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.
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,
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.
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.