José Carreras returns to his roots with a Mediterranean song album, featuring popular and rare traditional songs from the Mediterranean, music from Spain and Italy.
Be it Neapolitan composers such as Eduardo Di Capua and Vincenzo D'Annibale, or a native of Catalonia like Josep Ribas – they have all translated the Mediterranean joie de vivre into music in their canzoni and songs. Many of these have become popular the world over, and have been a vital part of every great tenor's repertoire since Caruso's day In the 30 plus years of his international career, José Carreras has made these a fundamental part of his repertoire. Now he returns to his roots with his new album, Mediterranean Passion. "These are songs from my native Catalonia", says Carreras. "Songs that always move me when I hear them. And there are songs from Italy that I came to love at an early age." Among the 15 songs that Carreras has recorded with the Ambassade Orchestra of Vienna under the baton of David Giménez, we find Vincenzo D'Annibale's (1894-1950) O paese d'o sole, which takes its inspiration from Neapolitan folk music. Josep Ribas (1882/83-1934) contributes the famous aria Rosó from his opera Pel teu amor of 1922. Opera and folk music have always had a strong influence on each other in Italy, as can be clearly heard in the canzone Fenesta che lucive by bel canto pioneer Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835). In addition to classics like Lazzaro's Chitarra Romana, Carreras has also selected pieces by lesser-known composers such as Gaetano Lama (1868-1950) and Salvatore Gambardella (1873-1913). As one of two bonus tracks, José Carreras sings Solamente una vez by the Mexican Augustin Lara (1896-1970), in which he is partnered by the Cuban-American pop star Gloria Estefan.