By Mario Lanza. By Cole Porter, Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, Harpo Marx, and Richard Rodgers. Classical. CD. Sony Music Entertainment #88985382642. Published by Sony Music Entertainment (NX.88985382642).
In a remarkable career that spanned little more than a decade, Mario Lanza set the gold standard for every romantic tenor who followed in his footsteps Groomed at the outset for a career on the opera stage, Lanza instead found lasting fame through a series of hugely popular films for MGM, the highlight of which, The Great Caruso, was a spectacular tribute to his idol. Released in 1951, the film was a box-office smash and influenced the careers of an entire generation of future opera stars, the famed Three Tenors among them. Lanza's recordings for RCA Victor sold in their millions and to this day he remains the classical crossover artist supreme. Memories of Mario Lanza's fabulous film and recording career are featured now on this dazzling collection of 44 songs and arias. From a glorious "Che gelida manina" captured at the tenor's first session for RCA in New York in 1949, to an ardent "One Alone" recorded a few short weeks before his untimely passing in Rome a decade later, the collection is a joyous and moving testament to Lanza's deeply expressive style of singing. All of the legendary Lanza recordings are here: "Because You're Mine," "Granada," "Arrivederci, Roma," and "Because," along with a number of songs from The Student Prince and many of the great popular arias. Also included are seven selections appearing on disc for the very first time, among them an electrifying performance of his signature tune "Be My Love" from the tenor's radio show, a powerful rendition of "The Lord's Prayer," and an alternate take of the ever-popular "Nessun dorma" recorded for one his movies. Mario Lanza's voice was one for the ages and The Best of Everything captures it in all its stunning, unforgettable glory.