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

Verdi Sandoval 99233
Support us financially by purchasing from

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
La mia letizia infondere
Héctor Sandoval (tenor)
Philharmonie Baden-Baden/Pavel Baleff
rec. 2007, Philharmonie Baden-Baden, Germany
GRAMOLA 99233 [52:36]

To judge from the very last track on this recording, the big Luisa Miller aria, the Mexican tenor Héctor Sandoval - who has sung internationally, although not yet at the Metropolitan - may be, if not "the next Pavarotti," a worthy heir to the style. Once past some unclear pitch in the very first phrase, he delivers ardent, flexible phrasing and impassioned climaxes with a good, clear sound. The cabaletta goes with the right hearty swing, and the tenor varies the repeat not only with melodic repointings, but with a more thoughtful approach. It's mostly nice work.

Unfortunately, it's preceded by the rest of the program. Oh, it's not all bad. Sandoval's sound and manner have an appealing intensity, and he shapes the Masnadieri aria well, for example. But a parade of arias, one following upon another, will, if heard straight through, tend to magnify any singer's shortcomings, and that's what happens here. The singer acquires his bright, forward sound at the cost of some effort. Ringing sustained notes at the top of the staff betray some pressure. High notes are good when he sweeps into them from below, as in Ernani's Mercè, diletti amici, but he pushes hard into others from below: even the one that caps the Luisa - like the one in the first Foscari aria - is, honestly, a bit provincial.

After a while, I began noticing that open vowels tended to drive "wide": the top of the cadenza in Ah, la paterna mano is very "open." Conversely, low notes sometimes go diffuse and "mouthy." Softer dynamics are inconsistent: the final pianissimo in the Don Carlo is a disconnected falsetto; the mezza voce in the Boccanegra aria is better supported.

At least, Sandoval and his handlers have selected the arias intelligently, avoiding the lightest roles (Fenton, Alfredo) as well as the heroic ones, which will probably remain out of bounds. The program, then, is well chosen - I just wish he sang it better!

Pavel Baleff's conducting is good. The cabalettas roll along infectiously, though, except in the Luisa, the rhythms could be heartier and better sprung; lyric passages, like the Don Carlo, are very flowing, forthright rather than ruminative. In both cases, he may be accommodating the soloist's limited sustaining capacity. Occasionally, the music strikes the wrong tone - the Lombardi aria starts out like a brindisi - but he mails the agitated accompaniments in Gustav III (the pre-Ballo Ballo). The strings are a bit tentative in the long Foscari introduction, but their figurations in the Boccanegra are nicely shaped.

Stephen Francis Vasta

Previous review: Göran Forsling

I Lombardi (1843)
La mia letizia infondere [2:16]
Ernani (1844)
Mercè, diletti amici [6:44]
Don Carlo (1867)
Io l'ho perduta!...Io la vidi [3:33]
I due Foscari (1844)
Brezza del suol natio...Dal più remoto esilio [6:35]
Preludio; Notte! Perpetua notte che qui regni [6:36]
Simon Boccanegra (1857)
O inferno! Sento avvampar nell'anima [5:32]
I Masnadieri (1847)
O mio castel paterno [2:43]
Gustav III (1857)
Forse la soglia attinse [5:29]
Macbeth (1846)
Ah, la paterna mano [3:47]
Luisa Miller (1849)
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