Saimir Pirgu: Il mio canto – Operatic Arias by Verdi, Puccini, Gounod, Richard Strauss, Cilea, Donizetti and Massenet

Reviewed on Thu 11 Feb, 2016

Saimir Pirgu is a young Albanian tenor who opens this recital with a hugely dramatic aria from Simon Boccanegra ('O Inferno!'), fantastically sung and with some abrupt changes of emotion.

Saimir Pirgu is a young Albanian tenor who is becoming well-known around the world and has had marvellous reviews. He opens this recital with a hugely dramatic aria from Simon Boccanegra ('O Inferno!'), fantastically sung and with some abrupt changes of emotion. He seems to excel in this type of role; hatred, jealousy and vengeance, even when it is against himself as in 'Oh mio rimorso! Oh infamia.' (La Traviata). Pirgu uses a wide range of dynamics and sings with great expression. In spite of this, I was disappointed with his rendering of the gentler arias of love and sadness such as ' Che gelida manina' (La Bohème)' and 'Parmi veder...' (Rigoletto). Turning down the amplification for these made a considerable improvement, but I did not find them really moving. He ends with 'La donna e mobile' (Rigoletto)', a very different style of aria, where he excellently portrays the light touch of the fickle duke.
–Ruth Piatkus