Cielo e mar

Cielo e mar

by Rolando VillazónRolando Villazón


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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/22/2008
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
UPC: 0028947772248
catalogNumber: 001087102


  1. La Gioconda, opera in 4 acts: Act 2. Cielo e mar
  2. Adriana Lecouvreur, opera: Act 1. La dolcissima effigie sorridente
  3. Il Giuramento, opera: Act 1. La dea di tutti i cor!
  4. Mefistofele, opera in prologue, 4 acts & epilogue: Act 1. Dai campi, dai prati
  5. Maristella, opera: Act 1. Io conosco un giardino
  6. Fosca, opera: Act 4. Intenditi con Dio! - Ah! Se tu sei fra gli
  7. Simon Boccanegra, opera: Act 2. Oh inferno! Amelia qui! - Sento avvampar ne
  8. Poliuto, opera: Act 2. Veleno è l'aura ch'io respiro! - Sfolgorò d
  9. Il Giuramento, opera: Act 2. Compita è omai - Fu celeste quel contento
  10. Adriana Lecouvreur, opera: Act 2. L'anima ho stanca
  11. Il Figliuol Prodigo, opera: Act 4. Il padre!... Il padre mio! - Tenda natal
  12. Mefistofele, opera in prologue, 4 acts & epilogue: Epilogue: Giunto sul passo estremo
  13. Luisa Miller, opera: Act 2. Oh! fede negar potessi - Quando le sere al
  14. Luisa Miller, opera: Act 2. L'ara, o l'avello apprestami

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