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Cherry Pop

Title - The Beautiful Voice (20th Anniversary Vinyl 2LP)
Artist - Renée Fleming

For those not in the know, Renée Fleming (born February 14, 1959) is an American opera singer and soprano whose repertoire encompasses Richard Strauss, Mozart, Handel, bel canto, lieder, French opera and chansons, jazz and even indie rock.

Fleming has a full lyric soprano voice and she has performed coloratura, lyric, and lighter spinto soprano operatic roles in Italian, German, French, Czech, and Russian, aside from her native English.

She also speaks fluent German and French, along with limited Italian. Her signature roles include Countess Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, Violetta in Verdi's La traviata, the title role in Dvořák's Rusalka, the title role in Massenet's Manon, the title role in Massenet's Thaďs, the title role in Richard Strauss's Arabella, the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, and the Countess in Capriccio.

Released this past February 16th, 2018 on luxurious vinyl LP, The Beautiful Voice (20th Anniversary Vinyl 2LP) is now filling the air around me from the record player and it has brightened up this wintery day to no end.

LP 1:
1. "Depuis le jour"
2. No.14b Air des bijoux: "Ah! Je ris de me voir"
3. Je marche sur les chemins...Obéissons quand leur voix appelle)
4. 4. Songs My Mother Taught Me
5. Last Rose of Summer
6. Chi il bel sogno di Doretta (Doretta's Dream Song)
7. Glück, das mir verblieb (Mariettalied)

LP 2:
1. "In trutina"
2. 4. Morgen
3. 14. Vocalise
4. Nr.10 Csárdás: "Klänge der Heimat"
5. Vilja-Lied
6. 9. Epilogo
7. 2. Bailero

Once again Renee Fleming presents glorious collaborations in a compelling performance. The overall conception is one of beauty and unequivocal direction of line.

Fleming begins with "Louise: Depuis le Jour." The spacious long phrases are profoundly evocative and the vocal timbre is crafted with glowing, long-breathed generosity.

My most cherished performance is "Songs My Mother Taught Me",(A favorite of Joan Sutherland's) from the Gypsy Melodies Op.55, No.4. It is delighting in sweet textural clarity and brimming over with an infectious sense of inner purpose.

Followed by "Martha: Last Rose of Summer," and "Doretta's Dream Song", Fleming sings with such a level of imagination which is rare enough, but once heard it never leaves you. "Carmina Burana: In Trutina", is absolutely angelic and sung with such radiant inwardness.

In "Morgen" Op. 27 No.4, Fleming sings with such a special resonance and is, as ever, superb in the quality of her tone, the clarity of diction and innate comprehension of lieder.

Fleming fills "The Merry Widow" with supple lyricism, elegance and singing at a pleasing lilt capturing its gentle energy. The overall performances culminate with "Chants D'Auvergene: Ballero".

Fleming's phrases are conveyed with both elegance and intensity. The pacing is eager but never hectic and the accompaniments are scrupulous in their sensitivity.

The nuanced dynamics are breathtaking and there is no denying the incandescence of the climaxes. In closing, and as I'm sure you fans of hers will already know, but whatever Renee Fleming sings, makes for a delightful encounter; and this wondrous, 20th Anniversary Vinyl 2LP release from Decca Classics is no exception.(RV)

2LP Purchase Link