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Pavarotti’s “Adeste Fideles” still stops us in our tracks

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It takes a big voice to sing this big hymn.

It has been 11 years since the world lost one of the greatest tenors ever to have lived, yet his music still leaves our jaws firmly on the floor. Luciano Pavarotti’s effortless technique and brilliant timbre sold over 100 million records, and no Christmas song better shows off his pipes than “Adeste Fideles,” or as it’s known in English, “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”

This recording comes from 1978, during a Christmas concert at Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal. The video opens to a shot of the massive altar with its beautiful ornamentation and majestic ceilings. Note that Pavarotti’s voice fills the church without a microphone. Imagine how strong a voice must be not only to fill a hall that large, but also to pierce through an entire orchestra without the aid of technology.

His tenor voice soared with rare agility. Lithe yet powerful, Pavarotti could literally sing anything. Why not take a break from your Christmas duties and spend three glorious minutes marveling at the gift with which God blessed the greatest of the Three Tenors.

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