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Gounod & Massenet: Arias
 
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Gounod & Massenet: Arias

28 Nov. 2005 | Format: MP3

£8.19 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for £5.93 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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30
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4:53
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4:45
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4:09
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4:20
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4:36
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4:10
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2:51
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3:33
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6:02
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6:04
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4:44
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4:33
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3:40
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 14 Feb. 2005
  • Release Date: 28 Nov. 2005
  • Label: Virgin Classics
  • Copyright: (C) 2005 EMI Records Ltd. / Virgin Classics
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:07:08
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001J2CZ74
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,250 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 27 Oct. 2005
Format: Audio CD
In March 2004 I entitled my Amazon review of Rolando Villazón's CD of Italian arias, 'Is he the one?', meaning is he the Italianate tenor we've been waiting for, the one to fill the shoes of Domingo and Pavarotti? I was tentatively positive that he was. Well, boys and girls, this CD of arias by Massenet and Gounod confirms it as far as I'm concerned. Indeed, he sounds better here than he did in the earlier recording. Further, although I have not heard him in person I have been assured by several operaphiles who have heard him -- some of them traveling some distance to have the opportunity -- that he is indeed the genuine article. I only hope that I can catch a live performance of Villazón's soon. I think he's that good.
As to the material he sings here, it is splendid for another reason, and that is that it isn't the hackneyed and trite tunes we all have heard a jillion times. Here we have some rare but lovely arias by two of the greatest French opera composers. Just listen to the heroic glint in Villazón's voice as he winds up 'Voix qui me remplissez d'une ineffable ivresse' from Massenet's 'Le roi de Lahore.' I found myself harking back to the glorious singing of Georges Thill, the fabled tenor vraiment français. Villazón is not yet another in the seemingly endless chain of tenorinos we've had foisted upon us in the post-Domingo/Pavarotti era. He's got heft, metal, gleam in the voice. The higher he sings the brighter the sound, precisely the sort of the thing that makes for exciting tenorial frisson.
Making it all the more worthwhile is Villazón's obvious intelligence and taste. He seems to be living the words, not merely singing them. His phrasing is subtle and stylistically apt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 4 May 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I thought I'd re-visit this recital album, given that this was recorded almost exactly ten years ago and the time elapsed since has been eventful for its singer.

I heard Villazón sing Verdi's Duke live and was certainly impressed, although the temptation to over-sing in big houses was already there and the ravages incipiently apparent. This combined with Villazón's naturally (over-?) exuberant personality - in his recent TV documentary on performing authentically the last scene of "Don Giovanni" in Prague he could barely stop prattling long enough to allow any other interviewee to get a word in - perhaps made a fateful combination and sure enough, he ran into difficulties, underwent an operation and an enforced period of resting his voice. He has since happily re-emerged, re-incarnated as a Mozart tenor. For some, the jury is still out on that but I love his Don Ottavio in the otherwise indifferent "Don Giovanni" for Nézet-Séguin and he is contracted with DG to record a total seven Mozart operas with that conductor, so clearly he has set his course and I wish him well.

On the evidence of his singing of the lyric French repertoire here, he could and should have easily have kept to this Fach. The smoky, slightly grainy and Latinate colouring of his beautiful tenor fits the music like a glove and his French his excellent. His Massenet heroes are ideal; aria after aria is sung with just the right pathos and plangency and although nothing is over-stated, he rises nobly to the moments of passion. Perhaps because I am less enamoured of Gounod's music generally, I favour the Massenet tracks but the tenderness of his phrasing suits Gounod's sentimentality and melodiousness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Elaine Taylor on 8 Jun. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a lovely album of popular French arias and as usual, Rolando does justice to whatever he sings. Whether you are a fan of his or not, buy this album because you will not be disappointed
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By A. R. Teesdale on 20 Oct. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A great voice with passion
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 32 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Yes, He IS the One! 27 Oct. 2005
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In March 2004 I entitled my Amazon review of Rolando Villazón's CD of Italian arias, 'Is he the one?', meaning is he the Italianate tenor we've been waiting for, the one to fill the shoes of Domingo and Pavarotti? I was tentatively positive that he was. Well, boys and girls, this CD of arias by Massenet and Gounod confirms it as far as I'm concerned. Indeed, he sounds better here than he did in the earlier recording. Further, although I have not heard him in person I have been assured by several operaphiles who have heard him -- some of them traveling some distance to have the opportunity -- that he is indeed the genuine article. I only hope that I can catch a live performance of Villazón's soon. I think he's that good.

As to the material he sings here, it is splendid for another reason, and that is that it isn't the hackneyed and trite tunes we all have heard a jillion times. Here we have some rare but lovely arias by two of the greatest French opera composers. Just listen to the heroic glint in Villazón's voice as he winds up 'Voix qui me remplissez d'une ineffable ivresse' from Massenet's 'Le roi de Lahore.' I found myself harking back to the glorious singing of Georges Thill, the fabled tenor vraiment français. Villazón is not yet another in the seemingly endless chain of tenorinos we've had foisted upon us in the post-Domingo/Pavarotti era. He's got heft, metal, gleam in the voice. The higher he sings the brighter the sound, precisely the sort of the thing that makes for exciting tenorial frisson.

Making it all the more worthwhile is Villazón's obvious intelligence and taste. He seems to be living the words, not merely singing them. His phrasing is subtle and stylistically apt. He even uses a credible voix mixte, as any tenor singing French opera should.

Any operaphiles interested in grand singing by a tenor with an innnately beautiful voice handled with style and excitement should treat themselves to this disc. And investigate when Villazón might be singing anywhere near them. As I said before, he's that good.

Scott Morrison
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I wish him all the best. Opera fans: you must have this CD 28 July 2005
By Alejandro J. Moreno Hd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have the pleasure to know Rolando Villazón in person, we used to take singing lessons together back in Mexico with Maestro Enrique Jaso some years ago and have always liked his approach to music.

I like better this one rather than his italian arias recital cd, I think he did a good work selecting the repertoire in this french opera recital. He is improving as time goes by and I think passion would describe fairly what he is doing and this album is an evidence of it.

I think Rolando has always shown this gift of easily connecting with the public plus he is a very talented and smart person as well. He learns fast and moreover he knows music and that is noticeable in his phrasing and overall musicality.

Marcello Vioti does a good conducting work for Rolando in this french album too, they really make music together... energy and sinergy!

He is so young and he has already sang in the best opera houses around the world, and as I said he is improving everyday so THIS IS THE NEW OPERA STAR to follow in the coming years.

I wish him all the best in his career and certainly hope the fame doesn't elevate his ego too much, as it happens many times.

Finally, his diction and pronunciation is very good... I would only have an issue with his letter "i", which sometimes seem to be out of place and they tend to go to the throat.

Thx for taking the time to read this words.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Bean sings? 5 Jan. 2006
By D. Macdonald - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A friend lent me Villazon's debut album as an introduction to the man. I loved it - but this is the one I have bought. If, like me, you have tired of the comparisons between Villazon and others (esp Domingo) fear not, this artist is an original. I must confess that on seeing the cover I wondered if Brit comedian Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean / Black Adder - now there's a new comarison!) had strayed into the wrong studio, but a few tracks into either disc and you'll know you're listening to the real thing. True, he has baritonish notes in the lower register, and an easy reach for the upper notes but I honestly have not heard anyone quite like him before. His is a warm voice with an early maturity that should ensure he has a long career ahead of him. His diction is excellent, without the staccato enunciation or lack of French interpretation abilities that mar lesser singers' performances. Such vocal ease makes the sung word seem as natural as the spoken word is to us lesser mortals. That his song selection moves away from the 'usual suspects' of the tenor repertoire is to his great advantage; he knows what suits him and he brings each piece to new life. The overly familiar tracks of which there are thankfully few serve only to highlight through comparison to those we know Villazon's unique timbre and interpretation. This collection includes inspired music choices, incomparable renditions, marvellous orchestration and leaves the listener keenly anticipating his next release. The recording and production are impeccable (worth ***** in their category). It does not get much better than that. Atkinson may make you laugh (or not) - Villazon will make you smile and keep you feeling that way.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Riveting performances 27 Oct. 2005
By Subterranean - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Rolando Villazon has a face of a comedian, and with these crazy eyebrows, it seems that he would be good fit for roles in opera buffa. But once you see him on stage in dramatic roles, it's absolutely clear why he is such a rising star. His charisma is off the charts, he more than holds his own against his formidable co-stars like Anna Netrebko, and he has the vocal goods to spare.

What a great voice, baritonal in coloring but powerful and bright, and incredibly expressive. And in these French arias he also shows that he is very sensitive to nuances of text, able to use subtle touches to make it come alive. Fabulous Nathalie Dessay is a great match for him in Massenet arias, but I especially liked Gounod pieces. There is no weak entry here, all arias are standouts- this young man likes to go for broke, and I can never imagine him phoning in his performance.

If you have any interest in French repertoire, great tenor voice or simply great singing, you should get this album.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A sure winner here! 2 Mar. 2005
By OperaOnline.us - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
For a tenor, selection is everything if he wants to avoid monotony, or worse, the kind of shrillness that can sometimes emanate from a voice suited for an opera hall but ill-suited for a CD recording. Select the wrong songs and the listening experience can be a chore for all but the most devoted. Chose wisely, and the beauty of the voice, in this case the voice of Roland Villazon, accompanied by the rich, even delivery of the Orchestre Philharmonique De Radio France, Evelin Pido conducting, can actually elicit awe. Hold onto your seats, dear reader, because Virgin Records has broken through the sound barrier with this latest release from Rolando Villazon, comprised of Gounod and Massenet arias that will seduce and soothe and inspire the listener throughout. Mr. Villazon's delivery is so filled with passion and clarity that the listener will be literally spellbound from the first to last offering. Combine great voice, full, thoughtful orchestration and wonderful thematically continuous selections and you have a winner CD, which this surely is. In the production notes it says that Mr. Villazon chose Massenet and Gounod for a reason: he wanted to sing beautiful, sensuous, erotic music that captured the best of Gounod's "bel canto" and Massenet's "verismo" styles. Mission has been accomplished, big time! This CD will be a huge success for Mr. Villazon because it demonstrates good choice in the selection of arias offered, matched by a voice that is truly at its best and in its most comfortable element in this range, period and style. Indeed, unlike much of French opera, there is little frivolousness here. Rather, what comes through is a CD filled with serious, smoldering, passionate music that will carry the listener along in a stream of evocative waves that lift and gently move one along from one continuous melodic passage to another, barely able to discern movement between composers or styles, except for that brief pause that separate one song from the next. This is a good "mood" CD that contains fifteen arias you will want to listen to often. It gets a "Big Time" recommendation from this reviewer. Listen for a brief appearance from Natalie Dessay in cut 2 and some nice work from the Choeur de Radio France in cuts 14 and 15. I recommend it.
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