Renée Fleming

Renée Fleming

4.7 8
by Renée Fleming
     
 
Like The Beautiful Voice, Renée Fleming's glorious 1998 collection of songs and arias, this self-titled album's contents were culled from requests by the soprano's family and friends. The result is a richly varied program that includes some pieces Fleming has been singing for years as well as a few fresh challenges.

Overview

Like The Beautiful Voice, Renée Fleming's glorious 1998 collection of songs and arias, this self-titled album's contents were culled from requests by the soprano's family and friends. The result is a richly varied program that includes some pieces Fleming has been singing for years as well as a few fresh challenges. In the opening quartet of Puccini arias, Fleming wisely avoids any hint of melodrama, investing the characters with uncommon dignity. The final climax of "Un bel di" from Madama Butterfly is certainly not wanting in emotional intensity, but her tone is never strident. Fleming turns up the dramatic heat for "Stridono lassù" from Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci, showing us the essential difference between Nedda's defiant temperament and the more timid supplications of Puccini's heroines. Drama is almost beside the point in "Io son l'umile ancella" (from Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur), "Casta diva" (from Bellini's Norma), and "Ebben? Ne andrò lontana" (from Catalani's La Wally), and Fleming clearly relishes these arias' bounteous lyricism. With creamy tone and weightless, whisper-soft high notes, she creates gleaming, rhapsodic oases. The soprano's winsome performance of a pair of arias from Massenet's Manon indicates she would be a knockout in this role, especially given her recent success in Thaïs. Only in "Je veux vivre" from Gounod's Romeo et Juliette does Fleming seem to be out of her element; despite her charm and virtuosity, the voice is simply too luxurious for such flighty roulades. The heftier fireworks of the bolero from Verdi's Les Vêpres Siciliennes are more her style, and here she is absolutely electrifying. Sir Charles Mackerras and the London Philharmonic lend vivid, vital support that's fully worthy of Fleming's extraordinary talents.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard LeSueur
The voice of Renée Fleming is one of the most beautiful in opera. Her wide range of roles, from Handel's "Alcina" to her appearance in Previn's "A Streetcar named Desire," display a breadth of interest in and curiosity about the byways of opera. This recital covers some of the greatest soprano arias from Bellini to Puccini. All have been recorded many times, and most listeners will have a favorite version as a touchstone performance. As lovely one may find much of the singing, it is possible to be troubled by this disc. Perhaps in an effort to avoid the criticism of blandness often applied to Kiri Te Kanawa, Fleming has gone too far in trying to inflect every word with deep meaning. The tempo and phrasing are played-with so much that at times you may be reminded of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, although Fleming never goes to her extremes. There are times when just allowing the music to makes its point is enough. The recitative preceding Nedda's "Bird song" in "I Pagliacci" is simply too weighty for the character. Unfortunately the recitative to the "Adriana Lecouvreur" aria is omitted -- and that would be the place for such an approach. "Casta diva" needs to have its cabaletta to fulfill the form of the piece. The French arias are the best items, and it is good to have a recording of the "Bolero" from Verdi's "Les Vèpres siciliennes" in the original French. Fleming's high E at the end is fine, but Mackerras should have utilized the traditional concert ending; the coda is too long for recital purposes. Nitpicking aside, there is fine singing on this disc -- but its approach is too intellectual for the content.
New York Times - Ira Rosenblum
Perhaps had there been more room on the jacket, this CD's full title might have been "Renée Fleming Sings 14 of the World's Most Heart-Melting, Passionate, Lyrical 19th-Century Italian and French Arias." Instead, it is called simply "Renée Fleming," and in truth, the name says it all.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2000
Label:
Decca
UPC:
0028946704929
catalogNumber:
467049
Rank:
120046

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Gianni Schicchi, opera: O mio babbino caro  - Giacomo Puccini  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Peggy Cochrane  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas
  2. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Un bel di vedremo  - Giacomo Puccini  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Peggy Cochrane  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas
  3. La bohème, opera: Quando me n'vò  - Giacomo Puccini  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Peggy Cochrane  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas
  4. Turandot, opera: Signore, ascolta!  - Giacomo Puccini  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Peggy Cochrane  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas
  5. Pagliacci, opera: Stridono lassù  - Ruggero Leoncavallo  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Peggy Cochrane  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas
  6. Adriana Lecouvreur, opera: lo son l'umile ancella  - Francesco Cilèa  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Peggy Cochrane  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas
  7. La Wally, opera (dramma musicale) in 4 acts: Ebben?... Ne andrô lontana  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Alfredo Catalani  - Peggy Cochrane  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas
  8. Manon, comic opera in 5 acts: Je suis encor tout étourdie  - Jules Massenet  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Peggy Cochrane  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas
  9. Manon, comic opera in 5 acts: Adieu, notre petite table  - Jules Massenet  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Peggy Cochrane  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas
  10. Carmen, opéra-comique in 4 acts: Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante  - Georges Bizet  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Peggy Cochrane  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas
  11. Roméo et Juliette, opera: Ah! Je veux vivre  - Charles Gounod  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Peggy Cochrane  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas
  12. Simon Boccanegra, opera: Come in quest'ora bruna  - Giuseppe Verdi  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Peggy Cochrane  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas
  13. Norma, opera: Casta Diva  - Vicenzo Bellini  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Peggy Cochrane  - Terry Edwards  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  -  London Voices  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas
  14. I Vespri siciliani, opera (Les vêpres siciliennes): Merci, jeunes amies  - Giuseppe Verdi  - Kenneth Chalmers  - Peggy Cochrane  - Terry Edwards  - Renée Fleming  - Andrew Huth  -  London Philharmonic Orchestra  -  London Voices  - Charles Mackerras  - Laura Mardon  - Diana Reed  - Mark Millington  - Evans Mirageas

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Renée Fleming 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I brought this CD the day it was released, and have heard it many times since then. I have to say that it really is one of the best collections of Opera Arias I have ever heard. I had heard all the arias before but Renée's voice just adds a certain melody and feeling to them. Till now, some of my favorite albums of hers were 'Visions of Love', 'Signatures' and 'The Beautiful Voice', along with the Strauss collections, but this new album really gives them all a tough competition. Not just the music on the CD, but also the artwork and photos on the cover are very well done.
Guest More than 1 year ago
REnée Fleming is FAbulous. What else can be said?! Great choice of arias...sung to perfection by Miss Fleming.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a ''must'' for opera lovers. I am buying a second copy now as a gift and am sure there will be more to follow. I cannot hear the aria from ''Norma'' often enough.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't stop listening to this CD. This is the best Renee Fleming CD one could ever have, with all the ''to die for'' Puccini arias and other favorite opera arias. One's opera CD collection is incomplete without this volume. I saw her on PBS' Live from Lincoln Center in January 2001, and I was so impressed with her versatility and soulful interpretation of arias. Not to mention her beautiful and poetic speaking voice. This CD deserves 10 stars, not just 5! Bravo, Renee!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Renee Flemming's voice, and own all of her previous albums, but was rather dissappointed when I purchased this one. Although she sounds lovely, the album repertoire leaves me asking too much. She chose too many tunes that had been done and done again. I hope that next time she'll steer clear of mainstream opera hits, and avoid selling out to less educated musical audiences.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everything on this disc is worth listening to over and over and over. I am thrilled with the chance to hear Miss Fleming sing arias she may possibly never perform in character in an opera. This is beautiful music sung by the most glorious voice. I especially enjoy the quicker tempo arias which give Miss Fleming a chance to show off another aspect of her singing. She is more than capable of vocal fireworks and she proves it here. I don't feel Miss Fleming is selling out in any form. She has an incredibly beautiful voice which is meant to sing beautiful music. Her choice of arias is perfect...I'd love to hear her sing all the most popular arias ever written as her family and friends requested she do here. As riveting as Miss Fleming's voice is on recordings, one must hear her in person at any chance. She is a magnificent performer with incredible stage presence. And to top that...you can tell she loves what she does.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this CD and was so blown away by the richness of her voice. I have listened to many other Soprano's sing and NOBODY ELSE CAN COME TO CLOSE TO MATCHING HER. IF you can only buy ONE Opera CD, TREAT YOURSELF AND BUY THIS ONE!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago