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Music Review

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One Night in Central Park
(10th Anniversary)


Artist: Andrea Bocelli
Label: Decca Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 10 September 2021

Ten years since Andrea Bocelli performed a concert, packed with surprise guest singers, at Central Park, Decca Records reissues the album on CD, digital download and vinyl...

When I first listened to this album I was in two minds. Bringing opera to the masses is a good thing, right? But I always find it a little disheartening that the same old songs are trotted out. It's almost as though Joe Public doesn't have the stomach for anything other than what they know. And, for an artist, like Andrea Bocelli, who is classically trained and has an incredible voice, performing the hits like a robot must be a little soul destroying... no matter how much money he's making.

What's good about this release is that while there are plenty of pieces that almost everyone will instantly recognise (usually because they've been used in advertising at some point) there are quite a few pieces that will be new to those that don't have a love for opera. And, to mix it up a little, Bocelli includes songs like 'New York, New York' (which is totally at odds with the rest of the album) and 'Amazing Grace'. In fact the latter was one of the highlights for me. It's subtly performed and opens with the brass section providing a low key backing. Then, as it moves forward, the orchestra starts to build. The ending really makes it a memorable and emotional piece.

Talking about the concert, Andrea Bocelli said: "That was a memorable milestone in my career. One of its highest and most emotionally overwhelming moments. A mega-show that took 16 months of work, as well as a brave and ambitious artistic undertaking. A concert that went on to become my first fully live album, for which every note was recorded live, without a safety net".

The album contains 18 tracks (1 hr, 12 min, 07 sec) and is a wonderfully produced collection of songs. It's a good introduction to Bocelli's wonderful and powerful voice. But I still can't help feeling that this is an operatic album for those that don't really like opera.

Track listing:

01. La Donna E' Mobile - Rigoletto
02. Di Quella Pira - Il Trovatore
03. Ave Maria (Central Park Version)
04. Vicino A Te S'acqueta - Andrea Chénier - Duet with Ana María Martínez
05. Au Fond Du Temple Saint - Les Pêcheurs de perles - Duet with Bryn Terfel
06. O Soave Fanciulla - La Bohème - Duet with Pretty Yende
07. Libiamo Ne' Lieti Calicil - "La Traviata” with P. Yende, B Terfel, A.M. .Martínez
08. Amazing Grace
09. New York, New York - Duet with Tony Bennett
10. The Prayer - Duet with Céline Dion, with David Foster on piano
11. More (Ti guarderò nel cuore) with Chris Botti on trumpet and David Foster on piano
12. Your Love (Once upon a time in the west)
13. Nel Blu, Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) with David Foster on piano
14. Funiculi 'Funicula' with Andrea Griminelli on flute
15. En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor - Concierto de Aranjuez with Nicola Benedetti on violin
16. Time to Say Goodbye (Con te partirò) duet with Ana María Martínez
17. Nessun Dorma - Turandot
18. 'O Sole Mio (Bonus Track)


Nick Smithson

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