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Sacred Songs (US Bonus Track Version)

Renée Fleming

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Customer Reviews

The True Voice of an Angel

Fleming has proven herself time and again, and this album is no exception. Her broad vocal range and ability to master a repetoire containing more genres than any other opera star today is insipiring. In a previous review, a 16 year-old, aspiring singer was in awe of Fleming. I, too, while not an aspiring opera singer, am in awe of her. Neither of us are without warrant, and it is clear that Fleming has a voice that could bring opera into mainstream music. Her appearance on the Lord of the Rings soundtrack shows just how versatile she is, and how lasting she will be. "Sacred Songs" is not just a tribute to religiously themed classical music, but rather a testament to Fleming's charm and ability.

Sacred Songs

Awe-inspiring, a feast for the musical ear, truly sacred. Get it!

The Kraft of Renee Fleming

What a bounty of sacredness: two Ave Marias, Panis Angelicus, Dank Sei Dir, Herr, and He Shall Feed His Flock... And Renee is feeding her flock with elegant restraint, staying mostly in tempo and singing with the roundest, mushiest tones possible. If fabric softener had a sound, this would be it. What a collection- crossover dream list. Nothing to do with anything sacred, since these are all "bleeding chunks", pulled out of sacred works at random, but many people may be too drawn in syrup to notice. My brain ejected at the super sugary Simple Song but I have managed to revive myself with Sailing the Seas of Cheese album by Primus and that classic track, Jerry Was a Race Car Driver. God bless Primus! Fleming's Opus Sacrum offering also include Faure's Pie Jesu, a Mass for the Dead bit, pulled around vocally like taffy without putting a shred of real emotion in it. A nicely faked "mournful" and overcooked rendition of Poulenc's Domine Deus. Then Christmas fare of L'Adieu des bergers, supposedly in French, but sung in that bizarre language known as Renee Flemish, and Mariä Wiegenlied, apparently in German, and then Abends will ich schlafen geh'n, with hapless Susan Graham- how much cheese can you eat at one sitting? This Hansel and Gretel piece is so schmaltzy it will leave grease marks on your computer. Decca graciously gives us two bonus tracks on the iTunes album- I was expecting The Unchained Melody, but first we get Amazing (Dis)Grace: aided by fiddler Mark O'Connor, Fleming goes into hyperglycemic, hormonal, jazzy overdrive. I can envision the brainstorming at Decca that took place before they picked this song, the accounting team going "Panis, Ave Maria twice: check... how about that Nessun Dorma, that always sells? No? How about Amazing Grace then? With a sexy violin player AND extra sugar on top, eh, Renee?" And how about Siiiiilent Night? Classy and oh so sacred. If you are in devotional mood, get "Simple Gifts" by Bryn Terfel, with heartfelt Ave Maria and all the Panis you can eat, and find out that opera singers can sing Amazing Grace with grace instead of turning it into sentimental vomitorium. Sailing the achingly sugary sea of processed Fleming cheese is your choice. The press release for this album stated point blank that "this album offers a programme destined to score a substantial crossover hit for Decca." Amen, and Ka-ching!

Biography

Born: February 14, 1959 in Indiana, PA

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Soprano Renée Fleming was born February 14, 1959 in Indiana, PA and raised in Rochester, NY; while at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam, she studied voice under Patricia Misslin, and after completing her graduate studies at Rochester's Eastman School of Music she attended the Juilliard School's American Opera Center from 1983 to 1987 under the tutelage of Beverly Johnson. Fleming made her professional debut in 1986 as Konstanze in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and a year...
Full Bio

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