Myron’s compares/contrasts of Il Volo performances just for the fun of it, with a little help from Pat! – by Myron & Pat

A little background on this posting…several months back, I had had a few ideas on what I thought would be great posts.  I was in the process of rounding up a few more writers and realized Pat would be the perfect person to do these.   I put on my “boss” cap and asked her if she’d be willing to take on these assignments.  She agreed heartily, maybe a bit too heartily, later thinking “what did I just get myself into?”  None of the 3 assignments I gave her were easy.  Some were very grueling, like making her search and scour the Internet for some of these videos!  But she eagerly took on the task!  🙂 

In the meantime, Myron sent me a note saying he was in the process of writing this article comparing Il Volo’s songs with past and present performances.  Ding, ding, ding!!  How perfect – I could easily combine both my assignment for Pat and Myron’s article.  I’m sure it would be a smash!

I will say, this all started with a very innocent email from Gale Wall to Marie with a few videos she had found from past and present, and it just went from there!  🙂  So, please enjoy the following article from Myron and the hard work from Pat.


Ground rules for this article includes the fact that I will find something good and something not as good.   To be honest we all know that some Il Volo performances are better than others – nobody is perfect all the time. But I have always felt that even their 1myronworst quality performance is far superior to the best of most other singers. Where is the proof?   Just compare Il Volo on an average day to any other famous singer or group on their best day and see what you come up with. Take as much time as you wish.   See! I told you so! Not even close.

 

Now I am going to compare Il Volo to the only group that gives them a serious run for the money – Themselves ! ! !

 

Source of this comparison: a list of videos put together by Pat Ward plus a few that I have added.   Thanks so much to Pat.

Maria

Sample # 1 is the song “Maria” from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein.

One performance is from Westbury outside New York. I will not include this because this venue is never a very good one for the boys (in the round) – bad acoustics, terrible site lines, terrible sound and it is near impossible to stage anything like this. So that leaves us the most recent (2017) Radio City Music Hall performance in New York where Maria is done as a duet and a performance from Louisville, Kentucky where Gianluca does a solo performance.

The vocal quality of the most recent one is better and, of course, more mature. The vowels are more perfectly shaped which then allows tone to be more rich and well shaped. Gianluca and Ignazio show a more “natural” staging and use of hands and facial expression than the older one. Years of experience will do that.

The older performance with only Gianluca shows a “kid” that is just trying out facial and hand gestures at an early time in his life. He is just learning how to relate to the audience in front of him which is quite a job for a boy that is so shy as he was then (and still is to a degree).   However, young though he may be, his heart-felt passion is unleashed in a way that takes your breath away. I remember that summer offered another performance in the mid-west someplace where he was wearing a white shirt and a black vest. He had been ill on the trip and lost weight. He looked so skinny that we wondered if he could even make it through the whole song.   The passion carried the day and he made it –   but we, the audience were exhausted ! ! !   For passion and naked feelings I give it to the older performance. For quality of technique I give the nod to the Radio City show.

Gianluca solo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzQF1Oo1kwQ Louisville Kentucky on August 15, 2012

Gianluca and Ignazio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPRzodp3jLw March 4, 2017 Radio City Music Hall New York

Gian, Igna and Piero

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mscsjgkskC8 Jun 25, 2014 NYCB Theatre at Westbury, NY


O Sole Mio

For contrast here I will use the Il Volo performance from Florence last summer called: Una Notte Magica vs. the very first music video that they ever did filmed at Taormina. They were about ages 15, 16 & 17 when that was filmed and when the first album was recorded.

I remember that it was such a pleasant surprise as a music director/voice teacher to see young guys that sounded so mature. If you want to get technical then you notice that vowels are not always consistent. One example is the vowel “Ah” which is a very wide (or should be) position mouth opening. Here it is correct sometimes and other times it is more shallow. Does it make a huge difference in the long run? No. What carries the day is that they are using large vowel concepts most of the time – 80% to 90% of the time.   Again, compare with other singers of their age who don’t even know what pure vowel shapes are – duh!   It boils down to the vocal training they have had (or others have not had).

The Florence concert of summer of 2016 gives us the boys in their early 20s after years of voice lessons and working with a great vocal coach. I suggest you get the “Notte Magica” DVD and skip to the special features where they go behind the scenes. During that video you will see them working with a vocal coach. That woman is right on the money – Great work. I wish they would have shown more of that session in the video.   A great Olympic athlete must always work with a coach and so also, a great singer must always work with a great vocal coach. That is how you prevent bad habits from disrupting.

This version of Sole Mio is pure – the original song complete. They have done versions that mix the original with the Elvis arrangement. That one is fun but this one requires the best singing habits. This performance is truly great ! ! !

O Sole Mio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw3c5d3aBSE Uploaded on Feb 9, 2011 looks like an official music vid

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHuLWW5r0Fg Uploaded on May 21, 2011 CBS The Early Show New York

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2q3_h-l-Mo Uploaded on Jan 18, 2012 don’t know the location on this one


Unchained Melody

The performances listed by Pat here are all fine but I am going to use only one performance which is not listed. I am using this for a special reason.

On Friday (Good Friday), March 25, 2016 the boys of Il Volo attended the first ever – Il Volo Fan Faire convention at the Palms Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. Those of us there had a great chance to “love “ these guys to death and shower them with gifts. It was fun and we found out again just last month that the boys want to do it again soon. Then later that night they gave a concert in the Pearl Theater in the same hotel.   Turned out to be one of the best concerts of their whole tour with one of the best orchestras of the tour. My son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law were attending both the Fan Faire and the concert. He is a great photographer and took a video during the concert when Gianluca and Ignazio sang a duet on “Unchained Melody.”   Turns out that song is a favorite for both my son and his girlfriend and it brought them both to tears.   In short, he proposed, she said yes and now they are married and I have a grandson ! !   By the way I am going to post that video soon and you will see it is one of the best versions of that song. Hooray for Il Volo. Hooray for David, Erin and little Jacob!  (Myron, hope you find it, because I looked and could not!)

By the way, the family was in attendance again this year for the return of Il Volo to Vegas for “Notte Magica” – this time the Park Theater at the Monte Carlo Hotel Casino.

Great Performance.

Unchained Melody

Ignazio solo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osdM3G2ZAIA Locarno, 12 giugno 2015

Gianluca and Ignazio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGDTbkXJFdo CERVIA-18 Jul15

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p-PO4yyabA London Palladium 3rd June 2016


Caruso

This song deals with the sad, unhappy life of one of the great tenors of all time: Enrico Caruso. This man had many trials in his life, had rough times in Italy but found success in the USA. Even though he bedded many women and had two sons he eventually ended up alone when he died near Sorrento in Italy. It is a great song, a demanding song, very filled with passion and can easily die without that passion.

The two performances from Pat’s list I am using are Christmas concert in the senate in Italy and the concert (their first time) in Radio City Music Hall in New York – both in 2013.

One problem here is the video which has a “skip” in the middle of the song. That is too bad because they are presenting a very passionate performance of this song at that point. This concert was on December 14, 2013 and came very closely after a very long and poorly planned tour of the USA and Latin America. Too many concerts in too short a time including two cities where they did 4 concerts back to back to back ! ! ! One city where they were outdoors in the rain. Too many concerts in too short a time.   They each got sick when then were coming into Panama City.   Gianluca and Piero had raspy voices and Ignazio could not even talk let alone sing. So the Senate concert happened at the end of a stressful fall and winter. They still did a great job.

My choice, however, is Radio City. This place inspired our guys to give a great concert and this song especially was a solid hit on that show. I would say that it is very difficult to listen to this song sung by the guys in full rendition without having some tears. Powerful song – sung by wonderful singers. That Radio City Concert is still one of their all-time best.

Caruso

Piero (age 15) e Simona Collura (age 12) Ti lascio una canzone Italian TV talent contest 09 maggio 2009

Ignazio solo

September 27, 2013 Radio City Music Hall, New York

Published on Jun 12, 2014 IVMO les presenta: Porta a Porta – Solo – 4 de Julio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EgzbIhp80A I LOVE Gianluca’s introduction for Ignazio’s solo

Gianluca e Ignazio e Piero

Concerto di Natale 2014 al Senato

Summary

Even when they were only 16 years old these boys were exciting to listen to. Maybe they still needed more staging work and to loosen up the face a bit. Maybe they still needed to work on tone placement a bit more but that is splitting hairs. The wonderful thing is that they kept working on their craft in order to produce the great art that they do. Today, as we see in current performances, they still work with a coach and they produce even greater vocal excitement as they sing the best in music repertoire.

I will save more songs for another time.   Bravo! to Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero!

Myron…


Ok, you be the critic – here are a few more songs Pat found.  Jana (comments on video from Pat!)

Quando l’amore diventa poesia

Ignazio solo – Ti lascio una canzone 2009

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2DXKVhXk2U Ignazio doesn’t hold out the end note of the song as they do now

Ignazio solo – Moscow 04.10.2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsQ9WNLSuT0 birthday rose – Ignazio does a little flip at the end

Gianluca, Ignazio e Piero – New York 17 Feb 20-16

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZxCLpBpoN8 Ignazio does a little flip at the end

Delilah

Ignazio solo – sung in Italian

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQMSVc4n-CY Ti lascio una canzone Italian TV talent contest 2009

Gianluca, Ignazio e Piero New York – February 17, 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k940RpjkHZI Ignazio turns loose on this one during the instrumental part and does that flip at the end

Ave Maria

Gianluca solo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXRilrHfM9M Ti lascio una canzone Italian TV talent contest 2009 – He seems so nervous! I love the way he wrinkles his nose when he hits that high note towards the end of the song!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwo_tg1KFxc Concerto di Natale 2014 al Senato What a difference five years makes!

È La Mia Vita

Ignazio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkfLxxK82GE   (Ti lascio una canzone 2009)

Gianluca, Ignazio e Piero

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUl_uJNL11A   Teatro D’Annunzio 5 Sep 2014


 

Hope everyone enjoyed the trip down memory lane…. 🙂

 

Jana

22 thoughts on “Myron’s compares/contrasts of Il Volo performances just for the fun of it, with a little help from Pat! – by Myron & Pat

  1. Great post, Myron! And not because I helped! 🙂 I like hearing your analysis of the guys’ singing techniques and their voices. It was fun searching for these old and new videos and seeing them mature over time. Since I only discoverd IL VOLO a year ago there were many videos that were new to me. Thanks so much!

  2. Loved reading the post and seeing the boys sing. I have been following them for almost two years. Saw them on the PBS Live from Pompei and was hooked from then. Went to my
    first concert March 4th. I was in Heaven. Cannot wait for them to tour again, gonna get closer seats and do the Meet&Greet. I have made so many friends on fb bc of them and everyone that follows them. I am in withdrawal now bc they are on vacation and will not be touring in 2018. Love the three of them but my heart goes to Ignazio. A friend I met on fb told me yesterday about this site and am so happy and thankful. Thanks for all the info.

  3. I really enjoyed the trip down memory lane and the then and now comparisons. You are right that even on their worst day they are better than most current singers on their best day. Truly gifted and willing to work hard to always grow and improve.
    This post must have required a lot of work. Thanks for giving us this memorable look at our boys career.

  4. Congratulations, beautiful post and also very instructive.
    Myron’s analysis is technique but it also denotes a great admiration for the three boys and also so much affection for them.
    Pat, great research work, but how did you say, fun to let you discover videos you’ve never seen.
    I read it with great interest and I have seen some video of couple of years ago noticing, as Myron teaches us, the changes and improvements that the guys have been able to do on their own interpretations and executions.
    Thank you Myron and Pat.

    • Prego, Daniela! I love doing research and digging around for obscure stuff online. I also do genealogy research on my family and love it too!

      • You love doing research? What else can I have you dig up? 🙂

        Thanks again. I know it was a learning labor of love!!

  5. This was wonderful! Thank you Myron, Pat and Jana.

    I have nothing better to say than what Myron has already said, “even their worst quality performance is far superior to the best of most other singers. ” Amen!

  6. I just listened to a recording of “Anema e Core” by Michael Buble. I consider him to be a good quality singer (most of the time). But I compared to Gianluca singing at the Barclay center in 2016. Well, instead of telling you why not try it yourself. It is pretty easy to see who is better and who has the passion. This is one of Gianluca’s best renditions of that song. Just do youtube then Gianluca then Anema e Core

  7. Thanks for this journey in the past. Love to read your analysis of the musical issues concerning the boys. I love some of the older versions of some of their songs. They had such innocence, passion and need to please the audience.

  8. Hi Myron. Did I read correctly above that the guys indicated only a month ago that they wanted to do another Fan Faire as soon as possible? That would be great ,
    and wonder if during their non tour year, 2018, if they might make some special trips to the USA??

    • Yes, that is correct. When Jeannette was in Italy in May she ended up with the guys and Barbara several times during the month and Gianluca was the main one that asked about having another Fan Faire. Piero and Ignazio also asked but I do think that Jeannette accidently got glued to Gianluca. There are various possibilities but for us the main thing is that they (the boys) want to do this again. That is very important.

      • Excuse me, Myron, but if Jeannette was “glued” to Gianluca, it was no accident! Lol! Can’t fault her for that! ❤ ❤ ❤

    • Thank you for the idea. It was fun. I am sorry that the video for Unchained Melody did not work out. The only suggestion I had is go the Facebook then to David Heaton then to videos from 2016 and you should find the wonderful duet of Gianluca and Ignazio on that song. That song ended up being the song that my son and daughter-in-law danced to at their wedding a few months ago.

  9. Thank you, Myron and Pat and Jana. This had to be a labor of love getting this all put together so well. True, how our boys (always be boys to me) have grown, matured and cultivated their unique style and presentation. It is heartwarming to look back when they first walked on stage together for their Detroit performance, so young and nervous. Now, to see, how confident and mature they are on stage. The sky is the limit for these great boys, and it has been a gift to watch them grow….Love them!!! Grazie! ♥♥♥

    • Thank you, Harriett! 🙂 Wish I had found them sooner! But doing this research has enabled me to feel like I also watched them mature into the wonderful guys they are today.

  10. It was a great idea, but if you can English only a little like me, it is a hard thing to read this. (Supported by Google translator) 😓

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