I start from the position of someone who has never been fond of crossover music. In the past I have found that the operatic voice bullies the lighter song and, in the process, does neither the voice nor the song any favours. So, when I bought this it was an experimental purchase, a punt. I have always enjoyed Villazón's voice and so got the cd because of his recording history.
This cd is like no other crossover project I've ever heard. Villazón has done what so many of his operatic peers fail to do: he has honoured the music he's singing and its idiom. Of course it's his voice (a sure guarantee of quality), vital, virile and full of his usual excitement... but his voice responds to the songs with elegance, imagination and (this is key to the success of La Strada) with touching restraint. Because of the quiet that he allows, the drama of the songs is real. (Of course, Villazón knows well how to do drama!) It's subtle, it's full of musicality and grace, and it works beautifully.
Stand out tracks: Windmills of Your Mind, Al otro lada del rio and A Piece of Sky. I think my favourite at present, though, is The Summer Knows.
I am an enthusiastic opera fan which is how I first discovered Rolando Villazon. Having heard/seen him perform several times on the opera stage I was to tell the truth disappointed when I first learned of this "crossover" CD as I love him singing opera so much. I need not have worried. This is quite simply a marvellous CD. The song choices are obviously very personal to Mr Villazon and wonderfully delivered. This is a very great artist at work. There is simply no dud track and his interpretation of Je ne regrette rien in particular is startlingly effective. I can wholeheartedly recommend this recording both to all fans of great singers and songs.
This guy is simply amazing, his talent, his energy, his voice! Before buying the CD I was desperately searching on the internet some preview of 'Non, je ne regrette rien' and I couldn't find. But ever since I listened to it for the first time, I couldn't stop. 'Piece of sky', 'Rainbow', 'She', 'Smile' are just simply unforgettable. It's rarely that I like something better than the original, but this guy, simply created another set of masterpieces from already golden hits of all times. IT"S A MUST for anybody!
As always Rolando Villazon delivers an album that is sensitive,beautiful and memorable. I love his song selection in its entirety but as 'Non, je ne regrette rien', holds very special memories for me as sung by Edith Piaf, I was concerned it may not have had the same impact. How wrong could I be, the arrangement is superb and Rolando gives an exquisite rendition, which gave me shivers up my spines The Cd has been played many times since I received it. The whole album was delivered with geniune feeling and marvellous voice control, throughout......creating the mood of each song as only he can! This album has a very special place in my collection of Rolando Villazon's music, whether it be Cd or DVD; opera, Zarzuela or crossover.
When I first heard about this album of songs from the movies it was going to be called 'Smile' but I think the title 'La Strada' after the academy award winning film from which the first song comes is inspired. This is an outstanding interpretation that becomes Art. We have enjoyed listening to music from many films that we well remember seeing in the cinema and on TV and are like milestones in our lives. It was a great joy to see Rolando Villazon appearing on the Royal Variety Performance singing 'Smile' a great favourite song of mine.
'When you wish upon a star' takes me back to the time when my daughter was a small child and 'The Rainbow Connection' brings back memories of our family visit to The Muppet Show.
Sung in Rolando's wonderful warm and expressive voice this is a collection of songs that has given us many hours of pleasure.
I was absolutely delighted with this CD, having seen Rolando on the TV and only heard him sing a couple of times I wasn't sure quite what to expect but this mans voice is amazing and I have fallen in love with his singing. To actually understand the words of the songs and the choice of songs on the CD are great and the range of his voice is something else again.