Cielo e mar

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
Whatever affliction caused Rolando Villazón to withdraw from performances at the end of 2007, there's not a hint of vocal trouble on this outstanding recording, the tenor's first solo effort for the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label. All the usual Villazón trademarks are on display: the rich, dark tone that blossoms in the high range, the impassioned singing, the subtle and expressive phrasing. But what makes this CD a cut above a typical Villazón opera recital is the adventurous programming. Yes, the singer starts out with Ponchielli's "Cielo e mar" -- a tenor favorite since the days of Caruso -- finding hidden depth in the familiar melody. Yet the rest of the disc ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
Whatever affliction caused Rolando Villazón to withdraw from performances at the end of 2007, there's not a hint of vocal trouble on this outstanding recording, the tenor's first solo effort for the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label. All the usual Villazón trademarks are on display: the rich, dark tone that blossoms in the high range, the impassioned singing, the subtle and expressive phrasing. But what makes this CD a cut above a typical Villazón opera recital is the adventurous programming. Yes, the singer starts out with Ponchielli's "Cielo e mar" -- a tenor favorite since the days of Caruso -- finding hidden depth in the familiar melody. Yet the rest of the disc largely avoids the tried and true, unearthing beautiful rarities that attest to the breadth of the 19th-century Italian operatic tradition. If Giuseppi Pietri's "Io conosco un giardino" occasionally appears on tenor recitals, Antonio Carlos Gomez's "Intenditi con Dio" digs deep into unheralded repertory; and if "La dea di tutti i cor" from Saverio Mercadante's Il Giuramento rings few bells, Villazón finds the lyrical charm at its heart, revealing a seldom-heard link between Donizetti and Verdi. The selections from Boito's Mefistofele and Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur move closer to the tenor canon, and nothing is more central than Verdi, but even here Villazón skirts the overly familiar. The lovely Act Two aria and finale from Luisa Miller may remind us of Verdi's bel canto roots, yet it's the Simon Boccanegra scene that inspires Villazón's most ravishing performance of the disc. Not to be missed.
All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
The Romantic arias Rolando Villazón chose for his first solo recital on Deutsche Grammophon all come from operas he has never sung on-stage. Given the selection, that's not surprising, because there is some pretty obscure material here. The most familiar operas are Verdi's "Luisa Miller" and "Simon Boccanegra," Ponchielli's "La Gioconda," Cilea's "Adriana Lecouvreur," and Boito's "Mephistofele," none of them are exactly at the core of the contemporary repertoire. From there, Villazón reaches even further afield, to works by Mercadante, Pietri, Gomes, and obscure operas by Donizetti and Ponchielli. It's a pleasure to hear a recital devoted to rarities sung with such passion and conviction; it's clear Villazón is thrilled to have discovered these little known or virtually unknown arias and to offer them to modern audiences. The most familiar aria is the title track, "Cielo e Mar!" and with it Villazón sets the tone for the whole album: an intensely warm tone with the substance and richness of a lyric baritone, seamless legato, absolute technical security, and interpretive sensitivity to the variety of musical styles represented. The most familiar arias are, perhaps unsurprisingly, the musical highlights of the album, but some of the rarities are real finds; the cavatina "La dea di tutti I cor" from Mercadante's "Il Guiramento," "Ah! Sei tu fra gli angeli" from Gomes' "Fosca," and the scene from Donizetti's "Poliuto" stand out for their melodically memorable lyricicism, and all the Verdi excerpts display a sense of dramatic urgency and orchestrational sophistication that set them apart in a class by themselves. Baritone Gianluca Alfano, who fills in incidental solo parts in several of the scenes, is very weak and sounds out of place on an undertaking of the quality of this recital. Coro e Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, led by Daniele Callegari, provide a solid accompaniment, and the sound is clear, present, and well-balanced.
Gramophone - Patrick O'Connor
Villazón sings them all with admirable intensity, his diction is excellent, and he can float a pianissimo when necessary.... The aria from Boccanegra is one of the best things Villazón has done so far on disc.
Daily Telegraph - Richard Wigmore
In glorious voice, Villazón identifies ardently with each of these dreamy or distraught Romantic heroes.... He compels with his thrilling, darkly burnished tone, generous phrasing and care for legato and shading.
Toronto Star - John Terauds
The Mexican sensation, just turned 36, is, on this fabulous disc of soaring, lesser-known opera arias, at the peak of his form.

Villazón sings them all with admirable intensity, his diction is excellent, and he can float a pianissimo when necessary.... The aria from Boccanegra is one of the best things Villazón has done so far on disc.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/22/2008
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • UPC: 028947772248
  • Catalog Number: 001087102
  • Sales rank: 158,817

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 La Gioconda, opera in 4 acts: Act 2. Cielo e mar - Amilcare Ponchielli & Arrigo Boito (5:14)
  2. 2 Adriana Lecouvreur, opera: Act 1. La dolcissima effigie sorridente - Francesco Cilèa & Kenneth Chalmers (2:09)
  3. 3 Il Giuramento, opera: Act 1. La dea di tutti i cor! - Saverio Mercadante & Ute Fesquet (4:12)
  4. 4 Mefistofele, opera in prologue, 4 acts & epilogue: Act 1. Dai campi, dai prati - Arrigo Boito & Arrigo Boito (2:33)
  5. 5 Maristella, opera: Act 1. Io conosco un giardino - Giuseppe Pietri & Kenneth Chalmers (2:01)
  6. 6 Fosca, opera: Act 4. Intenditi con Dio! - Ah! Se tu sei fra gli - Carlos Gomes & Ute Fesquet (5:01)
  7. 7 Simon Boccanegra, opera: Act 2. Oh inferno! Amelia qui! - Sento avvampar ne - Giuseppe Verdi & Ute Fesquet (5:22)
  8. 8 Poliuto, opera: Act 2. Veleno è l'aura ch'io respiro! - Sfolgorò d - Gaetano Donizetti & Salvatore Cammarano (8:24)
  9. 9 Il Giuramento, opera: Act 2. Compita è omai - Fu celeste quel contento - Saverio Mercadante & Ute Fesquet (3:40)
  10. 10 Adriana Lecouvreur, opera: Act 2. L'anima ho stanca - Francesco Cilèa & Kenneth Chalmers (1:48)
  11. 11 Il Figliuol Prodigo, opera: Act 4. Il padre!... Il padre mio! - Tenda natal - Amilcare Ponchielli & Kenneth Chalmers (4:40)
  12. 12 Mefistofele, opera in prologue, 4 acts & epilogue: Epilogue: Giunto sul passo estremo - Arrigo Boito & Arrigo Boito (2:37)
  13. 13 Luisa Miller, opera: Act 2. Oh! fede negar potessi - Quando le sere al - Giuseppe Verdi & Salvatore Cammarano (5:35)
  14. 14 Luisa Miller, opera: Act 2. L'ara, o l'avello apprestami - Giuseppe Verdi & Salvatore Cammarano (3:17)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Rolando Villazón Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Rolando Villazon is a spectacular, and stirring tenor--whose capacity and style remind me of Luciano Pavarotti.

    Mr. Villazon is an extraordinary artist. Cielo e mar is shockingly beautiful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews