Luciano Pavarotti, without question the greatest voice of our time, died this morning of complications from pancreatic cancer; after being moved from hospital back to his home in Modena Italy. He was a month shy of his 72nd birthday.
Pavrottis best known and most popular piece these days is most likely "Nessun Dorma", from Puccinis "Turandot". It has been widely regarded as Pavarottis "signature" song, since his rendition became popular on the world stage as the central theme for the 1990 world cup; and then widely spread by the "Three Tenors" concerts and albums.
Unfortunately, though the "three tenors" concerts proved popular in the U.S. they did not really capture the imagination of pop culture; and American audiences largely ignored Pavarottis solo efforts. Subsequently, Nessun Dorma was made popular in the last few years among American housewives by blind tenor Andrea Bocelli; but Pavarottis rendition is so far superior as to not be comparable.
Here is the best version I could find of it on YouTube:
I had hoped to find a video of my personal favorite of his pieces, his rendition of "Adeste Fideles"; but none of the major video sharing site seems to have it
I have had the great pleasure of hearing Pavarotti live (in the late 80s, prior to the "three tenors" album making his concerts impossible to afford). I mourn his loss not only in human terms; but because now, no new person might say the same.
Please, take the time to go and find a GOOD recording of this mans great works. Even if you don't like opera, just put them on your stereo (and please, use a real stereo, your computer will almost certainly render the great voice as tinny noise) close your eyes, and be moved by the music.