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Ben Heppner - Great Tenor Arias

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 19.48
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Product Details

  • Composer: Ruggero Leoncavallo, Giuseppe Verdi
  • Audio CD (Sept. 15 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada Inc.
  • ASIN: B000003FO4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,058 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. La Boheme: Musetta! O gioia della mia dimora!....Testa adorata
2. La forza del destino: Oh! fede negar potessi... Quando le sere al placido
3. La forza del destino: La vita e inferno all'infelice... Oh, tu che in seno agl'angeli
4. Aida: Se quel guerrier io fossi!... Celeste Aida
5. Il Trovatore: Ah si, ben mio
6. Il Trovatore: Di quella pira
7. Manon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai simili a questa!
8. Turandot: Nessun dorma
9. La Fanciulla del West: Ch'ella mi creda libero e lontano
10. Carmen: La fleur que tu m'avais jetee
11. L'Africaine: Pays merveilleux... O Paradis
12. Herodiade: Ne pouvant reprimer... Adieu donc, vains objets
13. Le Cid: Ah! tout est bien fini... O souverain, o juge, o pere
14. Andrea Chenier: Come un bel di di maggio
15. Andrea Chenier: Colpito qui m'avete ov'io geloso... Un di all'azzurro spazio

Product Description

Not since the days of Lauritz Melchior have we had a true heldentenor, a singer who can take on the big Wagnerian parts and the other roles that require a voice of real weight and heft. The Canadian tenor Ben Heppner is the closest we come these days, but he is both less and more than that--less because he has so far not attempted the bigger Wagnerian roles, more because (unlike most such tenors, and as demonstrated on this disc) he has successfully mastered the idiom of French and Italian operas. He has a big voice, flexible and even, capable of a good legato line when needed (e.g., in nicely sung performances of "Ah si, ben mio" from Verdi's Il Trovatore and "O Paradis" from Meyerbeer's L'Africaine). But while his brilliant sound and dramatic intensity make him often thrilling to hear, there is also a sense of effort and a lack of charm in his singing that can put a listener off, and RCA has done him no favors with their rather distant miking. Still, he is an exciting singer, and this is a recommended disc. --Alex Morin

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Format: Audio CD
How on earth did I miss this one?! Recorded in 1995, I just stumbled across it the other day. What a voice! Here is that true rarity: a genuine Heldentenor with a sweet, flexible, well-placed voice; and he is definitely NOT a tenor-baritone. I've heard "Nessum Dorma" a thousand times, sung by a hundred tenors, but never like like this--your hair will stand on end! Who said a so-called dramatic tenor can't hit a decent high-C? Heppner not only hits it--dead center--he demolishes it. And the "Un di all'azzurro spazio" is a "textbok" in vocal agility. I know of no other tenor today (or yesterday) who can so perfectly handle the two distinct "styles" of the aria, at times lyrical, and others dramatic. This aria was meant to be difficult and, although many can sing it with fair success, only Heppner grabs it, shakes it for all it's worth, and conquers it. How nice to have a North American (albeit from British Columbia) do us so proud,
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Since the days of Del Monaco and Corelli, there have not been many dramatic tenors worthy of note. The few dramatic tenors I have seen live in recent years, namely the Russians, Atlantov and Bogachev, and the Americans, Margison and O'Neill, have indeed had big voices but not particularly attractive ones. They have also lacked the musicianship and style of singers like Del Monaco and Corelli, not to mention their top registers! Now comes a tenor like Heppner who, although he cannot fill the shoes of Corelli and Del Monaco, as indeed who can, is nevertheless worthy to walk in their footsteps. Heppner has an immense, bronze colored tenor voice. It is not darkly shaded like Corelli's or perhaps as stentorian as Del Monaco's. But Heppner displays a rich, even timbre throughout his singing, from bottom to top. In many of the arias on this CD, Heppner effectively employs dynamic shading for someone with as big a voice as his. But, above all, Heppner offers us a clinic in fine, subtle legato phrasing. His musicianship is impeccable. Heppner has enough voice and breadth to be patient with these arias, shaping the phrases in long, flowing lines without tiring or compromising his tone. Although sometimes Heppner thins out at the top, I suspect that's more of a problem with the engineering than the voice. One small criticism to be made, however, is that perhaps Heppner's performance is too controlled, lacking the spontaneity and thrill characteristic of performances by greats such as Corelli and Del Monaco. Nevertheless, we should consider outselves lucky to have this wonderful heroic tenor on the stage today.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a typical collection of arias but nontheless it is a recomended disc to those who love great Tenor singing. This man has a very powerful and sensual voice, but here he sounds distant in the recording. It seems at times the Orchestra overpowers Heppner but I know this really can not happen. It is probably an engineering problem. There a few outstanding recordings I would like to point out. Nessun dorma (even though it lacks that last ringing Vincero of Pavarotti like blazen), Testa adorata, The Flower Song from Carmen, and O Paradiso. The Chenier arias lacked a little enthusiasm for my liking. But still Heppner does come through in a brash way. That, to me, is a Tenor.
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The only reason that Ben Heppner would not be able to fill the shoes of Corelli, or del Monaco is because Ben wears a bigger size. Heppner not only has the large full ranged voice, mentioned by the previous reviewer, but he also has impecable artistry. Unlike del Monaco he knows what dynamics are. Unlike Corelli he can get to his top register without scooping, and unlike Corelli he knows how to count, and doesn't write the music as he sings it. Don't get me wrong Corelli, and Del Monaco are two of my favorite tenors, but they are by no means better than Heppner
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