Sunday, December 4, 2011
For Andrea Bocelli fans it was a thrilling magical night.
KQED (PBS) broadcast a live! concert lifted from Central Park spotlighting the musical talents of the popular tenor night-before-last.
The New York Philharmonic provided back-up under the direction of music director Alan Gilbert and the special was hosted by Paul Zahn.
In addition to performing a roster of his hits solo, Bocelli wisely invited guest artists (such as famed trumpeter Chris Botti) to participate in on-stage collaborations that vastly entertained the adoring music-lovers in the footlights below the outdoor stage.
When teamed with Canada's songbird, Celine Dion, the popular crooner did not disappoint, either.
Bocelli's rich golden voice shone through - and touched - in fact.
Understandably, I have raved about Mr. Bocelli's talent in the past.
Unfortunately, the "Big Apple" concert was uneven and troublesome to the ears at times.
Bocelli's stab at VOLARE, for instance, was a disaster.
The Pop Icon warbled off-key incessantly as he struggled to hit high - obviously elusive - notes beyond his reach.
Although "Amazing Grace" is a simple hymn for most, he ended up crucifying it.
Part of the problem is that Mr. Bocelli has a limited vocal range; therefore, he should not stray too far from material that showcases his musical gift best ("Time to Say Good-bye", for example).
The European heartthrob would be wise to also take a cue from Tony Bennett who dazzled the audiences with his stirring rendition of "New York New York".
Without coaching or expert musical direction at this juncture in his professional career, Bocelli may end up with the reputation as a mediocre pop talent to most (or a near-great to a posse of loyal die-hard fans).
Without doubt, he'll still pack the houses, no matter what!