In March 2010, Rolando Villazón returned to the recording studio with a beautiful selection of “classic” Mexican songs. The album, which is being released in conjunction with major European and Mexican tours, ties in with two important Mexican anniversary celebrations: the Centennial of the Revolution and the Bicentennial of the Independence movement.
Rolando has chosen the true standards of Latin American music – international favorites like Granada, Noche de Ronda, Bésame mucho, Perfidia, Cielito lindo, México lindo e querido, Cucurrucucú paloma and Solamente una vez. But he is also taking a classical approach. All the songs have been newly arranged for chamber ensemble – some by the album’s producer, multi-talent Gonzalo Grau, who has recorded over 50 CDs in a diversity of styles and instruments, bridging the classical and popular music worlds.
This new album is positioned to build on the success of Rolando’s preceding album on DG (Handel) – which recorded the highest pop-chart entry in Germany – and his bestselling UK album (Tenor), which has sold more than 65,000 units within three months!
“The tone is set by the opening "Bésame Mucho", on which Villazón's florid delivery relishes every syllable; things are more restrained on songs such as "Comprendo" and "Noche De Ronda", while the timbale-driven "Veracruz" and standard "Perfidia" showcase the skills of the musicians, particularly the Bolívar Soloists.” The Independent, 27th August 2010 ***
“The variety of accompaniments is most refreshing, ranging from straight piano accompaniment to the liveliest of accompaniments involving all the instrumentalists, playing for all they are worth, relishing the Mexican dance rhythms with their elaborate syncopations.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2010
“Rolando Villazon himself sounds lovely and his voice communicates just the right note of cheesy passion the music demands” METRO, 3rd September 2010
“The basic sound of the instrument (dark in colour, unmistakably Latin), his musicianship and his stylistic instincts are all a few cuts above the “art” of, say, the Italian crooner Andrea Bocelli...The Bolivar Soloists, and mostly Latin American friends, lift this above run-of-the-mill crossover” Sunday Times, 12th September 2010 ***
“Villazón sings them all with passionate commitment” The Telegraph, 25th September 2010 ***
“The Bolivar Soloists play with subtlety, spice, cheeky elegance and a wide emotional palette” Classic FM Magazine, December 2010 **