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on 25 February 2014
Solo albums of Mozart’s concert arias for tenor aren’t widely recorded as sopranos’.
Some notable ‘Mozart tenors’ did not met with an enviable plight since the legendary Fritz Wunderlich’s all too early demise at the age of 35 in 1966: in 2007 the American Mozart tenor par excellence Jerry Hadley died at the age of 55. Three years later Scottish born Austrian tenor John Dickie died aged barely 57. They did not record any complete album of Mozart concert arias, nor do eminent Mozart interpretors Francisco Araiza and Michael Schade. Indeed, not too many tenors chose to devote his major career to the works of Mozart after the days of Anton Dermota and Peter Schreier. Hence it is a real joy when Villazon himself claimed that the discovered a entirely new operatic world in Mozart.
Rolando’s new album on Mozart is about the most exciting vocal solo album since 2010, for the star tenor virtually found his ‘real stuff’ in this composer’s work. The timbre is as if tailor-made for these arias. Actually audience already got an early glimpse of this tenor’s glory in this composer’s operas when the live performances of ‘Don Giovanni’ and ‘Cosi fan tutte’ were released in the past two years.
Mozart’s Concert Arias are not really ‘popular’ works on discography as such, but they will soon become such, after Rolando’s terrific recording came out.
Villazon’s fully lyrical and flexible tenor voice finds such great affinity with Mozart’s musical lines that it is astounding – Mozart must have written the works for HIM! Both the recitatives and the arias are stylistically rendered, and even if one would wish for an even more ‘Rococo’ sort of refinement of delivery, there is little to fault really for Rolando shapes the phrases so elegantly that one used to his former ‘style’ would be utterly surprised.
Villazon’s Mozart has that quintessential element of ‘drama’. He is so emotionally alert and sensitive to every word, every phrase, every note, that there is simply no one single bland note, and blandness is, of course, the greatest deadly sin in Mozart. Nor does Villazon over-dramatizes. The drama is always well contained within the Viennese classical style, in the crystal-clear enunciations so the lyrics come out even in greater conviction. This is a jaw-dropping feat in Mozart interpretation that leaves one no choice but to admit that Villazon is born to sing Mozart! He has the timbre, the style, the temperament, the musicality…Really, nothing could be better.
Antonio Pappano’s LSO plays with great musicality and Mozartian style as well, and offers a perfect backdrop to Rolando’s great singing.
The only, and actually a minor, quibble is that in the final release of this wonderful recording, instead of the originally scheduled 7 tracks there are 12, which means that some scenes are being split up. The splits are not always a happy one, as for instance in tracks 5 and 6, on which Mozart marked a clear ‘attacca’ for the entry of the aria after the recitative.
Despite this minor technical flaw, this album is the best solo vocal album to come out in a decade.
Bravo, bravo, Rolando!
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on 11 January 2015
Amazing voice ,amazing choice of Arias and amazing interpretation. The passion in this man is extraordinary and his ability to give one a picture of what is happening in the aria without actually seeing him is perfect.
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on 10 March 2014
I had heard extracts from the live Don Giovanni and had enjoyed the teo major tenor arias. When I saw the advance notification of this release, I immediately put it into my wish list.

I was pleasantly surprised to find it delivered to my doorstep on the relesse date - a gift from my daughter.

I was not disappointed. It is not often we can get a whole CdOf Mozart, s Concert Arias. Rolando's interpretations are full of expression. The de luxe set also incles a bonus of extracts from both the live Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte.

Recommended
Ct
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on 26 February 2014
I have always been a huge Villazon fan and was looking forward to this release given how much I loved his Monteverdi. Unfortunately, this was most disappointing and disheartening. Villazon's voice is far from the best of health and he compensates by being very mannered in his singing, like the old 'buffo' singers of yester-year. I can find nothing to recommend about this recording and, to be honest, I can hardly believe it was allowed to be released.
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on 15 April 2014
I got this for a dear friend as part of his 80th birthday and he loved it. He said Rolando Villazon's style in these Mozart pieces
was superbly sensitive and lively and brilliantly sung.
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on 8 March 2015
Truly wonderful an amazing voice here at its very best.
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on 22 March 2014
Good voice, if rather an unusual selection on offer in the recording. Will make a useful addition to my collection
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on 4 October 2014
excellent
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on 1 April 2014
Rather slow in arriving but not a real problem.
Would recommend it to all Mozart fans and also fans of Rolando Villazon - currently my favourite tenor.
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