Even if you're under the shower, you'll hear every word.
John Austin | Kangaroo Ground, Australia | 02/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The great Irish tenor's art is still accessible to music lovers. New reissues have appeared very recently. RCA Victor selected from their vast archive this collection of 22 of his recordings for 1997 CD issue. The common theme is Ireland. Every song reflects McCormack's native land. Recordings date from 1910 to 1930, four of them featuring his marvelous regular accompanist Edwin Schneider. Their famous recording of "Kathleen Mavourneen", long recognized as a classic, is substituted here with an unpublished take. If you might be deterred by the mention of ancient recording dates, be assured that recording and restoration quality combined with McCormack's superb diction will soon make you forget such a failing. The earlier the recording date, the fresher the voice. By the 1930s, McCormack had polished his art to perfection. No singer was as skilled at coloring his voice to convey a range of emotion: wonder, grief, ardor, longing, adoration, hope and sadness. Notice also the subtle quickening and slowing of tempi. Enunciation is also brilliant. Listen to this CD from the other end of your house while you are under the shower, and you'll hear every word."
Irish classics, sung to perfection
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 09/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Legendary tenor John McCormack was one of the greatest singers of the early 20th century, and in this lovely collection of Irish songs, his voice rings true and clear, with so much sincerity it touches the heart and delights the ear.
The age of the recordings becomes irrelevant as one focuses on the beauty of his voice; the range of when these were made goes back as far as 1910, with "Molly Brown", "Dear Little Shamrock", and "My Lagan Love", to 1930 with "Ireland, My Ireland" and "The Rose of Tralee".
The famous operetta composer Victor Herbert conducts on tracks # 3 and # 4, two songs from his "Eileen", recorded in 1917.
From opera to the concert stage to singing the popular Irish songs like those that are included on this album, McCormack was a superstar of a kind that was rare in his era. This much loved tenor was known for his exquisite pianissimos, as can be heard in the wonderful "The Rose of Tralee"; my choice pick is another song with a heavenly pianissimo, "Mother Machree", which is sung with the excellent piano accompaniment of Edwin Schneider, but though I have favorites, there isn't a single song in this compilation that won't win you over with the glory of McCormack's voice, and his fabulous phrasing and interpretive genius.
Total playing time is 68'30.