Album review: Rolando Villazón, Villazón Sings Verdi (Virgin Classics)


Someone's in a hurry: mere days into the Verdi bicentennial, and already Rolando Villazón has two Verdi compilations in the record racks – although this slim anthology of just nine arias offers little competition to Deutsche Grammophon's recent collection, with its Berio orchestrations and intriguing song choices.

That said, Villazón's fiery, temperamental vocal character is particularly well suited to Verdi's heroes, and he delivers "La Donna è Mobile" with every ounce of the Duke's disdainful promiscuity on bulging display. Elsewhere, "Lunge da Lei" finds him inhabiting with relish La Traviata's Alfredo, while "Forse la Soglia Attinse" from Un Ballo in Maschera likewise features an especially impassioned, soulful involvement with the character.

Download: La Donna è Mobile; Forse la Soglia Attinse; Lunge da Lei