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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Coloratura (?) Classic!
If you are an opera lover with a king-sized sense of humour, then this a MUST for your collection. Madame Foster Jenkins was indeed a character and her whoops, tortured tremolo and amazing swoops are scarcely to be believed. The arias are handled with such panache that one wonders why she never got any air plays on radio! The astounding thing about the programme is...
Published on 25 Aug. 2003 by Melville Smith

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been worse
While Jo Stafford (as Darlene Edwards)sung badly on purpose and Mrs Miller was just plain offensively horrible all Florence Foster Jenkins needed was probably a few lessons-about 2 years worth.She isn't especially jarring she just has difficulty hitting the right notes unlike her near namesake Katharine.
Today she'd come under the general umberella of Outsider...
Published on 2 Jun. 2012 by Richard


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Coloratura (?) Classic!, 25 Aug. 2003
By 
Melville Smith (dyserth, denbighshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Murder on the High C's (Audio CD)
If you are an opera lover with a king-sized sense of humour, then this a MUST for your collection. Madame Foster Jenkins was indeed a character and her whoops, tortured tremolo and amazing swoops are scarcely to be believed. The arias are handled with such panache that one wonders why she never got any air plays on radio! The astounding thing about the programme is that she takes it all so seriously one can actually believe in her sincerity. However, apart from the main recital, the supporting programme contains some really superb gems from Heken Traubel, Josephine Tumminia, Lauritz Melchior etc., as they have never been heard before. Naxos are to be congratulated on such a pearl at a great price. After listening to this you will never be quite the same!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes, this is for real and not from some Marx Brothers movie...., 29 Feb. 2008
By 
S. A. Kuipers (Groningen, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Murder on the High C's (Audio CD)
The legendary Mrs. Florence Foster Jenkins "sings" her heart out on this CD. She does so with relish, verve and gusto but with a voice that your hair stand on end. Have a care and make very sure your cat or your dog are outside before tou pop this in your CD player.
I like a good laugh as much as the next man and yes, Mrs. Florence Foster Jenkins's musical offerings are so g*dawful bad it is almost unbelievably funny but....
But there is also the fact that the gormless creature herself apparently sincerely and steadfastly believed she possessed oodles of talent! She really was convinced that she was Maria Malibran, Giuditta Pasta, Jenny Lind and Dame Nellie Melba, all rolled into one.
Also, apparently, she never noticed or even suspected how cruelly her leg was being pulled by her "adoring audience". Admission to her few annual "recitals" in the foyer of the New York Ritz hotel was highly sought after.
This fact makes always makes me a bit uncomfortable when listening to Mrs. FFJ. On the one hand I can't help wincing and laughing to myself at her preposterous attempts at "diva-dom" and yet there's also that ever so slight frisson of guilty embarrassment of laughing at someone behind his, or in this case her, back. Which mostly isn't actually all that funny, but rather cheap and easy.

Someone close Mrs. FFJ ought off course to have had the balls to tell her to stop making such a ludicrous exhibition of herself. No one ever did and she happily lived on in her self-created and self-funded (thanks to inheriting a whopping great fortune) charade. It must have been very drôle to hear her and perhaps even more so to watch her.
For during her recitals this portly and middle-aged lady dressed up in the most incredibly stereotypical and over-the-top Opera costumes: and the audience was treated to a parade of fantastic, beached whale-like Carmens, Brunhildes, Queens-of-the-Night-from-the-Magic-Flute, Greek godesses, Vestal virgins, Warrior princesses and so on.
Still, I do wonder: but didn't anyone in the audience find it the slightest bit painful or embarrassing, to make fun of the silly old moo?
On the other hand, she was fully compos mentis and willingly chose to make such a spectacle of herself for more than 30 years. She financed it all out of her own money, donated the substantial admission fees she reaped to various charities, along with great chunks of her inheritance. She did nobody any harm with her antics and did what few of us do: she lived out her dream of being a diva to the fullest of her abilities. There is much to admire in her attitude. Good for her!

Mrs. FFJ reminds me of those characters the great Margaret Dumont used to play in those '30s and '40s Marx Brothers comedies, you know the type: the rather stout, benign, rich, none too bright, hoity-toity dowager and socialite, who falls victim to the most relentless piss-taking by Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Sleepy, Dopey, Doc and Bashful.

So enjoy this, but spare a thought for Mrs. FFJ. People applauded her wildly, but laughed at her behind her back. Not very nice that. Bit cruel, even. I deducted one star for that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, for all the wrong reasons, God bless her., 30 Sept. 2011
By 
Captain Howdy "none" (Outside. And above. And below. Looking in. Looking out. And looking at you.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Murder on the High C's (Audio CD)
Deary me, it is very difficult to write a review of F.F.J. The poor woman.
Anyway,it is easy to be cruel I suppose, but she did, after all, set herself up.
It is a tragically amusing recording that is somehow strangely addictive (albeit in my quieter moments of madness). To be honest, some days I play it non stop. It is that good. It is also that bad, so bad, it would make an onion cry. Poor Florence, maybe someone should've pulled her to one side and told her that "the game was up" ; pity that doesn't happen more often, if ever, these days.

Also worth a mention is "The Glory of The Human Voice" by F.F.J. It is equally bad. It is also equally good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been worse, 2 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Murder on the High C's (Audio CD)
While Jo Stafford (as Darlene Edwards)sung badly on purpose and Mrs Miller was just plain offensively horrible all Florence Foster Jenkins needed was probably a few lessons-about 2 years worth.She isn't especially jarring she just has difficulty hitting the right notes unlike her near namesake Katharine.
Today she'd come under the general umberella of Outsider Music.
She could have done a lot worse with her inheritance-like becoming a drug dealer or a high class hooker but instead she's gained some sort of immortality
She has of course a better name-not only did I find Mrs Miller offensive but I hated her name as there were at the time 2 proper Millers on the chart-Roger and Jody as well as the fact that Capitol had signed her after turning down the Beatles and this very fact that she got to make all those albums meant a number of Beatles song were targeted for her slaughter
I am at something of an advantage here as I detest operatic arias.Its a good job she never attempted the song Lo Hear The Gentle Lark which Gwen Catley had the last word on and which is very familiar to me but by doung operatic arias I wouldn't really know if these are the right notes she hits seeing as this sort of thing is pretty tuneless to me and never sounded real with all this coloratura stuff.
The reissue of Golden Years of the Gramophone which was 2 CDs originally has added the Florence Foster Jenkins track of the Mozart "Queen of the Night" aria which must puzzle many
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Bad it's Great, 5 May 2011
By 
Gwr Evans - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Murder on the High C's (Audio CD)
BAD?! I'll say it's bad- she couldnt sing two notes or keep a beat and yet firmly believed she was talented and so "performed" as this disc shows.
Its a sad detail we dont have video of the Lady but there, you cant' have everything,
I am just pleased to hear the squawk- bad as it is!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Murder on the High C's, 30 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Murder on the High C's (Audio CD)
It seems perverse to enjoy something that is so awful. Florence Foster-Jenkins had sufficient wealth at her disposal to indulge her fantasy of being an opera singer. She was able to hire orchestras and concert halls where she could give performances for her own self satisfaction. One notable piece is the Queen of the Night's aria from W Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute". This is a demanding aria even for a respected diva to sing, particularly with its high, coloratura notes. Nevertheless Florence attempts it and once or twice almost hits the notes before her voice cracks. It is ghastly, self-indulgent mediocrity which fascinates because it is so awful. Why else would the music publisher release a compact disc with this title?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal in its horror!!, 21 July 2013
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This review is from: Murder on the High C's (Audio CD)
Well, you don't buy this CD because you are in love with Foster Jenkins. You buy this because every opera lover need to have this! Miss Foster Jenkins is horrible! She demolishes the famous Bell Song! I couldn't get past track 5. I suppose I will listen to the rest of it on another rainy day! I do salute her: I suppose her message is clear - you can be an operatic diva if you want to be one... Buy this and have a good chuckle! I admit I too would have paid a fortune if I could see her live!!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 9 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Murder on the High C's (Audio CD)
I bought this because I need to illustrate some different vocal skills on a singing course. The students loved it. So horrible that you just keep listening, anticipating the next dropped note.
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