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Brian Asawa - Vocalise / Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Brian Asawa, Tunick, Marriner
Brian Asawa - Vocalise / Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Genres: Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1

During the planning stages of this project, someone should have thought more seriously about the question, "Why are we doing this?" This collection of "vocalises and newly orchestrated songs" by Fauré, Medtner, Villa-Lobos...  more »

      
   
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CD Details

All Artists: Brian Asawa, Tunick, Marriner, Amf
Title: Brian Asawa - Vocalise / Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: RCA
Release Date: 3/9/1999
Genres: Pop, Classical
Styles: Vocal Pop, Opera & Classical Vocal, Historical Periods, Modern, 20th, & 21st Century
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 090266890323

Synopsis

Amazon.com
During the planning stages of this project, someone should have thought more seriously about the question, "Why are we doing this?" This collection of "vocalises and newly orchestrated songs" by Fauré, Medtner, Villa-Lobos, and Rachmaninoff, as impressive as it is for its ambition and concept, amounts to a disconcerting mismatch of voice and music. Countertenor Brian Asawa delivers plenty of pretty sounds, but he just doesn't have the emotional range or dramatic tools to make convincing interpretations. Technically, he is nearly flawless, but there's a sameness to every sweetly sung selection. In the famous and oft-performed "Pavane" by Fauré, you're distracted by Asawa's covered, unnatural-sounding quality and his inability to get precisely together with the melody line in the orchestra. This back-of-the-throat sound also gets in the way of clarity in the songs with texts--we can't really hear what these pieces are about. You'll enjoy this recording best if you just focus on the lush sound and skip the awkwardly executed "Suite-Vocalise" by Medtner. --David Vernier

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CD Reviews

I don't know what some of you are talking about!
countertenor | USA | 01/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I don't know what some of you are talking about! This is one of the best countertenors in the world and you make him sound like Charlotte Church (yes, that is a "CC" insult). His tone is very full and indicative of how good countertenors should sound. He has performed at the Met and won many prestigious awards. People need to get off their overly macho high-horses and realize that some men sing in the alto/mezzo range. Stop critisizing because he is a countertenor and listen to the voice! Also, stop complimenting JUST because he is a countertenor. Compliment because he is good. I never have said "Bartoli is really good to be a mezzo". The same should go here. I must say that this CD is beautifully done. A great chance to hear some rep that you don't hear every day. I highly recomend this CD. [stepping off soapbox]"
Countertenor achievement
S Duncan | London | 07/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"We may have heard some of these pieces performed by female singers but I have never heard them performed by any countertenor. Aside from his daring, Mr. Asawa displays amazing (I'll even confess 'enviable') skill and artistry. His "pretty" voice (as it is touted....and his voice IS gorgeously endearing) is indisputable, and though I don't hold him as the authority on Rachmaninov's 'Vocalise', for example (for me that authority belongs to Anna Moffo), I appreciate his 'take' on it. This is the countertenor voice.I also appreciate that some may not be able to break the mould of traditions concerning the performance of these pieces but that is not to deny the fact that the countertenor voice in these songs is brilliant, by that (countertenor) standard. I go even further to say that the concept of a countertenor (and Mr. Asawa's ravishing one in particular) here adds an intruiging new feel to the works. We KNOW it's not Natalie Dessay or Joan Sutherland singing, though we love them too. This CD is more of an indulgence, to say the very least (and I say that not prejudice Mr. A's performance).Overall, this CD is certainly a fair introduction to these pieces with great performances in some parts. But more idiomatically speaking, this is a wonderful achievement by a top-rate countertenor and I'm getting more of his work."
My God! My God!!!
Senesino | Port Arthur, Tx | 01/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Mr. Asawa is flawless on this album, but then again I may be biased since he is one of my favorite Countertenors and since I am a starting Countertenor myself. I particularly fell in love with Villa-Lobos''Cancao do amor,'and 'Bachinas Brasilieras.' Not to mention ALL of the works by Rachmaninov; YES even the vocalise!

Mr. Asawa's voice is deliciously full and sensual as well as smooth. I agree with the above person who wrote that we should review this based on the fact that he as a classical vocalist is simply good! Not because he's good as far as being a countertenor is concerned or the fact that he sounds better/poorly than a mezzo. He's a vocalist and a damn good on in his own right. Give him his due for what he has put out. I truly love this album and Mr. Asawa.

I give it a 20 on a scale from 1-19!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"