MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

 58,771 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing from

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901)
La mia letizia infondere
Héctor Sandoval (tenor)
Philharmonie Baden-Baden/Pavel Baleff
No recording data given.
Texts not included.
Reviewed as downloaded from press preview
GRAMOLA 99233 [52:30]

Mexican tenor Héctor Sandoval has appeared in many of the big opera houses in Europe and the Americas and is represented on a couple of DVDs, but this is his first solo recital. On the surface of it, it seems to be just another recital with the old war-horses, but on closer scrutiny we find that there is no La donna e mobile, no Celeste Aïda, no Di quella pira or any of the arias we expect. The excerpts from Verdi’s mature operas are also relative rarities, from Don Carlo and Simon Boccanegra; even the aria from Un ballo in Maschera is not the expected one but Verdi’s original version from what was titled Gustav III, the work that never passed the censorship in first Naples and then Rome. The rest of the arias are from his so called “galley years”, so full marks for the programming. The best-known aria is probably Quando le sere al placido from Luisa Miller.

He opens with the tenor aria from the early I Lombardi, La mia Letizia infondere. It is a fine vehicle for a good lirico-spinto, and he certainly has the squillo required. But he is also willing to scale down and find some soft nuances. The same goes for the rather well-known Mercè, dilleti amici from Ernani. Here he indulges in some palatable piano singing. In the excerpt from Don Carlo, a role he has sung at the Bolshoi, he also sings with deep involvement, again with delicious piano tones. I due Foscari, which seems to be getting an upswing at the moment, is represented by two arias. The first is sung with good drive, and he attacks the high notes with boldness – hopefully not to the detriment of his vocal cords. The second is the prison aria, which is possibly the highlight of this opera and is deeply moving and very beautiful. It opens with an ominous cello solo that sets the mood for the whole aria.

The second half of the recital begins with Gabriele Adorno’s aria from Simon Boccanegra. It is well-sung, but it is interesting to note that when the revised version of the opera premiered in Milan in 1881, the role was sung by Francesco Tamagno, who six years later also was the first Otello. Off the record, it can be mentioned that Boccanegra was sung by Victor Maurel, who was to be the first Iago.

I Masnadieri from 1847 has never established itself in the standard repertoire. It was reasonably successful at the premiere in London, thanks mainly to the presence of Jenny Lind in the cast as Amalia. Carlo’s aria O mio castel paterno is not the most memorable of Verdi’s tenor arias, but even Verdi’s less-engaging arias are worth a listen, and Sandoval sings it well. It is, of course, interesting to hear Verdi’s first thoughts for what was to be Un ballo in Maschera. The general outline and the thematic material have not been changed very much, and Sandoval sings it with aplomb, even though he presses too hard at times. The complete Gustav III has occasionally been performed, and also recorded in 2002 from a performance in Gothenburg with internationally acclaimed Hillevi Martinpelto as Amelia.

Macduff has little to sing in Verdi’s Shakespeare-based opera Macbeth, but he has a relatively short aria that is one of the highlights in the opera. Héctor Sandoval rips it off with verve. But it is as Rodolfo in Luisa Miller that Sandoval is at his very best. He offers not only the aria proper but also the cabaletta, and the scene is a tour de force: lovely singing, full of feeling and glow and a really intense cabaletta.

The recital format is problematic insofar as a single singer must be extremely versatile dramatically and expressively to avoid a certain sameness. Héctor Sandoval cannot avoid it, but that’s more the fault of the format than the singer. He is ably accompanied by the Philharmonie Baden-Baden, the recording is good, but the playing time is rather parsimonious. My final verdict: a splendid tenor, and an adventurous programme – but the playing time could have been more generous and there are no texts.

Göran Forsling

I Lombardi:
1. La mia letizia infondere [2:16]
2. Mercè, dilleti amici [6:44]
Don Carlo:
3. Io l’ho perduta! … Io la vidi [3:33]
I due Foscari:
4. Brezza del suol natio … Dal più remoto esilio [6:35]
5. Preludio. Notte! Perpetua notte che qui regni [6:36]
Simon Boccanegra:
6. O inferno! Sento avvampar nell’anima [5:32]
I Masnadieri:
7. O mio castel paterno [2:43]
Gustav III (First version of Un ballo in Maschera):
8. Forse la soglia attinse [5:29]
9. Ah, la peterna mano [3:47]
Luisa Miller:
10. Quando le sere al placido [9:15]

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount