Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|George Gershwin, Carlisle Floyd, Leonard Bernstein|
Renée Fleming - I Want Magic! ~ American Opera Arias
Genres: Pop, Classical
Soprano sensation Renee Fleming performs American arias by Bernard Herrmann, Douglas Moore, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, Andre Previn and Igor Stravinsky. — Genre: Classical Music — Media Format: Compac... more »
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Soprano sensation Renee Fleming performs American arias by Bernard Herrmann, Douglas Moore, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, Andre Previn and Igor Stravinsky.
Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 15-SEP-1998
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She IS magic!
bert1761 | Washington, DC United States | 06/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Renee Fleming is simply astonishing. There is apparently little she can't sing. So much on this disc is so good it's hard to pick out highlights. Nevertheless... The aria from Wuthering Heights that opens the disc is one I'd never heard before, and it is truly gorgeous music that suits Ms. Fleming's gorgeous voice perfectly. I was astonished by her performance of "My Man's Gone Now." Generally, I think of Ms. Fleming as suited primarily to "lighter" voiced roles, but her performance of this aria showed beautiful darker colors. An earlier reviewer hit the nail right on the head: while I had always found the sound of Ms. Fleming's voice to be quite similar to Kiri Te Kanawa's (albeit deployed with FAR greater musicianship and intelligence), I found her sounding very much like Leontyne Price on this track. I thoroughly enjoyed her performances of the arias from The Rake's Progress and Vanessa (oh how the latter opera calls for an up-to-date recording -- and it should feature Ms. Fleming in the title role). The "title track" is a tasty little teaser that should make anyone want to hear -- or, better yet, see on DVD -- her performance as Blanche du Bois in Andre Previn's operatic Streetcar. Being a tremendous fan of the play and of the movie, I was dubious about this opera, but Ms. Fleming gave an even more moving portrayal of Blanche than did Vivien Leigh.But what keeps causing me to hit the repeat button on my CD player are the arias from Susannah -- particularly "Ain't It a Pretty Night." The sheer sound of her voice in this aria is amazing. But her interpretation is astounding. She captures Susannah's sweetness and innocence, but also colors her voice in such a way that indicates that she senses the hoorible fate that is to befall her and make her truly a tragic heroine.I must note that Ms. Fleming does miss the mark somewhat on Glitter and Be Gay, but it's a relatively minor misstep relative to the joys of the rest of the CD"
Earl Hazell | New York | 01/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This may sound like a backhanded compliment (because it is), but there are times where it sounds as if Rene is doing Rene instead of singing the aria, and it still sounds like art instead of high brow cheese! This woman's voice is phenomenally pretty and expressive, and choosing to make a disc of American arias is not only smart in terms of marketing her voice to unfamiliar audiences outside of the opera world, but important to American opera as a whole. In the future, I would like to hear more trust of her gift in her singing. Again, there are times, like in the Gershwin PORGY AND BESS arias and the Menotti ("Monica's Waltz"), that it sounds as if she feels the need to make it more dramatic and poigniant than what was actually written, or what would be expected of one of her talent level. Which, considering the genius of both on every turn, leaves a bit of melancholy in your heart upon intuiting it with every turn of phrase that doesn't border on but nonetheless flirts with the schmaltzy (akin to the lament that would come from watching a beautiful, wide-eyed innocent young girl dancer audition for a sleezy, casting couch Vegas manager). But that voice, and the music, make up for it, in an almost paradoxical way.Worth owning."
Aguably my favorite collection by this singer
Bruce Hodges | New York, NY | 04/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Renee Fleming's legacy is growing fast. Already we have at least a dozen fine recordings, including her superb Richard Strauss songs, a collection of more well-known opera arias, and her surprisingly moving work in "A Streetcar Named Desire."This disc may be my favorite, however, mostly because it includes so many marvelous pieces that are not very well known. The opener, from Bernard Herrmann's "Wuthering Heights," is stunning. Why is this not recorded more often? (Granted, Ms. Fleming has now set the performance bar pretty high.) The two arias from Carlisle Floyd's "Susannah" are better known, but receive extra-special treatment here. James Levine and the Met Orchestra are up to their usual high standard and could not be more sympathetic collaborators, and the sound overall is glorious.There is not a misstep anywhere in this collection - an outstanding example of a great singer presenting a highly unusual program."