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Home Classical Compilation Angels Christmas With The Great Sopranos (2008)

Angels Christmas With The Great Sopranos (2008)

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Angels Christmas With The Great Sopranos (2008)

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01. O Holy Night (Minuit Chretien) - Leontyne Price
02. Ave Maria, D839 - Renee Fleming
03. Requiem, Op.48 - Pie Jesu - Kiri Te Kanawa
04. Good King Wenceslas - Dame Joan Sutherland
05. Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht - Renata Tebaldi
06. Lullaby (Wiegenlied) - Angela Gheorghiu			play
07. Act 4 - Ave Maria, Piena Di Grazia - Mirella Freni
08. Vesperae Solennes De Confessore In C, K.339 - Laudate Dominum - Barbara Bonney
09. Messiah - Part 3 - I Know That My Redeemer Liveth - Sylvia Mcnair
10. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Leontyne Price
11. Herz Und Mund Und Tat Und Leben, Cantata Bwv 147 - Arr. Chris Hazell
- Jesu Bleibet Meine Freude - Renee Fleming 12. Act 3 - Let The Bright Seraphim - Kiri Te Kanawa 13. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear - Dame Joan Sutherland 14. Ave Maria (Arr. From Intermezzo From 'cavalleria Rusticana' Angela Gheorghiu 15. Adeste Fideles (O Come, All Ye Faithful) - Renata Tebaldi 16. Exsultate, Jubilate, K.165 - Alleluia - Sylvia McNair play

 

This album's title, Angels: Christmas with the Great Sopranos, wisely leaves some latitude of interpretation about exactly what type of repertoire is included; this isn't all necessarily Christmas music, but there's nothing that stands out as musically inappropriate for the season. It helps to try to forget the original contexts of some of the selections, particularly Desdemona's "Ave Maria," and the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana arranged with the "Ave Maria" text. Other pieces, like Brahms' Lullaby and "I know that my Redeemer liveth" from Messiah, have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas, but musically they fit fine with the mix of serene or joyful music for the holiday. Each of the selections is a delight in its own way, and the album should please any fans of operatic singing, except for those who are disgruntled because a particular favorite soprano isn't included.

Highlights include Joan Sutherland's artlessly direct singing of "Good King Wenceslas," Barbara Bonney's gleaming account of Mozart's "Laudate Dominum," and Sylvia McNair's serenely radiant "I know that my Redeemer liveth." The recordings, made between 1961 and 2005, aren't consistent in sound quality, but none are less than acceptable. The accompaniments, likewise, vary in quality, from the sophistication of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields to the Vienna Philharmonic's lackadaisical approach to intonation. The compilation provides adequate information for the listener to locate the albums from which each selection is taken. --- Stephen Eddins, allmusic.com

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Last Updated (Thursday, 10 October 2013 12:52)

 

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