Freddie de Tommaso

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Freddie de Tommaso - Passione

This recital of Italian songs is the debut disc by Anglo-Italian tenor Freddie de Tommaso with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Renato Balsadonna.

There's an interesting mix of Neapolitan and other Italian songs, some of them very well known. The booklet, in addition to some biographical notes on the singer and some details of the choice of songs and research, gives us one-sentence notes of the composers of these songs but the complete absence of the words is a pity.

Several of the songs have been recorded by his named favourite singers, Enrico Caruso, Mario del Monaco, Luciano Pavarotti and Franco Corelli, but several others—Giuseppe Di Stefano, Beniamino Gigli, Tito Schipa and Jussi Bjoerling—spring to mind, so there's no shortage of material for comparison.

There's no doubting that Freddie de Tommaso has a fine tenor voice with a dark individual quality and the blurb mentions his no-holds-barred commitment for which there is plenty of confirmation. However, on this disc, there seems to be only one expression of passione and that is fff and it is a great pity that gentle sweetness of expression is so little in evidence.

This disc is an unfortunate representation of a fine singer's voice and I believe he would have been far better served with a recital of operatic arias for which he is well suited.

Reviewer: Paul Foss