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Charlotte Church (US version)

16 Nov 1999

£5.89 (VAT included if applicable)

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 16 Nov. 1999
  • Release Date: 16 Nov. 1999
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 50:36
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001GSHSXW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 119,528 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The opening track, JUST WAVE HELLO, is a masterpiece of delivery from one so young. The words seem somewhat confused and meaningless at first. But, then you listen beyond the words to the music that comes not from the melody, but from Charlotte, herself. It is amazing but true - all great sopranos and trebles have a unique bell-like quality to their voice. In this case, the bell is mellowed by the more rounded sound of the female voice. La pastorella shows her ability to rise and fall through quite wide tonic ranges to achieve her next notes pitch perfect. This requires more than a good voice; it requires more than talent. The artiste must have a feeling for her music and the skill to put all of these together. Charlotte Church has these elements all in abundance. The rendition of The Holy City is truly beautiful - a wonder to hear. This is a track that I play several times every time I listen to this album. The only version of this I have ever heard that I would rate better - but not by much - was on an LP released in 1974. The soloist was Clare McArdle (then aged just 10), backed by a 2,000 voice choir (yes 2,000 voices). That would be hard to beat for anyone. I was a bit concerned that Summertime would not be right for Charlotte - I was wrong. It is an example of how multi-faceted her talent really is. I could write something for every track on the album but, I would need a lot more than 1,000 words. So, I will finish by saying - 17 tracks on the album. I don't know about anyone else's - mine's got 18. The 18th is Silent Night, once again beautifully done and who cares if it's out of season. I'll listen to it any time of year. Even more so because it is Charlotte singing it. She could sing the phone book for me - I'd buy it because it was her. I recommend her music to everyone. THANK YOU CHARLOTTE.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 203 reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Impressive Development in 2nd CD 14 Dec. 1999
By Ben Ohlander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I had purchased the 1st CD after seeing the PBS special, and was impressed with the sheer talent, in spite of the mediocre quality of the recording. Her voice in this CD shows tremendous growth, essaying a broader range with greater depth, color, and staying power. Gershwin's "Summertime" was my favorite of the disk. It's sung without dialect, and has a wistful, haunting quality I found quite charming. The lead track, "Just Wave Hello", was written for her, and showcases her talents and increasing range. She may also create a market for operatic-pop crossovers on the strength of this cut alone. She seems most at home in the final six tracks, moving from the charming "She Moved Through the Fair", into the ethereal "Last Rose of Summer", and a powerful "Men of Harlech". I would have bought the CD for these selections alone.
The opera selections were a mixed bag. Anna Rossi's review here at Amazon provides a better technical review than I can offer. I would suggest checking it out. If Voice of an Angel was an introduction, this CD is a quality resume. The only real problem I think this created for her was it brought her squarely into the gun sights of opera purists, and opened her up for the inevitable comparisons with veteran sopranos who've been singing these roles for years. It was probably necessary for Sony to cement her place in the firmament, but it also exposes her to some unfair panning.
Cuts from two of my favorite operas, Faust and Marriage of Figaro, were included. I was prepared to dislike the Jewel Song, but thought it was nicely done. She handles the upper ranges well, and each note in the middle runs is delivered cleanly... well enough to show she's got the chops to play with the big girls. I just wished it hadn't been cut to two minutes.
The Marriage of Figaro track, "Tell Me What Love Is" was less satisfactory. The decision to do the English translation undercut the nuances of the original song, and I think she is a bit tender to convey the emotional content. It came across a little flat to me.
The only cut I outright didn't care for was the "duet", Barcarolle, The second role would have been better sung by a mezzo-soprano, (which I think it calls for). That would have helped draw attention to Charlotte's vaulting high notes in that aria.
The best operatic cuts were the Puccini's "O mio babbino caro" and Handel's "Lascia ch'io pianga". The Handel, in particular, is sweet and nicely done. The Rossini "La Pastorella" does a good job of showing her vocal development, and of providing a snapshot of her technical mastery at this time. I would like to hear this track recorded again in a few years in order to provide a measure of how far she's come.
I would recommend this CD to both serious opera fans and casual listeners. She offers us all something that doesn't happen very often... she's getting music that normally heard only in dusty opera halls and art-house soundtracks out in the real world. Perhaps some of the popular enthusiasm for this young lady will carry over into the opera world at large and get some new faces into regional houses.
I think Charlotte is well on her way to a stellar career, and I am looking forward to the day when she takes her place on stage...provided that is what she chooses to do.
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
One man's opinion 29 Nov. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This CD is much better technically than the first which sounded like it was done in a garage using an old tape recorder. Ms. Church is also better technically. I enjoyed most of the cuts on the CD because I find listening to her to be relaxing. I do not expect perfection in her 13 year old voice; what I find is a lovely voice worth listening to coupled with a certain charm and innocence. If you want the voice of a 40 year old soprano DO NOT BUY THIS CD you will be disappointed. If you want sweetness in an uncloying way this might be your choice.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Charlotte has arrived! 9 Dec. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When I heard Roberta Peters sing "Lucia" at the Met in the sixties I thought I died and went to heaven. When I first heard Joan Sutherland's flawless technique I was sure the opera world had outdone itself. When Kiri, Cecilia, Renee and Leslie came along I was again mesmerized. The very mention of Maria Callas still causes my heart to skip a beat.
So am I some high-falutin' music critic about to warn you all to stay away from this MADNESS called Charlotte? Guess again.
I have played Charlotte Church's self-titled album several times. To start with, I am beyond floored, beyond flabbergasted. She has, unquestionably, one of the most glorious high soprano voices on the scene. It's much too green for opera stages -- let's agree on that -- but it's utterly magical in its present realm, the recording studio and TV venues. Most of the songs on the CD are enormously appealing. I took extreme pleasure in Miss Church's Mozart aria... I know she'll learn Italian and take it to the next level eventually, but it was brilliantly performed nonetheless. I see her owning several Puccini roles outright somday. When she actually begins to perform opera, I hope she'll continue to record sacred music and never forsake her delicious Welsh/Celtic repertoire.
Finally, it's fascinating that so many critics disagree about Charlotte Church. In the end, after all the ecstatic praises, the warm fuzzies, the cynical put-downs, the condescending encouragements, the "give me a breaks", it still about people reacting (and over-reacting) to a 13 yr. old adolescent girl living her dream. No marketing saavy in the world could have planned this.
114 of 136 people found the following review helpful
A voice with potential 3 Dec. 1999
By Anna Rossi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm a 25 year old light lyric soprano and I heard this CD at my voice teacher's house a couple of days ago. We both agreed that Charlotte Church has a very pretty voice but that some of the material she is singing is unsuitable for her at this stage of vocal development. We also observed that she just doesn't have the maturity yet to covey roles like Marguerite (Jewel Song) and Lauretta (O mio babbino caro) with all of the nuance and feeling that they require.
But she's only 13 years old so I'm sure that her interpretive skills will grow in time. I do agree with an earlier poster that it would have been better for her to wait and record some of this repertoire when she is older. Of course, it will make an interesting comparison when she sings these roles later.
I loved the way that she sings "The Last Rose of Summer." She seemed very connected to the song and her high notes have a floaty quality about them. All in all, it's an enjoyable disc. Church doesn't do anything that is vocally offensive.
When you've heard singers like Ileana Cotrubas sing "O mio babbino" and Mirella Freni singing "The Jewel Song," it's very hard NOT to compare them with Church. I don't think that it was the best idea of her agents and producers to set her up for this kind of critiquing by having her perform these arias.
And shame on Sony for not including translations of the pieces in foreign languages. For people who are interested, "O mio babbino caro" is sung by Lauretta, a young girl begging her father to find a way to help her marry the man she loves. Lauretta's plea is irresistable and her father does help her. The Jewel Song is sung when Marguerite, a young country maiden, discovers a casket of jewels left for her. "I laugh to see how beautiful I look in the mirror! Is it you, Marguerite?" She imagines how beautiful Faust would find her in her jewels, "Ah, if only he were here. He would find me a beautiful lady."
I hope that people continue to enjoy Charlotte Church. And maybe consider giving some other sopranos a try: Natalie Dessay, Renee Fleming, Ruth Ann Swenson, Angela Gheorghiu, Renata Tebladi, Beverly Sills, Lucia Popp......there are so many other beautiful singers out there. Perhaps Ms. Church is on her way to becoming like one of these enduring artists.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Interesting album 18 Nov. 1999
By Leina R. Mojica - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I wouldn't rank Charlotte Church in the same league as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Magda Olivero, Marilyn Horne, and Frederica Von Stade---but she does have a pretty voice. Her renditions of "O mio babbino caro" and "The Jewel Song" were quite good. I could care less for the English translations of "Voi che sapete" and "Barcarolle," though. Those songs should be sung in their original languages. The biggest drawback: Church shouldn't have sung both parts in a duet like "Barcarolle"(that's tacky)---rather, her producer should have found a mezzo to sing with her... The album is a balanced mix of opera, hymns, and folk songs. Church certainly knows how to show off her talent and skills with these carefully chosen songs. The song written for Ford---"Just Wave Hello"---is a strange mixture of pop and classical. But, because it's sung by someone so young, the song actually works. Interesting. I can't wait to hear what Church's voice will sound like in ten years...
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