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Classical

Italian Opera Arias, Maria Luigia Borsi, soprano, London Symphony Orchestra, Yves Abel, conductor (Naxos). Soprano Maria Luigia Borsi is no stranger to Buffalo. She was here 12 years ago, but was seen by thousands – in what is now First Niagara Center, where she performed with Andrea Bocelli. I called her “appealing and emotive” then, and I stick by my judgment, hearing this charming bargain collection of arias. Most of them are mainstream. There is Puccini’s obligatory “O Mio Babbino Caro” – Renee Fleming is going to sing that shortly at the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s season-opening gala – and “Ebben? Ne andro lontana,” from Catalani’s “La Wally.” A few others are happily a bit more off the beaten track, if not very far so: “Senza mamma” from Puccini’s “Suor Angelica,” for instance. I applaud the inclusion of Respighi’s “Il Tramonto” – it means “The Sunset,” and its mournful words come from Shelley. This is Borsi’s debut solo album. 3 stars (Mary Kunz Goldman)