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Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón has done it again. Here, on his third solo recital CD, he continues to impress; in fact, he gets better and better. He is a rarity: a subtle, intelligent tenor. Even when approaching a chestnut like “Amor ti vieta,” Villazón manages something special: he gives the aria’s final note a slight crescendo and diminuendo within the space of a second or two, and it adds a surge of passion that all the yelping in the world can’t compare with. Similarly, there is a remarkable, berserk smile in his voice at the start of Hoffmann’s “Kleinzach” ballad which becomes all the more memorable when he enters the darker, central passage of the narrative. “Recondita armonia” begins almost as a reverie; Turiddu’s Farewell has an honest aura of desperation. There is spontaneity in his singing; he brings vivid personality to each character he portrays. The “Ernani” aria is little known, and the cabaletta is particularly strenuous–an ideal showcase for a spinto tenor, rather than the lyric Villazon clearly is–but with his darkish tone and strong rhythmic sense, it is impossible to fault his performance. Villazón’s German is very clear but obviously newly learned and Mediterranean-tinged; his singing of the two Flotow arias, however, could not be sweeter or more right on. And the aria from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers is simply ravishing: he takes the opening phrases in one long, dolcissimo breath, sings with a dreamy legato, and switches up to the high Bs in an impeccable falsetto/voix mixte, as soft as a dove. Remarkable. –Robert Levine

Album Info

Label: ‎ Erato
Original Release Date: February 7, 2006
ASIN: ‎ B000BU996U