Pavarotti in classical songs

Remember the 2011 Norway attacks: Music for comfort and hope

Five years have passed since the two terrible sequential terrorist attacks in Norway on 22 July 2011 known as “The 2011 Norway attacks”, in Norway just as “22 July” (“22. juli”). The lone wolf terrorist killed 77 persons an injured over four times as many.

I haven’t really got anything to add to what’s been said before during the last five years. You come to a point were there’s no words left. It’s all been said before, and even better by others. The important thing is to remember those who died, to honour their legacy, and to never let this happen again. To anybody.


All I can offer here is music. I strongly believe in the power of music. Music can express love, loss, longing, anger and despair. Music can comfort, help and heal. Music can give people strength and hope.

The days, weeks and months that followed the 2011 attacks really showed the world the strengths of Norwegian society. It also showed that music really can give comfort and hope to people. The terrible facts remain: 77 lives are gone forever, mostly young people. Just starting out on their life’s journey. That’s still so hard to comprehend, even today.

If music can give some comfort and hope to somebody out there struggling I offer five beautiful arias, the first three sung by Pavarotti and the last two sung by the countertenor David Hansen:

  • “Caro mio ben” by Giordani
  • “Che farò senza Euridice” from “Orfeo e Euridice” by Gluck
  • “O figli miei … Ah, la paterna mano” from “Macbeth# by Verdi
  • “Ombra mai fu” from “Serse” by Handel
  • “When I am laid in earth” from “Dido and Aeneas” by Purcell

The photo above is from the Oslo government quarter where the 2011 attacks started. The H block (the tallest building) was housing the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Justice and the Police (the lowest building is the Y block). The photo is taken in August 2011, under a month after the attacks.

Never forget the 2011 Norway attacks!





This blog post no. 313 was first published 22-07-2016. Last revision 22-07-2016.


Ten Top Tenors: Pavarotti and the greatest tenors of our time

We love tenors! Of course we do! That’s why we’ll love this tenor compilation that just recently was issued on Decca.

The compilation is entitled “Ten Top Tenors” and is a 2 CDs compilation containing ten of the greatest tenors of our time singing 48 opera arias and songs.


I addition to Pavarotti this compilation includes Carreras, Domingo, Bocelli, Alagna, Kaufmann, Wunderlich, Flórez, Villazón and Calleja.

Every tenor is well represented with several tracks. The first disc contains operatic arias and the second disc contains film themes, Neapolitan songs, Sicilian songs, sacred music and more.


Pavarotti is represented with as many as 8 tracks on this tenor compilation. One of these are the Neapolitan song ‘O sole mio.

One might argue that there are some tenors that also should be included, but there’s no doubt that the ones that are included deserve to be so.

Yes, we do love tenors! 🙂

This post was first published 27-12-2015. Last revision 27-12-2015.

Pavarotti arias A-Z: B for “Benedetto sia `l giorno”

My new series of posts with Pavarotti arias A-Z continues. Let’s go!

Today is the letter B for “Benedetto sia`l giorno” which is the second aria from Tre Sonetti di Petrarca by Liszt.

This recording is taken from a Pavarotti recital from West German TV in 1978, accompanied by the pianist John Wustman. The whole recital is issued on VHS and is also available on YouTube.

Guess what! Look out for a new aria tomorrow! 🙂

This post was first published 20-04-2015. Last revised 20-04-2015.

Pavarotti sings orchestrated songs by Tosti

Our investigation into the wonderful songs of the great Italian composer Francesco Paolo Tosti (1846 – 1916) continues. Many know Pavarotti in Tosti from his studio albums where he performed the songs with a full symphony orchestra.

If you are familiar with hearing Tosti songs only with piano accompaniment these versions might be somewhat over the top, but I think the orchestrations go very well together with Pavarotti’s wonderful voice.

Here are five Tosti songs sung by Pavarotti in orchestrated versions taken from three of his studio albums. After listening to these versions you might want to listen to Pavarotti singing the same songs with piano accompaniment. The first two songs can be found here and the last three songs can be found here.

The five  orchestrated Tosti songs are in running order:

  • La Serenata – from Pavarotti in concert
  • L’ultima canzone – from Mattinata
  • Aprile – from Mattinata
  • ‘A vucchella – from O sole mio
  • Marechiare – from O sole mio

I’m sure you are madly in love with Pavarotti singing Tosti by now!





This post was first published 21-03-2015. Last revised 21-03-2015.

Pavarotti sings more songs by Tosti

We continue our investigation into the songs of the great Italian composer Francesco Paolo Tosti (1846 – 1916). Here are six more Tosti songs sung by Pavarotti which are all taken from various recitals with piano accompaniment.

Most of these recitals are issued on records on audio and/or video, but I have no or little information about the first two songs. The songs are in running order:

  • Aprile – recital and pianist unknown (audio only)
  • L’alba sepàra della luce l’ombra – San Francisco, 1983,  pianist unknown (video)
  • MalìaRoyce Hall, Los Angeles, September 23, 1973, pianist unknown (issued on CD)
  • ‘A vucchellaBarcelona, Liceu Opera, 1989, pianist Leone Magiera (issued on CD and DVD)
  • MarechiareLincoln Center, New York, 1988, pianist James Levine (issued on DVD)
  • Ideale – West German TV, 1978, pianist John Wustman (issued on VHS)

I’m sure you will enjoy these wonderful songs by Tosti as well!






This post was first published 15-03-2015. Last revised 15-03-2015.

Pavarotti sings songs by Tosti

The songs of the Italian composer Francesco Paolo Tosti (1846 – 1916) was an important part of Pavarotti’s repertoire outside opera. Pavarotti sang many songs of Tosti live and on records.

Many know Pavarotti in Tosti from his studio albums where he performed the songs with a full symphony orchestra, but Tosti songs were also regularly featured in his recitals with piano accompaniment. Some of these recitals are issued on records.

Here are five Tosti songs sung by Pavarotti in a 1986 recital in Modena, Italy, accompanied by Robert Kettlelson on piano. This recital is issued on DVD. The songs are in running order:

  • La Serenata
  • Non t’amo più
  • Luna d’estate
  • Chanson d’adieu
  • L’Ultima Canzone

If you only know Pavarotti from opera I can assure you that Tosti is the one to explore next!





This post was first published 14-03-2015. Last revised 14-03-2015.

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

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! 🙂







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