Cielo e Mar

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Boito,Cilea,Gomes,Mercadante,Pietri,Ponchielli,Verdi and Donizetti
LABELS: DG
WORKS: Arias by Ponchielli, Cilea, Mercadante, Boito, Pietri, Gomes, Verdi and Donizetti
PERFORMER: Rolando Villazón (tenor), Gianluca Alfano (baritone); Coro Sinfonico & Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Daniele Callegari
CATALOGUE NO: 477 7224

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This new CD of largely rare repertoire was recorded in March 2007, shortly before Rolando Villazón took a six-month break from public performance. It shows his voice in good shape. Weakest are the extracts from works he has not sung on stage because he fails to engage with their textual or musical detail. All are good performances, up to a point; some rise towards the ardent. But none shows a highly developed or truly individual response to what he is singing. The two extracts from Mercadante’s Il giuramento are fine examples of his neglected art, but Villazón’s approach to the recitative in the second is merely workmanlike. Ponchielli’s Prodigal Son aria is pleasant rather than memorable. The orchestral sound is clear throughout, if separated from the voice. George Hall