Enrico Caruso in Song Volume 3 1902-1920
When Caruso died his obituary in The Times included the sentence "It is quite safe to say that no tenor voice equal to his, in its combination of power and extreme beauty of quality, has been heard in this generation." Most of us who are familiar with his recordings would, I believe, add the words "Nor has there been since" - I am certainly not aware that any of Caruso’s successors has ever claimed to be his equal. The selection contained on these two CDs, ranging as it does from the lightest-hearted of Tchaikovsky songs via sundry numbers of a religious nature to Neapolitan songs and Edwardian drawingroom ballads, may perhaps be regarded as less artistically ‘important’ than the operatic recordings, but Caruso was not a singer who lowered his standards when singing ‘light’ music. There is hardly a single track amongst the forty-four in this selection which does not make the listener think at one moment or another "Only Caruso could have done that!"