01 PassionePassione
Charles Di Raimondo
Independent CDR012 (www.charlesdiraimondo.com)

In the interpretive arts, there is no substitute for life experience – although a good imagination may work for a while, ultimately only genuine, experience-driven emotion transcends the mists of time. In Charles Di Raimondo’s debut CD, not only does he display a highly trained vocal instrument of terrific scope, but he has also literally infused each song with his deeply personal engrams of a life abundantly (and no doubt passionately) lived.

Co-Producers Raimondo and Glenn Morley have created an eclectic program, highlighting Raimondo’s versatility. On the opening track, Raimundo (who also contributes lyrics, music and arrangements) wraps his rich baritone around Ennio Morricone’s theme from the cinematic masterpiece Cinema Paradiso, which sets an impressively high bar for the rest of the recording. 

Of note is a freshly reworked rendition of the contemporary classic, Time to Say Good-bye. The rock-infused production, pleasant baritone placement and double-tracked vocals result in a sumptuous, hearty version, quite unlike any of the more familiar takes from Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. The spare, emotional Caruso (Lucio Dalla) employs gorgeous acoustic guitar work as the perfect complement to Raimondo’s intensity. Also consummately performed is E Lucevan Le Stelle (from Tosca), with another breathtaking acoustic guitar solo placed against Raimundo’s fully charged vocal. Closing out the program are two more stunners: the Italian folk-inspired Mamma (Nell ‘Eterna Melodia) and the lilting and romantic Aquella Noche en Madrid – sung in Español perfecto!

This is a delightful and expertly produced recording that will no doubt be satisfying to both lovers of classical and contemporary vocal music. Although Raimondo’s debut CD may have been a while in the making, the results have been well worth the wait.


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