"What a wonderful treat this cd is..Kirsten (1910-1992)perhaps held the all-time record for longevity as a leading Soprano at the Metropolitan in a career which lasted from 1945 to 1978. A hallmark of Kirsten's singing was her perfect technique. She had a beautiful lyric voice which was produced effortlessly. Wisely turning down roles she felt were unsuited to her voice meant that the voice remained fresh and beautiful. It was as a singing actress that she achieved her greatest success. Her career began as a radio singer. Later she frequently sang on the air with the likes of Crosby and Sinatra. Her voice is perfectly suited to the music of Gershwin and Kern. At no time does Kirsten sound like an Opera Singer. The songs are performed with a simple sincerity and are sung with perfect diction with a voice of remarkable lyric purity and incredible beauty. Her intrepretive gifts rival Sinatra to whom she gives credit for teaching her how to "put across" a song. The mono sound is excellent for 1951-52. I have never heard a "crossover" recording of this calibre. Young singers of pop standards and opera should take lessons from Kirsten's singing. A desert island recording!"
Lovely, lilting and gracious singing
Jocelyn Price | St. Louis, mo United States | 01/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not too terribly long ago, and not too terribly far away, pop singing had an entirely different definition than it does today. Then, female singers had a sweet, feminine lilt in their voices. They sang in tune. They respected the intentions of the composers and the lyricists. They exuded warmth and charm. Things were good.Then along came Barbra, the neurotic one, who pushed her tone past the point of beauty and made the music about her self-indulgence and pathetic need for attention. She sang flat. Her tone was squally. She was followed by Celine, the vulgar one. She, too, produced a tone that was flat and squally. Celine figured the audience was too stupid to understand subtle emotion, so she painted her pictures in the broadest, most obvious strokes.This recording harkens back to those early days, when singers seemed to care about the music. Dorothy Kirsten takes care to craft her tone and interpretations for the pleasure of her listeners. She understood that the music was not just about her ego, but displays wonderful sensitivity to the intentions of the songwriters.Every cut on this album is a delight. I expected the Gershwin and Kern to be good, I didn't really expect much from the "Tropical Love Songs". I realize they might not be to the taste of every other listener, but I enjoyed them more than I thought possible.I would recommend this album to anyone who appreciates a real female voice, not one that his been pushed beyond its natural limits or been "sweetened" by sound engineers. Dorothy Kirsten's singing is the real deal, and should be valued."
NOTHING MORE THAN PLEASANT
MOVIE MAVEN | New York, NY USA | 03/05/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I have a few tapes with Dorothy Kirsten singing two of her most famous operatic roles: 'Mimi' in "La Boheme" and the title role in "Madama Butterfly." Both are beautifully performed. This crossover album is certainly not as pathetic as the travesties produced for the great Joan Sutherland (Noel Coward songs) or Jessye Norman (Michel Legrand songs). Actually Kirsten's voice is perfectly fine. In fact, in the CD's liner notes, we're told that she started her career as a pop singer on the radio and this makes perfect sense. She has the sweet sound and lack of interpretive skills of a big band singer. The legendary Gershwin and Kern songs are simply sung pleasantly. Nothing more! The so-called "tropical love songs" are just a bit embarrassing, but then I cannot think of anyone besides Xavier Cugat who should perform them."
Brings back beautiful memories
Murton C. Edelstein | 02/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I grew up listening to Dorothy's marvelous versions of Gershwin tunes...it was my parents' record, but my siblings and I just loved hearing it over and over...just great!"