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Gounod, Massenet: Arias / Rolando Villazón


Release Date: 01/25/2005 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 45719   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Charles GounodJules Massenet
Performer:  Rolando Villazón
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Complete review from the Gramophone magazine

'Of all the young tenors who have stepped into the limelight recently, Rolando Villazón is the one who has captured my heart with his fabulous voice, his charm and his evident sincerity' - Tara Palmer Tomkinson

Who said that there has always been a certain antipathy in the British musical establishment towards 'Italian' tenors and that it was therefore no surprise that none of the four 'Italian' tenors in the final six was chosen for last year's Vocal Award (see Awards issue 2004, page 21)? Yes, well. One of those four 'Italian' tenors was Rolando Villazón (from Mexico), and here he is as winner of the Vocal Award 2005.
Read more /> Perhaps it helped that the repertoire is French. And indeed the programme itself does deserve a share of the credit. Gounod and Massenet have not exactly been favourites of the musical establishment either, but their stock is rising and we note gratefully that several of the arias heard here are relatively unhackneyed. Moreover, they turn out to be not merely rare, but good. Massenet in particular does well, with excerpts from Le roi de Lahore, Grisélidis and Roma proving their worth, and the Grand Tune from Le mage bidding to be the new 'Nessun dorma'.

But the main honour of the award undoubtedly belongs to Villazón himself. This is a voice of exceptional quality, used excitingly and with taste and skill. There is fluidity in his singing which enables him to move gracefully, his phrases finely shaded, the gradations of his tone subtle and perfectly integrated in a unified voice-production. He is school-of-Domingo to the extent that the rich timbre bears some natural affinity, and various stylistic points bear witness to the influence (the phrasing of 'O souverain', for example). He has also mastered the art, very much a feature of Domingo's singing (as of Caruso's), of unsheathing a bright-edged, thrusting tone on high notes. And he means what he sings. From the first, in the recitative to that aria from Le Cid there is dedication in his voice. In the famous 'Inspirez-moi' from Gounod's La reine de Saba his declamation builds phrase by phrase and he feels the impulse of the melody. This is an 'Italian' tenor in the grand line, bringing a refinement of his own, and the prize is well awarded.

John Steane, GRAMOPHONE

Also Available - Rolando Villazón's Italian Arias
"The somewhat dark-hued-but-lyric voice has an innate intensity and beauty that is just the icing on an otherwise splendid cake. He delineates character and sings with a type of "morbidezza" not heard since Carlo Bergonzi, and his training must be impeccable..." - Robert Levine, ClassicsToday


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Works on This Recording

1. Faust: Salut! demeure chaste et pure by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 6 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Quel trouble inconnu me pénčtre..." 
2. Roméo et Juliette: Ah! lčve-toi, soleil by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "L'amour, l'amour..." 
3. Roméo et Juliette: Salut, tombeau sombre et silencieux! by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 6 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: French 
4. La reine de Saba: Inspirez-moi, race divine by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 5 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: French 
5. Polyeucte: Source délicieuse by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1864; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: French 
6. Mireille: Anges du paradis by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1864; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Mon coeur est plein d'un noi soucis..." 
7. Manon: Instant charmant...En fermant les yeux "Dream of des Grieux" by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Enfin Manon, nous voilŕ enfin seuls ensemble..." 
8. Manon: Ah! fuyez, douce image by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Je suis seul, seul enfin..." 
9. Werther: Lorsque l'enfant revient d'un voyage by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Oui ce qu'elle m'ordonne..." 
10. Werther: Pourquoi me réveiller? by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 3 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Traduire!..." 
11. Le Cid: O Souverain, ô juge, ô pčre by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Ah! Tout est bien fini..." 
12. Le roi de Lahore: Voix qui me remplissez d'une ineffable ivresse by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: French 
13. Grisélidis: Je suis l'oiseau by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: French 
14. Roma: Je vais la voir! Tout mon ętre frémit by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1912 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: French 
15. Le mage: Ah! Parais! by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1891; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2004 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris 
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: French 

Sound Samples

Le Cid, Act 3: Ah! Tout est bien fini...Ô souverain
Manon, Act 2: Enfin Manon nous voilŕ seuls ensemble...En fermant les yeux
Werther, Deuxičme Acte: Oui, ce qu'elle m'ordonne...Lorsque l'enfant revient (Werther)
Roméo et Juliette, ACT TWO: L'amour! l'amour!...Ah! Leve-toi soleil!
Polyeucte, Act 3: Source délicieuse
La Reine de Saba, Act 2: Faiblesse de la race humaine
Le Roi de Lahore, Act 4: Voix qui me remplissez d'une ineffable ivresse
Grisélidis, Act 2: Je suis l'oiseau que le frisson d'hiver
Werther, Act 3: Traduire! Ah! Bien souvent mon ręve s'envole...Pourquoi me réveiller
Mireille: Mon coeur est plein d'un noir souci...Anges du paradis (Act 5)
Roméo et Juliette Op. 17, ACT V: C'est la!...Salut! tombeau! sombre et silencieux!
Faust, TROISIČME ACTE: Quel trouble inconnu me pénčtre! ... Salut! Demeure chaste et pure (Faust)
Manon, Acte 3, Tableau 2: Le parloir de Séminaire de Saint Sulpice: Je suis seul! ... Ah! fuyez, douce image (Des Grieux)
Roma, Act 3: Je vais la voir! Tout mon ętre frémit de tendresse et d'espoir
Le Mage, Act 2: Ah! Parais! Parais, astre de mon ciel

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