This Grammy nominated disc was originally supposed to be performed and recorded by members of the Nashville Opera Chorus rather than the Chicago & Nashville Symphony Choruses--since the original performances were given by the Nashville Opera Ensemble. However, the day before the recording, that ensemble and two principal artists were cut from the recording...to this day there has been no reason given why. So I am going to try to do this without a shaded view of the Nashville Symphony Organization or the Naxos Label, especially because I know both are outstanding companies.
Julie Boulianne gives a performance of a lifetime on this disc. Her voice possesses a very warm and lush tone that I haven't heard in a mezzo in quite some time. Julie Cox, Agathe Martel, Geneviève Després, Kevin Short, Cassandre Prévost, and Kirsten Gunlogson (all members of the original Nashville Opera performance cast) are among some my most remembered vocalists. These artists make up a wonderful cast of dreamlike scenes and sounds that the most untrained ear will enjoy. The Nashville Symphony Chorus and Chicago Symphony Chorus (having learned the music quite quickly) do a stand up job of the vocals...but I would've like to have heard more character expression from them. The Chattanooga Boys Choir struggles with the French language, as most 6-12 year olds might. The Nashville Symphony is outstanding as always. They are living up to their reputation! The Grammy nomination is well deserved for all parties involved.