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Posted October 1, 2010
This 2-CD set is an excellent introduction to fado, the music in which the soul of Portugal finds expression. ''Fado'' means fate or destiny, & fatalism is one of the fundamental elements in the Portuguese character. The artist who, more than any other, carried fado beyond Portugal and throughout the world is Amália Rodrigues. Her career spanned six decades, & her influence on other fadistas (singers of fado) cannot be overestimated. Her voice is beautiful - rich, lyrical, haunting, emotional, but never to excess. On these CD's, she sings not only with the traditional fado accompaniment of Portuguese guitarra and Spanish guitar, but also on some selections with a full orchestra. Amália Rodrigues's death in 1999 was the occasion for national mourning in Portugal. She was a cultural icon, a status achieved by few.
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