Gounod, Massenet: Arias

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
The "flavor of the month" tenor phenomenon is an aspect of the classical music industry that may have its detractors, but let's face it -- it's been around since Enrico Caruso finally agreed to have his voice recorded by Fred Gaisberg at the Grand Hotel in Milan on April 11, 1902. There is simply so much money to be made and, conversely, so many fans to please. The question is especially sententious as this is written, given the retirement, already secured in two cases and looming for the other, of the "big three" -- Pavarotti, Domingo, and Carreras. Just who is going to fill their shoes? Virgin Classics has done well to engage the services of outstanding Mexican tenor...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
The "flavor of the month" tenor phenomenon is an aspect of the classical music industry that may have its detractors, but let's face it -- it's been around since Enrico Caruso finally agreed to have his voice recorded by Fred Gaisberg at the Grand Hotel in Milan on April 11, 1902. There is simply so much money to be made and, conversely, so many fans to please. The question is especially sententious as this is written, given the retirement, already secured in two cases and looming for the other, of the "big three" -- Pavarotti, Domingo, and Carreras. Just who is going to fill their shoes? Virgin Classics has done well to engage the services of outstanding Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón, whose singing on Gounod -- Massenet: Arias eloquently demonstrates that he is up to the fulfillment of both requirements. We can be thankful to Virgin for not following up Villazón's obligatory first release, Italian Opera Arias, with another heaping helping of spaghetti. On Gounod -- Massenet: Arias Villazón is heard in some of the very fine solo arias that originate within the French Romantic tradition. Of course, Villazón's delivery and approach remain solidly Italian even in French literature, even down to incorporating a bit of the Caruso-like "sob" into his singing. Although his thorough assimilation of the tricky pronunciation of the French language is admirable, Charles Panzèra's he isn't. Nonetheless, Villazón provides plenty of drama, intensity, and variety to these proceedings -- his performance of "Oui, ce qu'elle, m'ordonne" from Gounod's "Werther" is particularly galvanizing, as Villazón begins softly, almost like speaking, and ultimately explodes at the words "Père! Père! Père je ne connais pas." It really gets your attention. Villazón's performance throughout Gounod -- Massenet: Arias is quite consistent, as is the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in its role as accompanist, guided steadily, and with heart, by conductor Evelino Pidò. If Rolando Villazón keeps making recordings as good as this one is, perhaps someday he will make audiences forget Pavarotti and Domingo in the same manner that they once made the world forget singers like Alfred Piccaver and Giacomo Lauri-Volpi.
Gramophone - Patrick O'Connor
Villazón has established himself as one of the most promising among the new generation of tenors.... Accompaniment, recording and presentation are first-rate.
Time Out New York - Marion Lignana Rosenberg
While Villazón set the bar perilously high with 2004's Italian Opera Arias, his dark, distinctive tone and superb command of French make this disc a more than worthy follow-up.... Handsome rarities from Massenet's Le Rage and Grisélidis round out the triumphant program.
Philadelphia Inquirer - David Patrick Stearns
Among singers entering the next-three-tenors sweepstakes, Mexican Rolando Villazón has raced to the head of the line over the last 18 months, and this second solo disc of arias proves why. As with his previous disc of arias, the voice is rock-solid (it's thrilling to hear high notes without the slightest labor); the tone has a dark, Latin quality; and his treatment of the words is emotionally committed, stylish and confiding.
Fanfare - Marc Mandel
Meets every possible expectation and then some.... Warning -- don't start listening to this disc too late at night; it will unquestionably keep you up beyond your normal bedtime.

While Villazón set the bar perilously high with 2004's Italian Opera Arias, his dark, distinctive tone and superb command of French make this disc a more than worthy follow-up.... Handsome rarities from Massenet's Le Rage and Grisélidis round out the triumphant program.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/25/2005
  • Label: Erato
  • UPC: 724354571923
  • Catalog Number: 45719
  • Sales rank: 180,966

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Le Cid, opera: Act 3. Air de Rodrigue. Ah! tout est bien fini ... - Jules Massenet & Alfred Blau (4:53)
    Composed byJules Massenet
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón
  2. 2 Manon, comic opera in 5 acts: Act 2. Rêve de Des Grieux. Enfin, Manon ... En fer - Jules Massenet & Myung-Whun Chung (4:45)
    Composed byJules Massenet
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byNatalie Dessay, Radio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón
  3. 3 Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 2. Air de Werther. Oui, ce qu'elle m'ordonne . - Jules Massenet & Joseph Allen (4:09)
    Composed byJules Massenet
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón
  4. 4 Roméo et Juliette, opera: Act 2. Cavatine de Roméo. L'amour! l'amour! Ah! lè - Charles Gounod & Joseph Allen (4:20)
    Composed byCharles Gounod
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón
  5. 5 Polyeucte, opera: Act 3. Air de Polyeucte. Source délicieuse - Charles Gounod & Michel Carré (4:36)
    Composed byCharles Gounod
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón
  6. 6 La reine de Saba, opera: Act 2. Air d'Adoniram. Faiblesse de la race humain - Charles Gounod & Michel Carré (5:11)
    Composed byCharles Gounod
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón
  7. 7 Le roi de Lahore, opera in 5 acts (3 versions): Act 4. Air d'Alim. Voix qui me remplissez d'une in - Jules Massenet & Myung-Whun Chung (4:10)
    Composed byJules Massenet
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón
  8. 8 Grisélidis, opera in 3 acts: Act 2. Air d'Alain. Je suis l'oiseau - Jules Massenet & Myung-Whun Chung (2:51)
    Composed byJules Massenet
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón
  9. 9 Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 3. Lied d'Ossian. Traduire ... Ah! bien souven - Jules Massenet & Joseph Allen (3:38)
    Composed byJules Massenet
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón
  10. 10 Mireille, opera: Act 5. Air de Vincent. Mon cœur est plein d'un noi - Charles Gounod & Michel Carré (3:33)
    Composed byCharles Gounod
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón
  11. 11 Roméo et Juliette, opera: Act 5. Air du tombeau. C'est là ... Salut, tombeau - Charles Gounod & Joseph Allen (6:02)
    Composed byCharles Gounod
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón
  12. 12 Faust, opera: Act 3. Cavatine de Faust. Quel trouble inconnu me - Charles Gounod & Michel Carré (6:04)
    Composed byCharles Gounod
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón
  13. 13 Manon, comic opera in 5 acts: Act 3. Air de Des Grieux. Je suis seul! Ah! fuyez, - Jules Massenet & Myung-Whun Chung (4:45)
    Composed byJules Massenet
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón
  14. 14 Roma, tragic opera in 5 acts: Act 3. Air de Lentulus. Je vais la voir! Tout mon - Jules Massenet & Myung-Whun Chung (4:33)
    Composed byJules Massenet
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón, Philip White, Radio France Chorus
  15. 15 Le mage, opera in 5 acts: Act 2. Air de Zarastra. Ah! parais! parais, astre - Jules Massenet & Myung-Whun Chung (3:40)
    Composed byJules Massenet
    Conducted byEvelino Pidò
    Performed byRadio France Orchestre Philharmonique, Evelino Pidò, Rolando Villazón, Philip White, Radio France Chorus
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Rolando Villazón Primary Artist
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