Luciano Pavarotti, the Italian tenor who did a great deal to bring GOOD music to resistant ears and whose voice and performances from concert houses to outdoor stadiums made him a pop icon, has died at the age of 71. From some who eulogize him comes excessive hyperbole. That he was a brilliant singer and performer, there is no doubt. That he was the ABSOLUTE best, of that there is some doubt. I tend to prefer the technical brilliance and attention to detail of the unsurpassed Placido Domingo, but Pavarotti’s passion and emotional freedom were riveting.
Pavarotti was larger than life in every sense of the word. His talents were huge, as was his appetite for life. He leaves behind a legacy of magnificent music, an example of a gargantuan zest for life and, for those who have ever heard him sing – either in person or in recordings – a memory of surpassing beauty.
I can only think that God needed another tenor in the heavenly choir. And he needed THIS voice for this beautiful piece of music. While others may rhapsodize about other gorgeous pieces of music sung by the extraordinary Luciano, the Ave Maria is definitive for me.