After years of wondering whether, after Dom, Pav, and Carr, there would ever be another group of fine tenors available, the question has been answered with a resounding, "Yes!" Alagna and Vargas are realizing their potential, Florez is a spectacular bel cantist, and Villazon and Calleja are up-and-coming. And Marcelo Alvarez proves again on this CD that he has arrived. The voice is a full-grown lyric, his tone is gorgeous, he has brains and sensitivity, absolutely even production, secure, ringing high notes, and a youthful but not callow approach to the music. The Lalo aria is sung sweetly, with light tone; he brings out the heroics for "Cielo e mar," "Nessun dorma," and Chenier's last act aria; "Che gelida manina" suits his voice and temperament ideally and he brings wonderment (and a fine high C) to it; Don José's Flower Song is full of longing, in good French with nicely shaded phrases. In short, there's not a disappointing note on this recital--Alvarez is a smart, feeling tenor in his prime and this CD is highly recommended. --Robert Levine
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