I’m so sad to hear the news of the passing of dear George Martin. I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever. He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family. If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George. From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.
It’s hard to choose favourite memories of my time with George, there are so many but one that comes to mind was the time I brought the song ‘Yesterday’ to a recording session and the guys in the band suggested that I sang it solo and accompany myself on guitar. After I had done this George Martin said to me, “Paul I have an idea of putting a string quartet on the record”. I said, “Oh no George, we are a rock and roll band and I don’t think it’s a good idea”. With the gentle bedside manner of a great producer he said to me, “Let us try it and if it doesn’t work we won’t use it and we’ll go with your solo version”. I agreed to this and went round to his house the next day to work on the arrangement.
“Nel cor più non mi sento” is another standard from the beginning singer’s 24 Italian Songs and Arias. It was composed by Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816) for his opera La Molinara (1788). Paisiello is also known for his opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, which later was eclipsed by Rossini’s version.
Below is tenor Luciano Pavarotti singing “Nel cor più non mi sento” in October of 1989 with Leone Magiera on piano.
This version is sung by Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in a performance in Moscow in 1991.