Rolando Villazón partners with star French harpist Xavier de Maistre for an album of intimate arrangements of Latin American songs for tenor and harp. Latin American song-writing, where indigenous, European and African cultures meet, offers a tantalizing collage of sounds, rhythm, melody and narrative. The duo today release their first of three singles — En estos días, a song by the renowned 73-year old Cuban folk singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez — leading up to the album release, which is planned for October 2.
The album Serenata Latina explores the sensual emotional essence of the Latin American canciones — deep longing, somber facets of pain, melancholy, desire and loss dominate the very intimate color palette of this so beautifully heartfelt recording, interspersed with vigorous life-affirming and dance-like pieces.
Rolando Villazón says of the project: “this album is a very special serenata, a collection of beautiful traditional folk and art songs from Latin America, a collection of poetry and music of my big homeland (when you come from Latin America, all other Latin countries feel like siblings).
“The themes vary from nature to love from mourning spirits to the joy of being alive. Throughout, we can admire the art and sensibility of the Latin American composers who drank from the European tradition to create their music but remain rooted in the soil of our rich, colorful, sometimes melancholic yet always resilient culture.
“Xavier de Maistre is not only one of the finest musicians of our time, one of the greatest harpists, but also a profound, curious and inventive artist. I am overjoyed to perform the duets on this album with him. While performing these songs with him, I feel that the arc of his interpretation that goes from the most delicate intimacy to the most refined and exuberant richness is the perfect kindred spirit for the poetry and melodic universe of this songs.”