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You will probably have your own view on whether Plácido Domingo has made a successful transition from tenor to baritone – I think not. We must, however, consider the positives: the tone remains distinctive and burnished, the manner stylish; yet with consistency comes a homogenous smoothness that soon becomes boring – every track sounds much the same. The Trovatore ‘Il balen’ is a good example. The recitative gets off to a promising start, the voice full and the line sustained, but by the time we reach the aria the tone is inflated to provide a darker colour and the cadenza shows both the virtues and failings of the voice; the top is easy but lacks a true baritonal thrust, and as the line descends it loses body and falters, which seems to be a recurring problem. The Orquestra de la Comunitat Valanciana under Pablo Heras-Casado provides generalised and sometimes sluggish support. Germont, Carlo, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Posa … they all sound much the same; nice chaps, slightly anguished and lacking a sense of purpose. Ultimately, a boring album.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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