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Rolando Villazón , Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet , Antonio Pappano , Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera , Sophie Koch Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Price: $19.89 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 42 Songs, 1 Digital Booklet, 2012 $18.99  
Audio CD, 2012 $19.89  

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Rolando Sings Verdi: Homage to the Genius of Opera


“. . . a tenor of extraordinary talent and high intelligence . . . Villazón is a natural communicator as well as a profound musician . . .”
The Daily Telegraph (London), 4 January 2010
Rolando Villazón was born in Mexico City in 1972. In 1983 he entered the Espacios Academy for the Performing Arts, where ... Read more in Amazon's Rolando Villazon Store

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Product Details

  • Performer: Sophie Koch
  • Orchestra: Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera
  • Conductor: Antonio Pappano
  • Composer: Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet
  • Audio CD (April 3, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B006PDEI7C
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,321 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Prélude
2. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 1. Assez! Assez! M'écoutera-t-on cette fois?
3. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 1. Bravo pour les enfants!
4. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 1. Alors, c'est bien ici la maison du Bailli?... Ô Nature, pleine de grâce
5. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 1. Jésus vient de naître!
6. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 1. Arrivez donc, Brühlmann!... Ô spectacle idéal d'amour et d'innocence
7. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 1. Sophie! - Albert! Toi de retour!
8. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 1. Elle m'aime! Elle pense à moi! Quelle prière de reconnaissance et d'amour
9. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 1. Interlude orchestral. Clair de lune
10. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 1. Il faut nous séparer
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 3. Prélude
2. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 3. Werther! Werther! Qui m'aurait dit la place... Je vous écris
3. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 3. Des cris joyeux d'enfants
4. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 3. Bonjour, grande soeur! Je viens aux nouvelles
5. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 3. Va! Laisse couler mes larmes
6. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 3. Tiens, Charlotte, crois-moi, ne reste pas ici
7. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 3. Ah! mon courage m'abandonne!
8. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 3. Oui, c'est moi! Je reviens
9. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 3. Toute mon âmes est là! Pourquoi me réveiller, ô souffle du printemps?
10. Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Act 3. N'achevez pas! Hélas!
See all 17 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

From the Artist


The Bailiff's house. July 178 ...

A short prelude introduces the first act, which takes place at the home of Charlotte's widowed father, the Bailiff. Charlotte keeps house, being the eldest of eight children. The Bailiff is practising a Christmas carol with the little ones. His friends Schmidt and Johann look in, tease him a little for starting to rehearse carols in July, tell of the preparations for the great festive occasion in the next town, and remind the Bailiff that they will expect to see him later that evening at the inn. Sophie, Charlotte's younger sister, enters; they discuss Werther, a melancholy young man who is to escort Charlotte to the ball that evening, and Albert, her absent fiancé.

Werther comes in after the friends have gone, as does Charlotte, who has dressed for the ball; they set out together. The Bailiff strolls to the inn while Sophie remains alone. All is quiet again when Albert returns from his journey, earlier than expected. He converses with Sophie about his forthcoming marriage but asks her not to let anyone know he is back.

Werther returns from the ball with Charlotte by moonlight; they stop in front of the house and Werther, inspired by the romantic mood and feeling that his affection is reciprocated, declares his love for Charlotte. She too is unable to escape the enchantment which surrounds them both. At this point, the Bailiff arrives and, without seeing them, enters the house and announces that Albert is back. Werther thus learns that Charlotte is engaged and that she has sworn to her mother on her deathbed that she will give Albert her hand. The spell is broken; Charlotte enters the house while Werther cries in despair, "Another, her husband!"


At Wetzlar, September, the same year, a Sunday afternoon in autumn.

Schmidt and Johann are sitting outside the local inn and watching the villagers who have come to celebrate the pastor's golden wedding. Charlotte and Albert, who have been married for three months, are also amongst the guests, as too is Werther, who is anguished at the idea that Charlotte belongs to another. Albert, who thinks he knows the reason for Werther's despair, tries to console him by telling him he understands his torment. Sophie runs in happily, but Werther evades her invitation to dance; he wants to be near Charlotte, and when he sees her he is compelled to speak to her of his love. Charlotte rebuffs him and asks him - for the sake of her peace of mind - not to return until Christmas, then she leaves him alone. Sophie returns and invites him to join the party, but Werther flees precipitously.


Albert's house. Christmas Eve, 5 p.m.

Charlotte, alone at home, thinks of Werther and reads his letters, in which he broods over his desperate loneliness. She now admits to herself that, in spite of all her struggles to forget him, she still loves Werther as much as he loves her. Sophie tries to cheer Charlotte out of her dark mood and invites her to come home to her father and her brothers and sisters for the festivities. Suddenly Werther himself appears, pale and haggard. Together they evoke tender memories - reading Ossian and music-making. Noting the young woman's confusion, Werther realizes that she loves him and tries to kiss her. Charlotte fights against her passion and finally her sense of duty triumphs: she says farewell to Werther and goes out of the room. Werther leaves. A servant brings Albert a letter from Werther asking to borrow his pistols as he must go on a long journey. Albert forces Charlotte to hand over the weapons to the messenger. She does so, but when he leaves she takes her coat and rushes out of the house.


Werther's study. Christmas Eve.

Charlotte comes to Werther and finds him lying mortally wounded on the floor. In his despair Werther has shot himself. In the last minutes of his life he asks her to forgive him. She confesses her love to him - and while outside children are singing merry Christmas carols, Werther dies in Charlotte's arms.

Wulf Konold

Product Description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful "Werther" April 25, 2012
By Shelley
Format:Audio CD
I am delighted to say that this newly-released Deutsche Grammophon double CD is magnificent in every way. The audio quality is excellent, quite an achievement considering this is a live recording from Covent Garden and not a studio-produced effort. Likewise, the elevated standard of performance by orchestra and singers is sustained throughout. Under the baton of Antonio Pappano, the Royal Opera House Orchestra is just brilliant, and brings out every nuance of colour and contrast in Massenet's gorgeous score. I don't believe I have ever heard it played better. The Act 1 Prelude is just magic!

Werther - the romantic, tormented poet - is heartland territory for the superb Rolando Villazón. This performance in 2011 marked his full comeback to the opera stage after throat surgery, and what a triumph it was - despite the undoubtedly enormous pressure of having all critical eyes upon him. All the Villazón trademarks are there - joy, longing, despair - pouring through the golden voice that has lost none of its beauty or dexterity. In his hands, Werther becomes real. Just listen to the joy he radiates in the first aria "O Nature pleine de grace", contrasted with the second act's "Lorsque l'enfant" - a desperate cry for the help that never comes. And in the moment when he learns of Charlotte's betrothal, he just breaks my heart with the bleak sadness in his voice as he tells her to remain true to her promise.

The character of Charlotte has sometimes been described as "cold" - but this cannot be applied to Sophie Koch. She is a beautiful Charlotte, with a voice full of richness of tone and clarity. Torn between a dutiful life of stability and the romantic fantasy of poetic love - she makes her character sympathetic and believable.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rolando Villazón is Back! May 18, 2012
Format:Audio CD
For all those who feared the brilliant career of Rolando Villazón was to be terminated by his surgical experience that fear can be put aside after listening to this rather definitive live recoding of Massenet's beloved opera WERTHER. As performed in the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in May, 2011 with Antonio Pappano conducting the singers and the Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus this fine cast provides a WERTHER of dramatic intensity and glorious singing.

Villazón retains that appealing blend of utter sincerity and pure ham, and it found a fitting home in the role of the maudlin young poet. His voice is still thrilling but now he gives evidence of control, avoiding over-singing and the bursts of reckless bravado that marred his voice in the past. It seems the experience with the surgery has given him better insight as to how to manage his essentially lovely instrument.

Pappano and the Royal Opera House orchestra once again prove that when they are good they are very good indeed. He sails through the emotional undercurrents, allowing the music to ebb and swell. Sophie Koch offers her saintly best as the priggish and unsympathetic Charlotte, her voice is pure cream and full of exquisite phrasing, and the rest of the beautifully-matched cast includes Eri Nakamura as Sophie, Alain Vernhes as Le Bailli and Audun Iversen as Albert. But the star of the recording/performance is Rolando Villazón and he indeed proves that he remains one of the days leading tenors. Grady Harp, May 12
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excllent. February 13, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Wonderful performance. I enjoy it every time I listen to it. Tenor and soprano were very good. I recommend to every opera lover.
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