same as on the album. The Bononcini and Scarlatti arias are taken from a Pavarotti recital at Teatro di San Carlo (Naples’ opera house) in Napoli (Naples), Italy, on May 3, 1976.
Look out for future blog posts where Pavarotti goes even more baroque!