Juan Diego Flórez's Santo

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The nine ringing high-Cs that bowled over Met Opera audiences last season in Donizetti's Daughter of the Regiment are nowhere to be found in this 13-track collection of sacred classics and virtuoso showpieces. No matter. The chief gifts of Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez are all here: sweet, ringing top notes and an suave, elegant virtuosity. Santo is our Album of the Week.

More importantly, the album offers a chance to hear the bel canto tenor stretch beyond the Rossini and Bellini operas that have made him a fixture at opera houses around the globe. It's not a Christmas CD, but it includes unique takes on seasonal favorites like O Holy Night, sung in Latin, German and English, Adeste fidelis, which starts out in Latin, passes through German and winds up in English, and Comfort Ye from Handel's Messiah.

Flórez is not known for his German singing but he makes a fine impression in Schubert's Ave Maria and an aria from Haydn's Die Schöpfung, displaying an elegant legato and warm middle range. The singer’s beloved bel canto repertoire is not neglected either, with two rarely performed Rossini arias, “Gratias agimus tibi” and “Qui tollis,” both from the Messa di Gloria, as well as the refined and elegant “Domine Deus” from the Petite Messe solennelle. Bellini is here too, in an unfamiliar but first-rate “Qui sedes” from his Mass in A minor.

The album closes with one of Flórez's own compositions, an appealing number called Santo that contains the dance rhythms of his Latin American roots.

Tell us what you think. Watch this video and leave a comment below:

Santo: Sacred Songs
Juan Diego Flórez
Available at Arkivmusic.com

Download courtesy of Decca Music Group


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Comments [20]


Thank you for this video. Fantastic voice!

Jan. 07 2011 05:46 PM
Carthaginian from Albuquerque,,NM

Bravo! What a recording--will buy it ASAP! Wish I knew him as a personal friend--incredible! Hope to hear him in a live venue.

Dec. 27 2010 01:55 PM
David and Xia from Manhattan

I've never missed an appearance in NY by Juan Diego. This album is gorgeous.

Dec. 26 2010 11:51 PM
Chantroy from New York

Beautifully sung. I didn't know the guy such chops!

Dec. 26 2010 07:32 AM
Eric vanden Bergh

I heard him in Pesaro. One of the best, if not the best tenor in the world.

Dec. 25 2010 11:49 AM
Barbara from New York

Beautiful! His voice is wonderful and he's not bad looking either!

Dec. 23 2010 05:38 PM
Carole Valera

Juan Diego is the darling new tenor of the opera world and we are lucky to have him.
Loved this video and his voice is flawless.

Dec. 23 2010 10:07 AM
Straight Arrow

His voice is clear and without flaws and he is quite handsome; and, yet, I can't say as I would buy the album.

Dec. 22 2010 11:14 PM
Cathie Lyons from NYC

I can't stop listening to this.

Dec. 22 2010 09:18 PM
John J. Christiano from Franklin NJ

Amazing clarity and effortless range. Once again the human race is blessed.

Dec. 22 2010 08:55 PM
H Johnson from Allendale, NJ

My favorite Christmas carol done by my favorite tenor. Sublime. It brought tears to my eyes.

Dec. 22 2010 07:19 PM
RP from New York City


Dec. 22 2010 06:47 PM
Andrew Israel from Charlotte NC

Ay dios mio. Que bella musica.
Fantastic depth of feeling.

Mazel tov.

Dec. 22 2010 02:59 PM
Dave from Greater Pittsburgh, PA


Dec. 22 2010 12:52 AM
Catherine Oexman

Simply beautiful!

Dec. 21 2010 10:51 AM
O'Neill from New Jersey

With his magnificent voice, Juan Diego brings warmth, tenderness and intimacy to the presentation of this carol of all carols.

Thank you.

Dec. 21 2010 09:29 AM
Luis A Salcedo

It gives me so much pride to see such a great tenor a Latin American country, since we are fortunate enough to have such people. I wish him a very long career, His talent is similar to those of the great composers of the classical era. May God protect and bless him.

Dec. 21 2010 09:26 AM
Gev Sweeney from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

It's bitter-cold here, but I'm melting over the vid and download ...

Dec. 21 2010 08:30 AM

Someone should tell Juan Diego that latin pronunciation is not the same as italian...

Dec. 21 2010 08:25 AM
marilyn rey from Cambria Heights, NY

Awsome voice and a good-looking young man, too. May his career last a long, long time.

Dec. 20 2010 06:37 PM

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About Albums of the Week

The Albums of the Week are compelling new recordings that we spotlight every week. These include creative repertoire choices, engaging musical personalities and artistic statements that stand out from the pack. You can hear the Albums of the Week throughout the day and evening on WQXR.