Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church

Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church

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by Charlotte Church

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Charlotte Church was only 12 when her debut album, Voice of an Angel, was released 1998, launching the precocious Welsh soprano into overnight stardom with a program of traditional and classical songs. A self-titled disc followed in 1999 that focused on operatic classics; the Christmas-themed …  See more details below


Charlotte Church was only 12 when her debut album, Voice of an Angel, was released 1998, launching the precocious Welsh soprano into overnight stardom with a program of traditional and classical songs. A self-titled disc followed in 1999 that focused on operatic classics; the Christmas-themed Dream a Dream came out in 2000; and Enchantment appeared in 2001, broadening the singer's repertoire into Broadway song. Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church gathers highlights from each of these top-selling albums, beginning with "Pie Jesu," the opening track from Church's debut disc, and continuing with "Amazing Grace," "Ave Maria," and more. Also included are selections not found on the singer's solo discs, such as "All Love Can Be" from the soundtrack to A Beautiful Mind and "The Prayer," a duet with another young sensation, Josh Groban, that was featured on his debut disc. Four previously unreleased tracks complete the collection, including Church's cover of the Simon & Garfunkel classic, "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Even in the youth-conscious era of the turn of the 21st century, there couldn't have been too many best-of compilations issued by 16-year-olds. But Charlotte Church had been recording regularly since she was 12, with a reported ten million albums sold worldwide (including one gold and three platinum certifications in the U.S.), which seems to justify this hour-long stock-taking effort, when you throw in "All That Love Can Be," from the soundtrack to A Beautiful Mind, and, inevitably, four new recordings. Talking sales may be crass when discussing a classical artist, but not a classical crossover artist, and Church (or her advisors) made the decision early that she was going to pursue a career in the popular market that would make use of her voice in public long before some opera company might have gotten around to featuring her. It's a compromised posture, of course, resulting in music that is classical lite leaning toward adult contemporary, the musical niche carved out by Sarah Brightman. No surprise, then, that this set begins with Church's version of "Pie Jesu" by Brightman's old flame, Andrew Lloyd Webber. Opera excerpts, Celtic airs, spirituals, pop songs, and ersatz classical numbers (e.g., the Josh Groban duet "The Prayer," penned by David Foster and translated into Italian) follow, and Church brings her even-handed, lovely approach to each. Has there ever been a Carmen as calm as hers on "Habañera"? Ordinarily, one might say this is classical music for people who don't like classical music, but it is actually grown-up-sounding music for children, sung, appropriately enough, by a child.

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Related Subjects


  1. Pie Jesu {From Requiem}
  2. My Lagan Love
  3. In Trutina {From Carmina Burana}
  4. Panis Angelicus
  5. Amazing Grace
  6. Just Wave Hello (Ford Global Anthem)
  7. La Pastorella {From Soirees Musicales}
  8. She Moved Through the Fair
  9. Ave Maria
  10. Dream a Dream (Elysium)
  11. The Flower Duet
  12. Habañera
  13. The Prayer
  14. All Love Can Be {From a Beautiful Mind}
  15. It's the Heart That Matters Most
  16. Tantum Ergo
  17. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  18. Sancta Maria

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Charlotte Church   Primary Artist,Vocals
London Symphony Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
David Foster   Keyboards
Bruce Gaitsch   Steel Guitar
Janice Graham   Violin,Leader
London Welsh Male Choir   Choir, Chorus
New London Children's Choir   Choir, Chorus
Colin Paris   Double Bass
John Themis   Guitar
Gavyn Wright   Conductor
Dave Arch   Performing Ensemble
Janet Atkins   Viola
Michael Hart Thompson   Guitar
Jesse Cook   Guitar,Drums,Cajon,cowbell
John Parricelli   Acoustic Guitar
Mario Melo   Pandeiro,Repique,Surdo,Djembe,Shaker,Timba
Steve Mac   Piano,Keyboards
Rhodri Davies   Harp
Paul Edmund-Davies   Flute
Sîan Edwards   Conductor
Haydn James   Musical Direction
Stephen Westrop   Choir Director,Choir Master
Billy Gilman   Vocals
Chris Laws   Drums
Ronald Corp   Musical Direction
Josh Groban   Vocals
Maya Iwabuchi   Leader
London Symphony Chorus   Choir, Chorus
Jeremy Backhouse   Choir Master
Timothy Hugh   Cello
Welsh National Opera Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Welsh National Opera Chorus   Choir, Chorus
Frizee McKenna   Vocals
Meinir Heulyn   celtic harp
Philharmonia Chorus   Choir, Chorus
Jane Atkins   Viola
Gareth Davies   Flute
Philharmonia Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Graham Jackson   Choir Master
Michael Thompson   Guitar

Technical Credits

Georges Bizet   Composer
Gabriel Fauré   Composer
César Franck   Composer
Andrew Lloyd Webber   Composer
Pietro Mascagni   Composer
Franz Schubert   Composer
London Symphony Orchestra   Contributor
Paul Simon   Composer
David Foster   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Peter Bond   Engineer
Keith Thomas   Producer
James Horner   Composer,Producer,Orchestration
Don Black   Composer
Felipe Elgueta   Engineer
Humberto Gatica   Engineer
Janice Graham   Orchestra Leader
Trevor Horn   Producer
Nick Ingman   String Arrangements
Will Jennings   Lyricist
Randy Kerber   Orchestration
Vladimir Meller   Mastering
New London Children's Choir   Contributor
John Newton   Composer
Dave Reitzas   Vocal Engineer
Mike Ross-Trevor   Engineer
Schmitt   Vocal Mixing
Julian Smith   Arranger
Brian Tankersley   Engineer
Bill Whittington   Engineer,Engineering
Gavyn Wright   String Arrangements
Simon Hale   Arranger,Vocal Arrangements,String Arrangements
Jesse Cook   Arranger,Producer,Engineer,Percussion Arrangement
Richard J. Davis   Vocal Producer
Jeri Heiden   Art Direction
Simon Rhodes   Producer,Engineer
William Ross   String Arrangements
Firooz Zahedi   Cover Design,Cover Photo
Ed Kaufman   Engineer
Kevin Jacobs   Pro-Tools
Mario Melo   Contributor,Percussion Arrangement
Paul Bateman   Arranger
Cesar Ramirez   Vocal Engineer
Grace Row   Producer,Executive Producer
Brian Grazer   Executive Producer
Charles Harbutt   Engineer,Engineering
Ash Howes   Programming,Engineer,Engineering
Tony Renis   translation
Steve Mac   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Nick Marshall   Vocal Engineer
Julian Gallagher   Producer
A. Testa   translation
James Shearman   Arranger
Danny Beckerman   Engineer,Choir Arrangement,Engineering
Jeremy Caulton   Executive Producer
Eric Enjem   Pro-Tools
Haydn James   Musical Director
Louise Ryan   Teacher/Educator,Vocal Coach
Ron Howard   Executive Producer
Public Domain   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Wayne Hector   Composer
Chris Laws   Engineer
Ronald Corp   Musical Director
Meinir Huelyn   Arranger
Chris Yoakum   MIDI,MIDI Engineer,Pro-Tools
Nigel Lewis   Engineer
Sam Babenia   Lyricist
Ludovic Halévy   Text
Henri Meilhac   Text
Welsh National Opera Orchestra   Contributor
Robert Dean   Artistic Director
Ron Howard   Executive Producer
Kev Jacobs   Equipment Rental
Seasamh MacCathumhaoil   Text
Juliana Gallagher   Producer
Philippe Gille   Text
Edmond Gondinet   Text
Keith Thomas   Producer
Arturo Testa   translation
Grace Kristopher Row   Producer,Executive Producer
Carlo Pepoli (Count)   Text
Gonoud   Composer
Richard "Biff" Stannard   Producer

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Customer Reviews

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Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charlotte church is a horrible singer. This album just reaffirmed it. As a singer myself, I am embarrassed that people have to hear her and think that she is a high-quality classical singer. Her tone is absolutely horrible in every track on this album, and the album has no real high points. Listen to a real classical singer like Renee Fleming or Kathleen Battle.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For someone so young, she is incredibly talented! If you've never heard Charlotte Church before, this is the CD for you because it contains selections from all of her earlier CDs. This CD contains a lot of religious music, such as "Ave Maria" and "Amazing Grace," but also contains selections such as "All Love Can Be" (absolutely beautiful!) from A Beautiful Mind, "The Prayer," an AWESOME duet with Josh Groban, and "Dream a Dream," which at times can be more interesting to listen to than the traditional religious music. It is hard to believe Charlotte Church is only a teenager, since she sounds far older than her years! I would definitely recommend this CD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Prelude:The Best of Charlotte Church is a really good cd. Charlotte's voice and pronunciation have improved in it on songs like "Pie Jesu" "My Lagan Love""La Pastorella" and others from her earlier cd's. It is a really good start on her music if you have never heard her before, but it is also good even if you have (I have all her other's but still really like it).
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Church has an amazing voice and great talent.This is her best album yet.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Church is an outstanding singer! Her songs are relaxing and her voice is beautiful. I really enjoy singing her songs. It would be wonderful if one day I could sing with her in a duet! Way to go Charlotte! Keep it up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Church is certainly blessed with an amazing voice that goes with a beautiful face.I admire her personality & wish her luck in finding her own style.Anyways,Charlotte, have fun with whatever you do. Hope I can meet you someday.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Church is only popular because she is so young -- if she had started her music career in her 20s, nobody would have paid attention. She hits some very awkward notes I didn't even know existed. Sarah Brightman is ten times better and more enjoyable to listen to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read some of the other reviews on this page, and I wonder what planet these people are on!? How could you not listen to that sweet and powerful voice and not be captivated? What a flattery for a 16 year old to be compared to Kathleen Battle or Sarah Brightman, even though I feel she compares with those two quite competently. Her version of Ave Maria has become my favorite, and her duet with Josh Groban on The Prayer has made me a fan of his as well. Sing on Charlotte! One 'reviewer' criticized you for your youth...I thank God you've started when you did so we'll have that many more years to enjoy your unique talents!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Church has the talent of music and she uses it! She has such a wide range for such a young girl. Only think of what she will be like in the future. Even though Charlotte Church is young this is a very good begining for her. Not only is she helping herself by continuing her singing, but she helps other wish-the-could-be singers. She gives them hope and songs to practice to. People see her and set a dream in their heart of, "Someday I'm going to sing as good as her!" I give this CD 5 Stars because it deserves it. Charlotte Church has given me the wish, the hope, that someday I will be able to sing as good as her!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my first Charlotte Church cd and I am blown away by the power of her voice. As she matures I believe we can expect great things from this young lady. In the meantime, any person with the gall to say that Charlotte's tone is less than mesmorizing should perhaps get their hearing checked!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Church was blessed with a lovely 13 year old voice and that is where it has stayed. She has a very young, small tone with no warmth or depth. She is singing repretoire that will only harm her young vocal chords. Most voice teacher would never imagine allowing a young singer to sing much of what Charlotte Church sings, no matter how talented that young singer may be. She needs a lot of training and needs to study her arias and songs and their meanings to put emotion behind her words. I thoroughly dislike her voice and would never buy another cd of hers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is outstanding. I, as a classical vocalist, am truely inspired by Charlotte Church's performances in this CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Church is sooo Awesome!!! She can reach those high notes with such a tonality and depth that words cant describe, and for all the people who say that she "doesn't have any tone or depth" they seriously need to have their ears checked because obviously they dont know what they are talking about!!! Perhaps they are just jealous because they can't reach the highnotes themselves and if they can, they certainly can't reach it with the tonality of Charlotte!!! Anyway buy this C.D! It's AMAZING!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I wasn't really into choral music, when my friend (who sings opera) put in one of Charlotte Church's cds at my house, I became completely in love with her voice.. such beautiful high notes, so pristine and clear. I highly recommend this cd for any classical music lover, as well as someone who isn't too familiar with classical music.. it's simply outstanding.
Guest More than 1 year ago
she's trying to add warth and emotion when you can tell she has a lighter soprano voice. Her teacher should know better than to give her these songs and train her this way. It's only for the worse.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this CD from a friend, she was thanking me for taking care of her animals. I tried it out, just to see. I had heard that she was a "singing prodigy". I listened to the first song Pie Jesu and had to stop. Later I tried it out again, but her voice did not improve on second acquaintance. There is no emotion! She is very flat, and trying to force a bit of vibrato to make it sound like she's a soprano. Many of these songs I have heard by other artists, like Sarah Brightman. She is off-key and her voice is flat as a pancake. I believe she is fifteen in this album, and she shouldn't be trying pieces like this, she is trying to hard. Simply an awful album rife with lack of talent, an affliction that is all to common in young "star" singers these days. We are losing the essence of music through these pretenders. Listen to an actual voice!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago