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Crossover may be a dirty word in classical circles, but leading tenors down the ages have delighted millions with their renditions of popular music: it all depends on the style in which it is done. Calleja, 35 and palpably in his prime, presents an album of classic Italian and Mediterranean songs, augmented by the occasional modern twist.

Not every track is a winner, and Calleja has yet to develop a Pavarotti-like embrace of this repertoire. But to most of these songs – from “O sole mio” to “Con te partirò” (Time to say goodbye), from the traditional Irish idiom of “You raise me up” to Ennio Morricone’s love theme from Cinema Paradiso – the Maltese tenor brings a beguiling elegance, supported by some fabulous orchestrations.

Joseph Calleja

Amore

(Decca)

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