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Amore Infinito: Songs inspired by Poetry of JPII - DOMINGO

Amore Infinito: Songs inspired by Poetry of JPII - DOMINGO[4778166]

Amore Infinito: Songs inspired by the Poetry of Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) - Placido Domingo

Amore Infinito is the new album by Plácido Domingo, who calls it one of the most important recordings of his career. Before Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II, he began writing poetry during years as a quarry worker, playwright, actor, seminary student and priest. Now Domingo, out of deep respect and reverence for "the greatest human being I have ever known," has created this collection of settings as a personal affirmation of faith and tribute to the late Polish pontiff.

1. La Coscienza

2. La Tua Semplicità (Duet with Josh Groban)

3. Risuona Anima Mia

4. A Mother's Wonderment (Duet with Katherine Jenkins)

5. Anima Nell'Anima

6. Canto del Sole Inesauribile (Duet with Andrea Bocelli)

7. Palabras

8. Love (Duet with Placido Domingo Jr.)

9. Amore Glorificato

10. Gratitude (Duet with Vanessa Williams)

11. La Libertà

12. Madre

This recording has grown out of my great respect and reverence for Pope John Paul II. I well remember being asked by the newspapers in Mexico, on the day he was installed in Rome, what I thought about this Polish Pope, and I replied, almost without thinking, that this was the beginning of the end for Communism. He was a parallel force with the Polish trade union leader Lech Walesa, fighting for the poor and against injustice. And he was the greatest human being I have ever known. I had the great privilege of meeting him several times. The last occasion was at the Vatican, when he wanted to thank us for a performance at a meeting at Ancona, Italy; it had included a piece by the Italian composer Marco Tutino that was a setting of one of the Pope's poems. I told His Holiness that I would very much like him to let me see more of his poems. I knew that when he was young, before he entered the Church, he had been an actor and also a writer. With my son Plácido, who is a composer, I looked for these poems. First we found a beautiful collection of religious poetry, the Roman Triptych Meditations, but these were complicated meditations on the Bible. Though I thought it would be marvellous to make a CD of them, I felt we should start with a selection that had more popular appeal. We continued our search until we found some poems that could be set to simpler melodies. Yet although they are popular, they also have depth. One poem, "Madre", may have been intended for his own mother or for mothers in general, but in any case it speaks directly to our hearts. Some poems are about the love of God, others about workers. There was even a beautiful one about a man whose job is to make weapons: he insists that he is not the man who starts wars but simply a craftsman. It refers back to the Pope's days as a patriot. To broaden the poems' appeal, we have kept some in Italian and translated others into Spanish and English. We did not want this collection to contain only solo pieces, so we invited five artists to join the project. I very much like Josh Groban's voice, and Andrea Bocelli, who has been my friend for a long time, was thrilled to collaborate. I had been doing concerts with the Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins - crossover music that made an ideal background for this collection. My son Plácido wrote a lovely song that was perfect for Vanessa Williams, whom I had conducted in Carmen Jones. Plácido himself has a beautiful high-baritone voice, and he sings a song that he wrote with Jorge Calandrelli, the musician who has been central to this project. The London Symphony Orchestra is a great ensemble. I have to say that London musicians have always amazed me: you arrive at the studios in Abbey Road and find these wonderful players who can engage with music they've never seen before - and after three hours you've got 30 minutes of music, perfectly recorded, that will endure for ever. This recording has enormous significance for me, and not only because I am a Catholic. It will speak not only to religious people but to anyone who respects that uniquely great man, John Paul II, who chose to dedicate his life to the service of humanity and of God.

Plácido Domingo

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