REVIEW OF MUSICA CD by MYRON HEATON

I was one of the very first writers to write columns for the Flight Crew and I always enjoyed doing it and I always was proud of the fact that many you would write comments and some would email me when they wanted to.  The last time I wrote an article of any length was for the wonderful “Notte Magica” program – both the PBS presentation and the CD. Since then I was always waiting for a new album and/or a new PBS show.  Well the Latin American songs were MP3 and digital download. I do CD’s (as old fashioned as that is) but I did listen to the songs they recorded in Miami with Emilio Estefan. I did not write an article then because I was told there would be a CD eventually.  Well, so far ? ? ? I really ended up worried about the challenges that the boys were putting their voices through. The songs were each very similar to the next but I did like some of those songs. My problem was the stress and extreme tight throat they were developing in the recording process.

Now we skip ahead to right now.  Good news. In the process of preparing for this new album they must have gone back to working with their vocal coaches (always the foundation to the incredible sound these guys produce).  I sent an email to Barbara Vitali this afternoon and asked about vocal coaches and hope to get an answer soon. Bottom line is that each guy has progressed in spite of the extremes of some of those previous songs.  The other factor is that I really do like the songs on this album. Good for them!

Review 01

Gianluca:  In some of these songs the approach to vowels starts out a little closed and tight in the throat.  But as he warms up the throat gets more and more free and the size and sound of the vowels is bigger and more rich than ever. As I have said many times in other reviews, this is the finest baritone working the professional music world today and he sings Latin, Broadway, light rock, pop ballads, Italian romantic songs, opera and classical recital songs.  He can do it all and do it all superbly!!

Piero:  a little bit of the same problem that I think is left over from singing a whole different style of music.  But, as with Gianluca, he loosens up and gets rid of the old (sometimes) tight sound and lets it fly free and big.  This is an instrument that always was a big instrument and now is bigger.

Ignazio:  Listen to him float and soar up and around those high notes.  Greatest Lyric tenor working today. I have said that many times before also.  There is a way that he and Gianluca can “caress” and “romance” a beautiful phrase of love until the listener falls to the ground in a rush of emotion.

Review 02

Do you ever listen to these guys and find yourself getting chills up and down your back?   Do you ever find yourself having a hard time breathing when they handle the word “subtle” in their singing.   Too many young singers cannot sing soft without ending up with a dead sound and they cannot sing loud without screeching their brains out.  When our boys sing soft it is with absolute control and beauty – the kind that does send chills out. And they do not just sing with a mindless LOUD.  They produce a gorgeous large sound that fills the room without being harsh or formless. That kind of sound can make your heart skip a beat.

So here is where all that vocal work really pays off.

Review 03

The songs on this CD are:

Musica Che Resta  by Gianna Nannini &  Emilio Munda & Antonello Carozza

I think all of the Il Volo fans know by now this song was featured for the 2019 Sanremo Festival.  I was asked to address the controversy comparing “Musica Che Resta” to “Grande Amore” composed by Francesco Boccia.  First of all they are two different songs composed by two different composers. The “fuss” is silly and a waste of time.  These are two different songs and each has a special energy and works well for Il Volo. Having listened to “Grande Amore” many times and “Musica che resta” a good number of times I can see where some people would find similarity in the way the piano/softer opening sections layered over fast tempo rhythmic sections would have a “sameness” to them.  But they don’t really. Another place where you might find similarity is in the form of the two songs.

This is one place where there is a resemblance but, once again, it is of no importance.

Vicinissimomore to come later.

Arrivederci Roma  by Renato Rascel & Pietro Garinei & Sandro Giovanni

A good number of the “crooners” of the late 40’s, 50’s and 60’s sang this at one time or another.  It was used in the movie “Seven Hills of Rome” and it was a hit for Dean Martin and also Mario Lanza,  Well you can see the attraction going from Dean to Gianluca and from Mario to Piero.

Gianluca starts out a little tight in the throat but gets more loose as he moves ahead.   Piero starts the same – restricted throat but changes as he moves to the next phrase and he is showing off a much more open vowel sound concept.  I am anxious to see him in person soon and what how he uses his jaw. Ignazio really makes this song very romantic in the way he works the musical phrase.

Review 04

A chi mi dice (English=“those who tell me”)  by  Lars Halvor Jensen & Martin Larsson musicians of Danish background but now live in United Kingdom.  This song was featured by their own band.

Fino a quando fa bene  –

People (from musical “Funny Girl”)  by Julie Styne & Bob Merrill.  Funny Girl was a huge Broadway hit back in the mid-1960’s and made Barbara Streisand a star.  Then Columbia Pictures made a truly great film of the musical and Streisand, once again, starred.  At Oscar time, she ended up in the only tie ever in Best actress with Katharine Hepburn. All you loyal Il Volo fans should know that the boys have always loved her and, better yet, sang with her on her 2012 tour.  Great experience for them. They learned a lot from her. This song is her theme song and it works very well for the guys. Each guy is doing his best work on this song. Makes sense since they are loyal to her. Rumor has it she may join them for the PBS program – hope so.

La nave del olvido  by Dino Ramos and Armando Manzanero

This song was a big hit for the famous Mexican singer Jose Jose.  Remember IL VOLO singing for him at an awards program because he has lost his voice forever. They sang “El Triste” at that time.

Lontano dagli occhi  by Sergio Endrigo and Sergio Bardotti

Review 05

Be My Love  by Sammy Cahn & Nicholas Brodzsky

Those of us of a certain age (now wait a minute, I did not say the word “old” ) – anyway for those people of that age we all remember what a strong impression was made on us when Mario Lanza sang this song in the movies.  Check out the video of “That’s Entertainment” from MGM which is a fantastic collection of many scenes from MGM musicals from the 1930’s to the 1960’s He is very much part of the late 40’s and the 50’s. He was way too young when he died.

Here is another song that I bet Piero loves.  I would be interested in finding out in which order these songs were recorded.  Certain songs show that the boys have a rather tight throat take a verse or so to get loosened up to a more free sound

When you read my reviews of the past years you will see that the control of their instruments (voice) was always one thing that amazed me for their age and their more pop interests. One note about Sammy Cahn.  He is a composer that wrote a lot of Frank Sinatra’s best songs.

La voce del silenzio  by Paolo Limiti and Elio Isola

This song was a hit in 1968 from different singers first in Italian and then in English under the title “ Silent Voices” sung by Dionne Warwick

Meravigliosa creatura  by Gianna Nannini & Mara Redeghieri

A few more thoughts:

I have been reading that our boys have been getting negative comments for the style of music they do.  They seem to get more support here in the USA than they do in Europe (although that is getting better).  My thought is that we who stick by the boys no matter what kind of music they do because they are the best and because they show their love in every note – we must always make sure that loyalty gets to them and gets known by them.

I have a feeling that upcoming programs will be just wonderful.

Myron Heaton

LasVegas

62 thoughts on “REVIEW OF MUSICA CD by MYRON HEATON”

  1. Myron we have missed you here. I have always loved to read your “critiques “ not “criticisms” of our beloved boys. I too am waiting for the Amame Cd , if there will ever be one. Thoroughly enjoy the Latin sound but that is a type of music where everyone sounds like everyone else. Just my opinion. Our guys are so unique in what they do. I asked you somewhere if you thought it was difficult to finds songs that would fit all of their voices. What do you think? I’m also hoping for another Fan Faire.

  2. I am so glad to hear that the boys are taking great care of their beautiful voices in that they have returned to their voice coach/coaches. Their new CD is outstanding. I am not so patiently waiting for the boys to start touring in the USA. I just can’t grasp why Italy is not wild about them!
    Myron, I really enjoyed reading your article. You addressed many of the things I have wondered about. Thank you!

  3. Needless to say, Mayron, we all expected to read your review, and of course, it is a real pleasure for us, to discover that the new CD of IL VOLO, is not only pleasant to listen, but denotes a great and serious work of study vowel. Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, are very young people, but very serious for what concerns their most important professional field, music, and above all, their voices.
    It ‘s true, all of us listening to their beautiful voices and their interpretations, we shiver down the back, but we are involved in a great affection for these guys, affection that maybe sometimes can tarnish our comments. But reading your comments, Myron, makes us rejoice even more, because yours is a technical comment, which does not focus only on the affective side, and this confirms that these guys are really “big”. Ok, Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca, do not worry about the bad things that try to cloud you, your light will resist and you deserve it.

    1. It always makes me sad when I read that the guys are getting negative comments from people that are not based upon truth. Also, not based upon facts. Some people need to do more home work before they write or speak out.

  4. Thank you Myron for your excellent comments. I’ve been following you from the very beginning but this is the first time I’ve commented. I have so many questions for you as I am a non professional musician and a choral director and get quite analytical as I listen to the guys’ voices and their songs. I wonder if it would be appropriate if I could email you so that I don’t bore everyone with my questions!!

    1. Your questions would not “bore everyone”–I love to read Myron’s words about Il Volo so I hope you go public with your questions.

  5. Thank you for your comments Myron. I always find the “mechanics” of the voice (and especially the voices of our boys) very interesting. As a grandma from San Diego, Il Volo will always have my total support. Stay with me USA 🇺🇸!!! Let them know we love them!!!

  6. Found your comments very interesting This is the first time I have had the pleasure of on reading one of your articles

    1. Beverley, Thank you. If you are interested further, you can go to the archives section of the Flight Crew site and there are other articles from the very beginning. There are articles that cover technical vocal information and also dealing with the first Il Volo Fan Faire held in Las Vegas in 2016.

  7. Thank you Myron for educating me on the finer points of the songs that you have critiqued.Your comments have been much appreciated and I will listen to, and enjoy each song with a new “ear”.I love the new CD and find the new interpretations of some of the songs very pleasing. Once again the Boys have hit the high ground and should be really proud. !! I admit I look forward to seeing the PBS special on this CD and watching each boy singing their part.
    Again, a big thank you..

    1. Marion, You are welcome. I only wish that the guys would have had a PBS show last year but I am happy that they are getting this done, finally. There absence from the USA/Canada has been felt and they should remember that they have a strong following here.

  8. Thanks, Myron, for your comments!I have had no formal music training, but love music of almost every kind! Being one of a certain age, I’ve suffered and delighted thru many years of good/bad music! In all my 87 years have I encountered anything to equal “Il Volo”!!! I was hooked from the very first note! Please continue to keep us informed! They are not only excellent vocalists, but genuine loving human beings! Lovr, from Texas. …..

    1. Dorothy, I agree (naturally) that they guys are the core of soulfulness and kindness. That does not happen that often in the professional music world.

  9. Thank you Myron! I was actually waiting for this column. I have been listening to the entire album on you tube for a few days now, continuously playing it over and over. I too thought Gian sounded a bit strangled in the intros–mainly Vincinissimo. I don’t think there is enough here for Piero to really let loose, but I love Ignazio’s caressing soft parts. I maintain there is nobody who can sing as romantically as he can. And then go to the super-stratosphere!
    Thanks again for your thoughts. Much appreciated.

    1. I think that Gianluca’s velvet baritone voice is so beautiful when he sings a romantic song–he sounds like a crooner back in the 40’s and 50’s.

    2. I though Gianluca sounded a little nasal but it’s wonderful to hear these beautiful songs I’m so happy you mentioned Mario Lanza he was my grandmothers neighbor in South Philadelphia and was the greatest of all time in my opinion BUT PIERO IS ALSO GREAT I have been texting Il Volo for years to sing Be my love truly a beautiful song I like the CD very much I bought it for my mom I just downloaded mine I’m looking forward to seeing the guys when they come to Philadelphia

    3. peninahonig, Great to hear from you (or should I say “read” you). Some of the voice strain comes from the previous work that they did. It is hard to make that kind of big style change as they did last year without it showing on the voice. They are back to home turf now and working with a voice coach again. Meantime, the vocal instrument has matured and grown. Beautiful.

  10. My first time writing to you, because I never heard of you before, shame on me…. I’m so personally hurt by all the bad things coming out from critics in Italy, our boys are unique, with their voices, personalities, their music which whole world loves, please dear boys, do not change, you are perfect as you are! I’m flying to Rome to see them in concert June 26, what a trill of the lifetime that is going to be, to see them up close live! Anybody can tell me when they coming to USA on tour and PBS special? Italy should recognize, they have a gems in them, should put them on pedestal and worship them not only for their music and the happiness they giving to the world, but they actually put Italy on the map big time! And I love their new CD, listing on YouTube over and over again!

    1. Irene, My aunt is named Irene after the song ” Goodnight, Irene”. Yes, the USA has a wait yet before they return here. The PBS special will help pave the way for their return. If you are interested in more of my stuff, you can go to the Flight Crew Archives site and you will find articles there that go back to the very beginning.

  11. Thank you Myron for your comments! I am not able to express with words the emotions that their voices awake in me, so your texts help me understand and organize the turmoil these boys cause in my mind. If I close my eyes, I see them flying high, like the bird-boys in those Patterson’s novels. And I see Ignazio flying higher and fearless. My favorite Il Volo song? The Swan, the uninterrupted, smooth studio version . I think that in that song they are out of this world, magnificent!

    1. The Swan is superb. I like the version that they did on the Christmas special a couple years ago. Gianluca was able to soar into that same stratosphere for the first verse and then the other followed suit.

      If you want to see and hear something wonderful go to YouTube and look up Olympic ice skater from Japan, Yazuru doing the Swan and using the recording of Il Volo for his music. INCREDIBLE !!!

  12. High Myron so nice to see you writing about IL Volo again Sounds like this new album is going to be another smash for the boys and why not
    I know they put everything they have into each album they have ever done and I know in my heart they are only going to bet better as time goes on. Once again Myron nice hearing from you again hopefully we can another IL Volo Fan Fair next time they come to America That would be awesome.

    1. luckylady51, Thanks so much. Talked to Barbara recently and , yes, they will and WE will. It has been a long time but it is going to happen.

  13. Even though I’m not at all qualified to comment, I would like to ask what the term “tight throat” means exactly in the music world. Thanks.

    1. Mark, the vocal chords are muscles in the back of the throat that act as a cover over the windpipe (this is crude explanation, to be sure) . When air passes over these muscles they vibrate and produce sound waves. If the singer does not push a good flow of air through that opening then the muscles have to work extra hard and it affects the sides of the throat – all is connected back there – then all of it gets stressed out. The full column of air is warm and acts like a sauna making things relax. If singer has had too much strain in previous singing then it becomes harder and harder to maintain a beautiful and rich sound. An example would be if you go to a football game of your favorite team and you end up yelling and screaming during that game a lot, you will end up “hoarse” and with a sore throat. Kind of the same thing. The boys have to be very careful to protect the vocal chords all the time.

      These guys have developed over the past ten years vocal instruments of huge power and richness. that needs careful treatment. In the last years of his life, even Luciano Pavarotti abused his voice and it became very hard to work with in the later years.

  14. Very glad to see your comments again, Myron. You are always on point, and it is so true that our boys just get better and better and better. What I would like to see is more songs that don’t rely on Gianluca leading into the song. Given their different voices, I understand not all parts can be sung by all, but when they harmonize, it is angels’ voices. And they send warmth and shivers.

    1. Geri, a few years ago I asked the boys why they do that so much of the time and they replied it is a tradition . ? ? I suggested that they divide the opening phrases equal – example: if there are 12 songs then Gianluca starts 4; Piero starts 4 and Ignazio starts 4. But that has not happened so far. I am only guessing but this may stem from the very beginning when they were in competition and Gianluca was first place, Piero was second place and Ignazio was 3rd place. I love the boys as all of you know but this is one thing I would like to change. AND it is nothing against Gianluca.

  15. Myron, thank you so much for your commentary. I learned a lot. I am new to the Flight Crew having joined early this year and therefore did not read any of your earlier posts.

    I love the skill and beautiful sounds the guys produce in their own unique ways. We Are Love always sends wonderful shivers up and down my spine and floods me with love. They are all capable of sending that energy through YouTube and CD’s—I can only imagine what it will feel like at a live concert.

    Finally, I leave you all with this comment:

    IL VOLO’s voices kiss my ears as I listen to their singing on my iPhone. Their harmonizing caresses my soul in ways that a lady cannot speak out loud.

    1. crystaldawn, Thanks for your comments and welcome aboard. I love your poetic approach. You may want to check the archives to see other materials that have been written in the past.

  16. Hi! Long time lurker here. I love
    Il Volo, this album, this website and have always enjoyed your comments Myron. I have learned about vocal technique and some of the finer points of vocal performance thanks to you. All three of the guys have grown in skill and sound amazing on Musica. But as a huge fan of Piero’s voice in particular I always feel somehow he is shortchanged in these reviews…he has a ‘big instrument’, the others are the ‘best baritone’, the ‘best lyric tenor’ in the business. I don’t want to sound like a jealous mother (we are so protective of our favorites!), but is this all he brings to their sound…a big instrument? Please forgive me…I don’t mean to be insulting, I just want his qualities to be recognized equally. Thanks for listening!

    1. Deborah, you are correct. It was not planned that way but there is less about Piero then there should be. I think part has to do with the that he was a little less featured as often in this album which surprised. There are other articles that I have written where he gets more comment such as when he started doing the aria from Puccini’s Tosca. That an incredible achievement that was. The comment “Big Instrument” is in the vocal coaching world a very important term. He has the most powerful voice and that is very important to this group.
      You are not insulting and I encourage you to keep writing like this because it help to keep things balanced.

  17. This review has some nonsens comments in it. These guys have magnificant voices and they can sing anything. They did not damage their voices with the Latin songs of Amame. How can anyone say this! They can sing, pop, classical, latin, Italian belcanto and it does not hurt their voices at all. These voices only mature and get better every year. Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca keep up the good work en keep surprising us with all your beautiful music in all genres!

  18. I guess I’ll just ask away and comment. Just as a disclosure I can get quite analytical so please don’t assume I’m being critical because I’m not. I like to know all the ins and outs of their voices because in my many years of singing/playing/listening to all genres of music, Il Volo is perhaps the only one that has “spoken” to me. I’ll probably do this in spurts rather than have pages of a reply. First. I loved their Amame album (except for the rap song which I feel did nothing to showcase their abilities). Myron, could you explain how a certain genre of music like Latin music can tighten one’s throat. Is it because of the pace of the song (being that it was mostly reggaeton) which doesn’t require them to use their diaphragm as much? As you mentioned, the guys can float between most genres quite successfully. Of the three, it seems to me Gianluca likes to challenge himself more and enjoys trying new genres perhaps more than the other two. So far, I think he’s done it quite successfully. In Amame, he and Ignazio were more comfortable with the reggaeton than Piero. But I give Piero credit for going along. Secondly, given that the guys are practicing now with their vocal coaches and when recording they can re record if something isn’t quite right, could there be something else that would cause Gianluca and Piero to have an initial tightness when they first begin singing? I assume they would warm up before actually recording. That’s all for now!

    1. I gave the wrong impression that a genre of music could damage a singers voice. There are, however, types of music that need special prep if you are coming from a genre on the other end of the spectrum. Reggaeton takes a different vocal approach than Italian romantic or classical . Just as heavy metal or gospel takes a different vocal approach especially if you are going to do a lot of it over a period of time. It is not the music by itself that makes the problem it is the singers approach and the techniques that, if not done properly, can cause extra stress.

  19. Myron, you have once again given the Flight Crew an article that details the talents of Il Volo perfectly… You manage to educate me every time you write an article here as well as when we get together in person… Your critique of each of our guys was so spot on… Thanks for always sharing your professional opinion with us and each time I learn a little bit more… Il Volo just gets better each time they put out a new album… Its been amazing to see them grow up right before our eyes.

    1. Jeannette, reading this just after checking on your progress in Sicily right now. Have a great time.

  20. Oh, Myron, i so appreciated reading your post! what you write resonates with me. and also when you write: “they show their love in every note” — i feel that! That every note they sing contains their fullness.
    Grazie

  21. Thank you Myron for helping me understand much more about
    these precious singers. You are appreciated by me and I am
    sure many of the fans for your information about our wonderful
    young men’s singing and voices. I get emotional and tears in
    my eyes just thinking about how well they sing and how well
    you help me understand more of the technical part of their
    music. I am moved by their emotions as they sing those
    beautiful songs.

  22. Hi Myron, nobody can Dissect a song and the human voice like you can it’s much appreciated. As you point out their are so many factors that effect the Delete instruments of the human voice. I love the new CD, it’s romantic music sung beautifully from the heart. Thanks for your Expert analysis song by song.you teach us a whole lot.

  23. Thank you Myron, as always I enjoy reading your comments. Will you review the other songs on the CD as well?

  24. Hi Myron, I was waiting for your review and always appreciate your technical insights. While listening to Musica, I was reflecting on my hearing Il Volo in concert for the first time in 2012. There is so much growth you can hear now and we thought them fabulous then.

    I found both Amame and Musica on YouTube. My laptop was specially altered to have better speakers, since I use it to play CDs and movies The the issue that concerns me about both albums is that I believe that they are getting overproduced. Maybe it was listening on the computer, but I think that because they have such powerfully big voices, producers are intensifying the instrumentals to match then when the song tracks are mixed in the studio. I feel as if their own beautiful instruments are getting blurred in recordings.

    As an example, in their song with Gloria Estefan, her vocals were front and center over the instrumentals as were their vocals. However, their vocals were “behind” or battling the instrumentals in other songs. This is where I really wish they had someone that takes Humberto Gatica’s approach to pus their vocals at the center of the recordings. Notte Magica was better in that respect, but their voices really do not need powerhouse instrumentals. It it their own harmonies and blending that really should be featured. I hope you will come back and answer some the the great questions on this post. Mille grazie!

    1. Eileen, I agree with you. there is an element of heavy orchestra on parts of both albums. So many times the album producer has his/her own tastes in balance and blend. Then later, when they are on tour, it changes in each concert venue.

    1. My opinion is that it depends on what type of music . Most types of music that they do on a regular basis should work fine but they may have to adjust the key either lower or higher . Lucky for them each of them has a pretty wide range of pitch to use. After that it is vocal style that they discuss. They have always had a policy that all three must agree on the song before they do it. Good idea.

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