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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released August 2, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s saga on Mozart for Deutsche Grammophon continues: after The Clemency of Titus in 2018, it’s now time for The Magic Flute to pass under the Quebecois’ baton at the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden. His direction breathes life into all the magic that is required for such a fairy-tale, Mozart’s final opera, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe successfully communicates the opera’s majesty and depth, as heard in the radiant “Priest’s March”. When it comes to the singers, Christiane Karg is captivating in the role of Pamina, and Klaus Florian Vogt – who’s tonality is explosive here – embodies an innocent Tamino that is consistently dazzling. Rolando Villazón, Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s faithful companion in this Mozartian adventure (he has been present since the beginning of the recording of Don Giovanni), takes on the role of the bird catcher Papageno, written for a baritone voice; the former tenor is convincingly at one with the character’s personality. What’s more, despite their unequal distribution, the singers seem to be at home with this extraordinary singspiel. The orchestra whets our appetite with their clear love for playing together and invites us to dive once more into the discography of such a luxurious and dramatic work that is both humorous and spectacular. Nézet-Séguin’s orchestration is tight and the variation in the writing is that of a phenomenal musician. One thinks of Strauss’ Rosenkaalier for the sensual intermingling of voices in the final trio. The Magic Flute is almost masonic as the development of its spiritual storyline is akin to an initiation. Its enchanting atmosphere is typical to the German composer, much like the later Oberon by Weber. © Elsa Siffert/Qobuz
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Full Operas - Released July 6, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Recorded in July 2017 in the sumptuous Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, this La clemenza di Tito follows albums which had come out previously in the Mozart series with Nézet-Séguin, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and tenor Rolando Villazón, who is the only singer to appear in all these productions. It should go without saying that the music is extremely finely-chiselled: none of the singers take the slightest liberty with either the score or the style – there are no unruly Italianisms like glissandos, individual showing off, clownish high-Cs, parasitic ornamentations, warbling, trilling, sobbing – which means that we are left with one of the purest and finest performances of this work. Note that this was Mozart's final opera, first performed just two months before he passed away; and that the recitatives were written by the faithful Sussmayr, who would go on to "complete" the Requiem. In the same period Mozart was also putting the final touches to his Magic flute and only had a few weeks to finish the work; and yet, what perfection in the arias, ensembles and choruses! And that in spite of the fact that the subject probably was not a source of tremendous interest to the composer, especially since his explosive collaboration with Da Ponte. But when given a performance like this, the work absolutely passes with flying colours. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 17, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
With Deutsche Grammophon's 2019 compilation Mozartissimo, Rolando Villazón emerges from behind the characters he has portrayed on the operatic stage in selections that offer a more personal portrait of the singer and his relationship with Mozart, his second such collection since 2014's Mozart: Concert Arias. Villazón has portrayed Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, Tito in La clemenza di Tito, and one of his favorite roles, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte -- all distinct personas that require creativity and versatility to distinguish them. While Villazón has invested much as a Mozart tenor, appearing in numerous productions since his recovery from vocal surgery in 2009, and in recordings of the operas for DG, here the selections are less involved with characterization or dramatic action than with a more purely musical offering, emphasizing Villazón's vocal tone and technique. Accompanied on most tracks by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, with whom Villazón has recorded Mozart's major operas for DG, and by Antonio Pappano in a handful of concert arias taken from the 2014 release, Villazón is given a well-rounded presentation that a single role by itself couldn't accomplish, and shows nearly a decade of his commitment to Mozart, more than any other composer in his portfolio. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 2, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released November 12, 2007 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released November 16, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released October 2, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released September 22, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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The male-male operatic duet album is certainly less common than the male-female variety, already sizzlingly explored by Rolando Villazón and Anna Netrebko at the height of what was rumored to be a liaison between them. But it has certain advantages: even in the group of Donizetti duets included on the program here, the pieces tend to be slices of the drama rather than set pieces. Villazón and bass Ildar Abdrazakov effectively inhabit these pieces, going beyond vocal heroics. A related attraction in a program like this is the importance of the orchestra, which has to do more than stay out of the way of the singers. The impetus for the project is said to have been Villazón's admiration for the Western hemisphere's conducting star of the moment, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and his Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal. Sample one of the comparatively rare duets from Boito's Mefistofele for a taste of the energy Nézet-Séguin brings throughout. The album's fun conclusion, with duet arrangements of a favorite of each of the singers (one Mexican, one Russian), is also notable, along with state-of-the-art operatic orchestral work. Recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 6, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released February 2, 2007 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released February 10, 2004 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released February 14, 2005 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Appearing on the verge of the bicentennial celebration of Giuseppe Verdi's birth, Rolando Villazón's 2012 collection of opera arias and vocal selections is a fitting tribute that also serves as a practical introduction to the composer's music for tenor. Villazón owes a great deal to Verdi, since his performances in La Traviata, Rigoletto, and Don Carlo helped launch his career, though his return to singing after recovering from throat surgery is itself a worthy cause for celebrating with this special appreciation of Verdi's music. Villazón's voice is clear and strong, with no signs of uncertainty or strain, and his expressions of ardor and intensity are balanced by smooth phrasing and subtle charm. Backed by the Orchestra Teatro Regio Torino, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, Villazón presents a varied program that spans the years between 1838 and 1893, from "Ciel, che feci!...Ciel pietoso," from Verdi's first opera, Oberto, to "Dal labbro il canto estasiato vola," excerpted from Falstaff, the final masterpiece. Anyone who is looking for an appealing program of Verdi should try this album, because the music is immediately accessible and Villazón's delivery is warm and inviting. Deutsche Grammophon's spacious and vibrant reproduction is first-rate, so Villazón is always at the forefront, while the orchestra has presence without intruding on his singing. © TiVo
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Classical - Released August 2, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
This 2019 recording was the sixth in the series of Mozart operas undertaken by tenor Rolando Villazón and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, a hot property in the operatic world at the time. It has sold well out of the gate. Perhaps this is because Die Zauberflöte, even more than other Mozart operas, was ripe for a fresh interpretation. It gets one in this production from the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, with Villazón taking for himself not the tenor role of Tamino, which you might expect, but that of the comic-romantic, usually baritone Papageno. It works here because it fits with Nézet-Séguin's overall conception of the work. You might divide recordings and performances of Die Zauberflöte into two groups: those that treat the opera as a small, semi-popular work, and those that take it at full scale. Nézet-Séguin decides he can have it all, and he pulls it off. Much of the opera is light and delicately funny, and Villazón adapts well to this. He avoids a cutesy sound throughout, and he isn't challenged in his lower register simply because Nézet-Séguin is not asking for a lot of volume. Klaus Florian Vogt's Tamino is similarly restrained. But when Mozart calls for a big sound, Nézet-Séguin is not afraid to draw the contrast. The Queen of the Night, Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova, offers an unusually muscular "Der Hölle Rache," avoiding any trace of squeakiness, and the scenes with Sarastro and his royal entourage are given full sonic splendor. The overall effect is an alternation between low comedy and spectacle, and this may have been very close to what Mozart and Schikaneder had in mind. The rest of the cast, mostly German, is uniformly strong, and this is a highly recommended Zauberflöte all in all. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2008 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

The Romantic arias Rolando Villazón chose for his first solo recital on Deutsche Grammophon all come from operas he has never sung on-stage. Given the selection, that's not surprising, because there is some pretty obscure material here. The most familiar operas are Verdi's Luisa Miller and Simon Boccanegra, Ponchielli's La Gioconda, Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur, and Boito's Mephistofele, none of them are exactly at the core of the contemporary repertoire. From there, Villazón reaches even further afield, to works by Mercadante, Pietri, Gomes, and obscure operas by Donizetti and Ponchielli. It's a pleasure to hear a recital devoted to rarities sung with such passion and conviction; it's clear Villazón is thrilled to have discovered these little known or virtually unknown arias and to offer them to modern audiences. The most familiar aria is the title track, Cielo e Mar! and with it Villazón sets the tone for the whole album: an intensely warm tone with the substance and richness of a lyric baritone, seamless legato, absolute technical security, and interpretive sensitivity to the variety of musical styles represented. The most familiar arias are, perhaps unsurprisingly, the musical highlights of the album, but some of the rarities are real finds; the cavatina "La dea di tutti I cor" from Mercadante's Il Guiramento, "Ah! Sei tu fra gli angeli" from Gomes' Fosca, and the scene from Donizetti's Poliuto stand out for their melodically memorable lyricicism, and all the Verdi excerpts display a sense of dramatic urgency and orchestrational sophistication that set them apart in a class by themselves. Baritone Gianluca Alfano, who fills in incidental solo parts in several of the scenes, is very weak and sounds out of place on an undertaking of the quality of this recital. Coro e Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, led by Daniele Callegari, provide a solid accompaniment, and the sound is clear, present, and well-balanced. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 22, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
The male-male operatic duet album is certainly less common than the male-female variety, already sizzlingly explored by Rolando Villazón and Anna Netrebko at the height of what was rumored to be a liaison between them. But it has certain advantages: even in the group of Donizetti duets included on the program here, the pieces tend to be slices of the drama rather than set pieces. Villazón and bass Ildar Abdrazakov effectively inhabit these pieces, going beyond vocal heroics. A related attraction in a program like this is the importance of the orchestra, which has to do more than stay out of the way of the singers. The impetus for the project is said to have been Villazón's admiration for the Western hemisphere's conducting star of the moment, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and his Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal. Sample one of the comparatively rare duets from Boito's Mefistofele for a taste of the energy Nézet-Séguin brings throughout. The album's fun conclusion, with duet arrangements of a favorite of each of the singers (one Mexican, one Russian), is also notable, along with state-of-the-art operatic orchestral work. Recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 15, 2012 | Warner Classics

Mexican-French tenor Rolando Villazón has become one of the leading candidates to supplant the Three Tenors in the public's affection, and it is no surprise that his recordings of Verdi have been readied for the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth in 2013. He has a confident, tuneful way in higher registers that is very well suited to Verdi indeed. This compilation includes well-worn Verdi tunes recorded by Villazón in the mid-2000s decade, before vocal surgery sidelined him for a long recovery. The opening version of the most-worn Verdi tune of all, "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto, gives a good accounting of Villazón's personality and his ability to bring a smooth tone to a series of very high notes. Other highlights include the concluding "Ingemisco" movement from Verdi's Missa da Requiem, a piece that doesn't show up often in operatic compilations. If your aim is a pleasing interlude of music that will introduce you to one of today's top vocal talents, this will do the job. This said, it clocks in well under 40 minutes, strangely short for a release in the digital era, and it could have been improved and given greater depth in any number of ways. Virgin Classics has been able to fuse several recordings from different locations into a reasonably coherent sonic whole. © TiVo
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Classical - Released November 16, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released June 19, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)