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Soundtrack to Ron Howard's Pavarotti gets CLASSIC fM 'Album Of the Week'

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Every week, Classic FM presenter and music expert David Mellor reviews the best new releases and re-issues from the world of classical music. This week, David picks out Music From The Motion Picture - Pavarotti on Decca.

This month, Ron Howard's much publicised documentary Pavarotti is released. This is the soundtrack album, which I have listened to with much enjoyment. Given the significance of the 1990 World Cup in Pavarotti's career, when ‘Nessun dorma' brought him global fame well outside the ranks of established opera fans, it's appropriate for me to describe this CD as a game of two halves.

To begin with, of course, there's the stuff we are all familiar with from his many Decca recordings, including that celebrated ‘Nessun dorma', recorded in London in the 70s with Zubin Mehta and the LPO, plus lots of other tried and trusted Pavarotti favourites like ‘Questa o Quella' and ‘La Donna è Mobile' both from Rigoletto.

But the other half are live recordings, some of which are also familiar, like two extracts from the original Three Tenors Concert in Rome, but some of which are not. For instance, a gloriously over the top ‘Vesti la Giubba' from Philadelphia, with an array of sobs Pavarotti would not have indulged in in the studio. 

There's also a rather touching ‘Donna non Vidi Mai' dedicated by Pavarotti to "Lady Diana", from his Live In Hyde Park Concert.

Inevitably there's some religious kitsch with Bono and others, not to my taste, but an undeniable part of the Pavarotti phenomenon.

At 80 minutes, this is good value. There is a companion set of Pavarotti's Greatest Hits on 3 CDs, but this film soundtrack album is surely the one to have.

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