Artist: Enrico Caruso (Book Entry)
Album: Twenty-One Favorite Arias
Stream the whole album from Myspace
Wow. Ok, so every time I talk about the challenges of this book, I refer to how much opera there is. Somehow this is classified under the genre "classical" in the book, but clearly should fall under opera. Or maybe "vocals," because this guy has some pipes. I didn't expect much after reading the book entry, considering the recording was made in 1907, prior to the invention of the recording microphone. But when I heard I Pagliacci, walking the laps in my dining room at 3 AM with the lights dimmed to almost nothing, I got goosebumps. The emotion, even on such a scratchy recording, comes through powerfully. This sounds like the soundtrack to some sort of mobster movie, the climax scene, with the bullets and the church cutaways. More than anything else, I love how amazing Caruso's voice is. It's loud and clear, even though you can hardly hear the accompanying music. I never would have thought I would see much good come out of opera, but if you haven't ever heard any that you like, this might be the place to start. If I find a better opera recording in this book, I'll let you know. Until then, I could actually listen to this one over again. Wow.
Buy the album on Amazon