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Christine Brewer: Great Operatic Arias
Richard [Classical] Wagner, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Christoph Willibald Gluck
Christine Brewer: Great Operatic Arias
Genres: Pop, Classical
 

      
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One Bizarre Recital - or Compilation!
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"That Christine Brewer is one of our more important heroic soprano voices of the time is an understatement. For those fortunate enough to have been in the presence of her performances as Isolde there can be no doubt that this is a voice of huge range, flexibility, intelligence and burnished warmth. She is most assuredly a star on the ascent.

The selection on this strange CD is puzzling: 'Great Operatic Arias' these are not. Though there are some of the big ones included ('Don Giovanni', 'Tannhäuser', 'Alceste', 'Oberon', and 'Euryanthe'), the program is fleshed out with operettas from Lehar, Kalman, and Rodgers and even some concert arias such as Beethoven's 'Ah, perfido'! Brewer is accompanied by other singers where indicated and by the London Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by David Parry. But oddly enough the works are all sung in English translations - and some of these translations are poor ones at that.

It does seem a waste of time to include 'You'll Never Walk Alone' from 'Carousel', but that particular song allows Brewer to demonstrate amply that the mezzo range is a strong comfort zone for her. Despite the odd choices of works here, what makes the album work is Brewer's extraordinarily beautiful voice. She sails over the orchestra, tossing off difficult passages with utter ease, and always reminding us that her instrument is never less than one of beautiful sound. If you can get past the English versions and the mixed bag of works she has chosen to sing, you are in for an hour of beautiful vocalizing! Just don't let this album be your introduction to this very fine artist. Grady Harp, October 06"