“Sanremo Grande Amore” ~ Music Notes ~ Myron

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Il Volo – February 2015

Sanremo Grande Amore – An album of winners !!!

I mean that literally and figuratively. These songs are great songs and thus “winners” in that sense. In addition, most of these songs have won the Sanremo Music Festival in some previous year. The songs are winners and now, so are our guys !!!
This album includes:

Grande Amore by Francesco Boccia and Ciro Esposito
Ancora by Eduardo de Crescenzo
Vacanze Romane by Matia Bazar
Canzone per te by Sergio Endrigo
Piove by Domenico Modugno
Romantica by Renato Rascel
L’immensitá by Don Backy

Grande Amore, of course, is the prize winner of Sanremo 2015 that each of us Il Volo fans can practically sing from memory. A rather challenging song with a melody that is not, at first, easy to take in. But in the long run, that makes it very memorable. If I were going to choose a competition piece I could not have thought of a better one. All of the technical aspects which are on my usual list: tone quality, intonation (singing in tune), projection, breath control, vowel shaping and tone colour, etc. are here in spades. Beautiful performance.

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Ancora is a more easily accessible song with a refrain melody that teaches itself it is so beautiful. Ignazio had a field day with the final refrain and add in a wonderful sax solo – really a duet – very dynamic. Even a vocal purist has to admit that adding in a little “raspy tone” to that sound at times gives an earthy feel to the sound that expands the color. It is hard on the voice so you don’t want to do it too often. This song was originally sung by the composer and won the 1981 Sanremo Music Festival.

Vacanze Romane In so many ways is a poem to the city of Rome and the pain that love can bring when you sense that the relationship is on troubled footing. The melody is lyric and somewhat bitter at the same time.

Canzone per te a beautiful song for the guys and a definite indication of maturity. This song was originally performed by the composer when it won the 1968 Sanremo Festival !

Piove was the 1959 winner of the Sanremo Music Festival where it was sung by the composer. Sometimes the song is known as “Ciao, Ciao Bambina” In spite of its interesting marcato rhythms indicating something else, it is really a dramatic ballad of a man whose love is about to leave him. He asks her to not look back when she does because he still loves her.

Romantica was performed by the composer and won the 1960 Sanremo Music Festival. The song has been recorded by a number of famous European singers as well as a few American singers. The text deals with the inspiration that the man feels from his girl, his muse, is “romantic spirit”

L’immensitá this song took 9th place at the 1967 Sanremo Music Festival where it was performed by Johnny Dorelli,

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Quality of singing on the recording:

Overall, this is an exciting album for Il Volo fans because it gives us a sense of a new maturity of sound and feeling from our guys. As mentioned under the song Grande Amore, the technical aspects of the their singing is, as usual, of the highest quality.

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As with any album there are a few issues but they are so minor. If I were to be really picky I would ask why Gianluca uses a darker, covered sound in a couple of the songs. As he starts out on those songs it is rather hard to know it is him singing. I was also concerned because in two other songs it sounds to me as though he is singing with a cold – that is with head congestion. It does not hurt his performance like a bad throat would. In fact, he sounds wonderful but with the extra resonance that head congestion creates. Having listened to him almost everyday for the past four years you get to know his sound and I have heard him with a cold in the past. His range and his tonal richness is getting deeper and deeper as he ages ( I still refuse to believe that he is 20 ! My age-ridden vanity tells me he is only 17 yrs but my ears say he is 28yrs,) This summer and fall we saw this young man get so deep into a song that he had tears in his eyes. Look at the incredible song “Caruso” and watch how all three always take this song very seriously – especially Gianluca to the point of tears. Also, I think of the first performance of Grande Amore at the San Remo Festival. He could not contain himself- passion of the song plus overwhelming audience response plus his birthday = too much and then tears. I love it.  We all need that kind of passion.

 

Piero - Sanremo

Piero – Sanremo

For Piero there are a couple of places where the breath control gets a little on the thin side but he more than makes up for that minor item with a new and broader tone placement that hints to me that he has been doing more and more work with his opera voice teacher. What a sound. I wonder how many of you hear that broader sound ? After all he is going to be 22yrs old soon. He is letting a little more that Ginoble perfectionism rub off on him. I don’t want to have him leave Il Volo but I do hope he gets time to do opera as he wants.

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Ignazio still makes those high notes soar into the heavens with great beauty. However, there are a few places on this album where he pushes a bigger sound almost to the point of over-singing. I listened to these songs 3 or 4 times. He is careful and does not get there, of course, because in the recording studio you can stop and do it again. But as they go out on tour I would caution him to be careful to not over sing on some of those dramatic phrases. This guy gets so involved in his concert singing (live audience) that sometimes he can’t contain himself. It is fun to watch him in the Taormina concerts. He almost looks like he needs to be “nailed” to the floor, he shows so much passion. What a great guy.

My worry as a voice coach and friend is the same for all three of these guys: with a season of over 60 concerts coming your way take care and not over do so that you protect that precious voice that is, after all, your life and career and, for us fans, a valued treasure.

The album production:
I had this complaint for the Sanremo Festival performances and now the album: The man that controls the sound board – the producer and sound tech – is leaning too heavy on bass guitar balance and bass drum vis-a-vis the rest of the orchestra. On certain songs that factor is so dominant that the voices get covered too much and even other orchestra instruments are sidelined. It does not happen all the time but sometimes it covers a complete phrase. If you go back to the “We are Love” album you find that album is nearly perfect in blend and balance. I think maybe with a new company – Sony Latin and new album producer that is pushing for his idea of a different sound. Strange thing is that the video of the Grande Amore is just fine (I listened to this comparison three times to be sure).

Looking ahead:
I was informed around Christmas that Il Volo spent last summer and fall recording 16 songs. Where are they? I do not like this scheme of releasing “partial albums” and then later releasing the whole thing. I wish they would just release the whole thing at the same time.

This album features Italian but I had heard that they also did record some English songs and another French song. I hope that is true. While I love Italian songs (believe me, I do) I feel they should try to stay with the international concepts and standards that they have used since the beginning. They are famous for being international – English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian and this year maybe another language ?

Ok now what ? I do hope (as I have said many times before) that they will get to the USA and keep developing this audience by doing concerts, TV shows such as all the talk shows and entertainment shows ( Talk, Tonight, Letterman, Kimmel, Ellen, Today, GMA Kelly and Michael Live, etc. etc, ) and add more cities to the mix. I know they are doing a PBS special from the ruins of the ancient Caracalla Baths in Rome for broadcast in the USA later this year and that will be great. Exciting place now used as a summer concert venue and summer home of the Rome Opera. In 1990, the first three tenors opened the place for concerts.

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Well, once again, I found next to nothing to fuss over in the work of these guys. They are, I feel, the best music act going. They are the best trained. They choose the best repertoire. They have the most glorious talent. Most of my issues have to do with the technical aspects of orchestra balance and the format of this CD vrs. the next one. I am ready for the full album to be released. But all that aside, when you see them live you partake in an experience of love, romance, music and the presence of the three most charming gentlemen in the business.

~Myron

Danielle’s Diaries ~~ by Danielle

Hey!!

We have a new feature for you, and we are super excited!  We think you you’re going to love it! 

You remember Danielle–the young lady with the beautifully long hair that Ignazio scolded Gianluca for touching during her Meet and Greet?  She’s going to tell us about life as a college IlVolover.  Enjoy!

~~ Kelly

danielle's diaries

Ciao everyone!! Welcome to Danielle’s Diaries: A glimpse into the life of a college IlVolover. Since this is my first post, I suppose I should tell you a little about myself.

I’m a 20 yr old Mexican/Italian college sophomore from Michigan. I’m studying Biology at Hillsdale College and want to go to Vet School.

My Abuelita introduced me to Il Volo when they did their appearance on American Idol and I immediately fell in love with them. I followed them the best I could for years, as I did not have Facebook, Twitter, anything, lol. But I was never able to attend a concert or meet them until last summer, which was amazing and I can tell you about later if you would like.  Last year, my first year at college, I finally made a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and fell in love with the guys all over again as I saw the many things they posted. I’m so glad I finally jumped on the social media wagon because all three now follow me on Twitter and I am friends with much of their family on Facebook.

Anyways, last year my roommate also fell in love with them and our room became dubbed the “Il Volo Room”. All our friends quickly were introduced to them and soon fell in love too. We now have a campus full of college girls that adore Il Volo and my friends and I have parties to watch the PBS DVD’s. I have many entertaining stories about this I will slowly share with you all.

As my first story I want to share, let’s start with Sanremo and the week leading up to it. As you can imagine, my friends and I were all very excited to watch the guys perform and were planning parties the different nights of the festival. Well of course that had to be the week all hell broke loose. We each had 2-3 midterms, several papers due; I had a giant Organic Chem lab due, and several people got sick. So it became a frantic race to get our work finished so we could watch the guys perform.

I will never forget that first night of the festival.  We all ended up gathered in my room and had my laptop up muted as we frantically studied while waiting for the guys to appear.  My friend, Gaby, was the one looking at the computer when they walked out, and she screamed and turned the volume all the way up as we all ran to gather around the computer.  We just sat in stunned silence as the beauty of Grande Amore washed over us. By the end of the song we were all crying right along with Gianluca and screaming and cheering so loud they could probably hear us in Italy.

The second and third nights none of us were able to watch, and on the Saturday they won several of us, including me, were actually gone from campus and had to wait for phone calls from friends to find out they won. We were on cloud 9 all week, and the release of their video did not help matters! Let’s just say we will have to borrow notes from people from that Thursday because everything went in one ear and right out the other! And with the release of the album on Spotify this morning you can just imagine how crazy we have been! It will definitely be another Il Volo filled weekend for us!

I hope you guys enjoyed my first little story in the life of a college IlVolover! I look forward to sharing the many fun and crazy antics of my friends and I with you guys! I’m off to dance class now, so until next time, Ciao ragazzi!! Ti voglio bene!

Il Volo Professional ~~ Italy CD Signing Tour — Pescara and Bologna

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 Hey!

Here are days three and four.  Look at those crowds!  They love them.  :)

~~ Kelly

Pescara

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Bologna

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Click here —> Il Volo Visits the Headquarters; ilrestodelcarlino.it ~~ Athina via LiJoy

 

And Don’t Miss Out…!!!

 

 

NEWS FLASH!! GIANLUCA Really Is SPIDERMAN!!

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Here is a photograph of the crowd in Milan that Piero posted on his twitter. If you look closely you can see that several people have spotted Gianluca “webbing” in to the Piazza Duomo. He’s cleverly just out of the picture.  Up until now, this information has been kept secret. But we knew all along that they were Super Hero’s.

Now, which one of you is really Superman?

~Marie

Il Volo Professional ~~ Italy CD Signing Tour–Milan and Rome

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Hey Everyone! 

Well, the time has come.  The time that our guys have worked for, dreamed of and –most importantly–deserve.  Even if it is something of a bittersweet time for us.   ;)

Italy has finally learned what we already knew and has embraced their countrymen with wide open arms after resoundingly ignoring the critics in San Remo. 

Now don’t misunderstand me.  Nothing warms my heart more than to see The Guys happy and to know that they have that little hole in the heart of their success filled.  Everyone wants to and should be loved and respected–especially at home, and I always smile simply because they do.  But there is a little piece of me that will miss feeling that they “belong” only to me.  But only a little piece.

They are too happy for me to be any less.  :)

They are three days into a CD signing tour and already about a million steps ahead of me.  Enjoy their stops in Milan and Rome while I try to catch up in Pescara.  :D

~~ Kelly

 

Milan

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Click here —> Yahoo Italia Photo Album ~~ Athina via LiJoy

Rome

Click here —> Repubblica.it Photo Gallery ~~ Athina via LiJoy

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Welcome Home Ignazio, and Congratulations!

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After many months of wondering if Marsala would honor Ignazio, as the other cities have honored Piero and Gianluca, the day had finally come for Ignazio! Marsala bestowed upon him the honor of “Ambassador of Marsala in the World!” on February 16 at approximately 17 hundred hours, which is about 5:00pm Marsala time. The ceremony lasted about 45 minutes…and due to the small space where the ceremony took place, the city had staged a “maxischermo” outside of the municipal building, since not everyone could fit inside.

There are several videos floating around out there, but my favorite one has to be the one where he is on the stage in the city and all the townsfolk are there and he is singing Grande Amore and the crowd is singing with him. The crowd is quite good and they already know most of the words to Grande Amore in just a few short days. Then, Ignazio, is Ignazio, gently correcting the crowd on some of their misdirected words and pronunciations! When he is finished, the crowd cheers. I believe his mother was on stage with him, as at one point I think I heard him say “mama” during the refrain of Grande Amore.

 

Of course, everyone in the city is so proud of Ignazio, their Prince, and now Ambassador! Everyone at home, and around the world, is proud of him, as well as Piero and Gianluca. They are such beautiful souls with grounded thoughts and values. Such a rare thing in this world today!

 

At last Ignazio has received the accolades and honor of his hometown. But was it too much, too late? If it was, he certainly didn’t portray any of those feelings. He seemed very happy in all of the pictures and videos, and why not? They are flying so high right now, let’s hope they don’t come down for a long, long, time!

 

Wishing you the best…

 

Jana

Il Volo Professional ~~ Eurovision Song Contest

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Click here —> Experience Eurovision ~~ Eurovision YouTube Channel

 

Hey Everyone!

Now that the shouting and celebrating over San Remo over, it’s back to work for The Guys.  Gianluca recently tweeted that he was in Bologna in the recording studio, so work on what promises to be a stellar album continues (on a side note, let me just say how abjectly in love I am with the Sanremo EP  :D ).  And I’m sure preparations for their upcoming Eurovision run are in full swing as well.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 will be held at the Wiener Stadthalle arena in Vienna, Austria on May 19th, 21st and 23rd.  It is an amazing and prestigious opportunity for them, so I thought we should learn more about it.

 

 

Premiering in 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest is the longest running televised music competition and one of Europe’s best-loved television shows.

The idea to have different acts from different countries compete against each other was actually conceived by the EBU (European Broadcast Union) in 1955 by Frenchman, Marcel Bezençon, and was based on the concept of (ironically enough) the Festival di San Remo, which first aired in 1951.  At that time, it was considered a zealous undertaking to bring so many different countries together via the medium of television, since the plan was to broadcast the event throughout all represented countries at the same time, and the technology obviously wasn’t what it is today.

Proof of how well-loved the show is in Europe is demonstrated by the fact that it has been held and broadcast without fail since 1956.  Up to 43 countries have been represented in one competition, and it has been broadcast throughout the world, including in countries that do not actively participate.

Winning this competition allows the winning artist(s) to use the publicity to further their career(s) and can even pave the way for international success.  Winners include such names as Abba, Celine Dion and Julio Iglesias.

Click the links below to learn more.

 

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Bing Images

Eurovision Song Contest Wikipedia Page

Eurovision Song Contest Facebook Page

Eurovision TV Website

GET THE APP for your Smart Phone!!!

 

 

Vienna

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Bing Images

Vienna is the capital and primary city in Austria, with more than 20 percent of the country calling the city home.  Austria itself has something of a war-torn history in the early to mid twentieth century, but in recent years, Vienna has risen to be recognized as one of the world’s “Most Livable Cities” as well as for its “Culture of Innovation.”

It is also regarded as the “City of Music” for its rich musical culture, which was also noted to me by Myron, our own music educator:

“…Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn, Mahler and many other great musicians lived there.  Kind of like New York is for the USA.  In other words: a great place for a music competition.”

 An overview of Vienna’s history can be found on the Vienna Wikipedia Page

 

 Wiener Stadthalle Arena

The Wiener Stadthalle Arena is an indoor arena and convention center in the 15th district of Vienna.  It was designed by Roland Reiner, and construction took place between 1953 and 1958.   The arena holds roughly 16,000 people and hosts about 350 events per year, but there are several other buildings and sports venues that make up the complex.  Visit the Wiener Stadthalle Wikipedia page for the details, and The Stadthalle Multimedia Page on its official website for pictures and videos.

 

Grande Amore

So we know that this is the song Il Volo is taking to the contest, and why shouldn’t they?  Have I mentioned that I love it?  Well, just in case there is any confusion, I do!  I do; I do!   :D   I’m not going to say anything else.  Just enjoy the graphic tweeted from our affiliate, AAIV, regarding the song’s debut on the Billboard Chart while watching the official video!

~~ Kelly

 

** Note: all information for this article was gathered using the websites linked throughout. **