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Saimir Pirgu is well served by his new recording, Il mio canto, which captures his youthful tone in a selection of well-known tenor arias. He has a bright and open voice, and delineates well between his characters – his Rigoletto Duke is ebullient, his Macduff plangent – and only in arias from Simon Boccanegra and Luisa Miller is his lyric tenor pushed slightly beyond its comfort zone. His high notes are glorious, but there is often a patch in mid-voice where a couple of notes are slightly off-pitch; yet, curiously, the opening of ‘Parmi veder le lagrime’, dreaded by tenors for being plumb in the passaggio, sounds almost easy. His diction is clear, his French strange, and his one mistaken excursion into German is a graceless and bawled Italian Tenor’s aria from Der Rosenkavalier, which would send any sensible Marschallin right back to bed with a pillow over her head. Speranza Scappucci conducts with style.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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