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on 23 October 2006
This isn't really the 'Best of' Sarah Brightman at all. It's more 'these are the most famous songs I have done so you will pick this CD up and buy it' of Sarah Brightman. Besides, she has three other 'Best Of's on release which are all remarkably better than this one.

It's worrying that someone new to Sarah Brightman would buy this and then think this is what Sarah has to offer. Practically all these songs are classical. There is no problem with that but it's only one of the many areas that Sarah has explored throughout her career. It was to my understanding that a 'Best Of' really does showcase the best of that artist. This compilation of her songs is truely pigeon-holed to meet classical standards, which is foolish since Sarah is not an opera singer. Classical singer, yes, she can be, but not an opera singer. Whilst I have never heard a more beautiful version of Nessun Dorma, or Time To Say Goodbye Sarah's area of expertise is crossover which is where this album is slightly misleading. Sarah is a master at mixing songs and giving them a radically different interpretation. She also has a wonderful collection of original songs but none of her best are on this album. What makes Sarah so popular and unique is the original or semi-original material from her albums Eden, La Luna and Timeless. They are not on here. Who Wants To Live Forever, Deliver Me, There For Me, Tu Quieres Volver, Eden and He Doesn't See Me are just a select few that should have reached this compilation. My advice is to buy her 'The Very Best of 1990-2000' which paints a more accurate picture of Sarah's career. True, it doesn't have her hits from Harem, but who cares when this collection only has two songs (poor ones at that) from Harem anyway? Bear in mind that this release in a european release of her Best Of and you can get a better one on Import 'Diva: The Singles Collection' which again is more true to Sarah's career. Also, the other best of is another album of the same name 'Classics' which was released in 2001 and is almost identical to this release apart from a few songs.

As for her performance - she has a lovely voice, indeed, she is my favourite singer but that's only because of her diversity. For this album, she sings songs that have been sung by scores of others. Her version of Nessun Dorma, Time To Say Goodbye, Music of the Night and Pie Jesu and far above the rest but songs like Nella Fantasia (which I acknowledge she originated but everyone after her have a far better arrangement) and just about every aria on the album are superior elsewhere. This album is clearly aimed at classical fans but I don't see how classical buffs would enjoy this CD. Best song on this album is A Question of Honour but because of its trance and dance influence it probably won't be appreciated by the target audience. As for taking everything I have said so far out of the consideration, the songs themselves are beautiful and stunning to listen to, but Sarah veterans already have all of these songs probably four times over already.

An... odd release from Sarah. Fortunately, it can somewhat redeem itself since it has extras on the CD when you pop it into your computer (which collaborates with her official website). Also, Sarah has penned notes on each song on why she has chosen it and what the song means to her, which is a lovely touch. All of the artwork is recycled from earlier albums, but it's done in such a way that it gets away with it. No lyrics, but since when do lyrics come with Best Of compilations anyway?

Overall I think this is to rake some cash in (what? she needs more?) and Europe have been very short changed with this release when America and Asia get a better compilation and a DVD with most of her music videos on - which is excellent if you can get hold of it (region one only though). If you are new to Sarah, this isn't the CD to buy.
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on 19 October 2006
i got this last week,and its never been out of my cd player,every night i get home, work weary and tired,flick this on while running a bath and feel like a new person by the end of it..probably my favorite compilation so far from sarah,every track is just beautiful and all my favs are there.

if you are new to sarah brightman give it a try and take no notice of all this "cross over artist"talk, sarah has a beautiful pure and well trained soprano voice

just gorgeous thankyou sarah!
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on 4 January 2007
Sarah Brightman is the original voice of an angel. Her voice has a unique quality that is both sensual and comforting. This collection has been chosen well as it features some of her very best recordings. Her recording of The Music Of The Night from the Phantom of the Opera always moves me. Sarah's Ave Maria is faultess and beautiful. And A Question of Honour provides the perfect bookend to this collection. A must-buy.
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Although Mrs. Brightman's voice is perfect in almost every type of music, this album has a little flaw at having chosen the repertoire no so carefully, making the listening experience a little bit lengthy. The production is excelent in the sound department. In the graphical concept, I think it would've been better produced, since the "Classics" word gives a more conservative idea of what's in the interior of this recording concept, and with the exceptionally good resources available in England regarding the Music Industry, a 19th Century concept with Streets, Stages and Wardrobe of the time, would have been proven a perfect choice for the impecable Sara's image.
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on 23 September 2011
I bought this CD for myself and Sarah's singing and interpretation is memorable. It is ideal to listen to in the early morning, or on a tranquil evening. I also sent this CD to my mother, who lists it as one of her most listened to CDs ever. It sets an atmosphere of serenity and comfort. Please try it - you should love it !
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on 18 April 2012
I fail to see how anyone could not love the sound of this lady's voice, it is pure heaven, so crystal clear. Sarah Brightman has to be one of the worlds greatest singers, she actually sings and not screams like a lot of today's so called artists. Buy this, sit back and enjoy the voice of a nightingale at its very best.
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on 4 September 2013
I was so surpriced form her woice and the way she hold the tones in all Levels.
It was a New expirience to listen to all the pieces on this album very good!
Yes, I tell and play it on my workdays to whom I work with
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on 1 May 2014
Very soothing to listen to after a hard days work. The voice is just amazing and very nice to feel relaxed enough for a good night sleep
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 29 October 2007
Fans of Sarah Brightman have expressed mixed opinions on this `Best Of' release.

Being labeled as a `crossover' artist I think can be a burden, for there are times when he/she will perform opera and classical music but get criticized by the `classical buffs' for trying to step on the toes of their treasured elitist professional musicians of the classical world.

Then there is the criticism from fans of `popular music', who see their idol apparently deserting their pop roots and alienating themselves by joining the orchestral high society club.

So when pop meets classical is there always friction?

No, I don't side with either of these views, for I believe everyone is free to sing anything they like. Whether they sing it well is a different matter of course, but I just don't see that there needs to be a conflict of interest between the two genres.

Classical and opera music can be found everywhere in today's popular music, and it is the skills of the writer and performer which enable the meeting of the two to become a friendly one. The term crossover may be recent, but the practice has been around for generations.

This is well illustrated by J.S.Bach's famous `Air on G' (Hamlet cigar advert for older readers), the baseline of which crossed over to the pop/rock world and was used by the band Procol Harum on their massive 1967 hit `A Whiter Shade of Pale'. Surely an artist should be encouraged to use classical compositions when they can be turned into such inspirational pop music like this?

For me, the highlights of this album include most of the tracks, it's that good. The only real disappointment was the Handel aria `Lascia ch'io pianga', for I feel the additional vocal embellishments don't suit it. I much prefer the straight opera version.

`Nessun Dorma' is a breathtakingly powerful version, and I love the vocal finale ending the same time as the orchestral backing. It may not be how it was written, but I like it better than when the singer delivers his/her spectacular last line, then twiddle their thumbs patiently waiting for the ten seconds or so for the orchestra to finish.

`Time to Say Goodbye' with Andrea Bocelli was a huge hit when it was first released in 1996. Ten years on, it's included on this best of album and sounds as fresh as ever. There have been many interpretations of this song but in my opinion none come close to this one.

I think this album is a brilliant collection of classical music arias (hence the title `Classics' I guess) sung by an artist with an incredible vocal range who, like her or not, grabs the listeners attention by constantly changing the style and emotional presentation of her music. It's also a demonstration of how an artist can use their pop/theatre/musical singing talent to cross effortlessly over to the classical music world.

Fans and admirers of Sarah Brightman may be concerned that this compilation represents only one facet of her singing skills, and that its operatic theme may put off newcomers to her music. But I think these fears are unfounded, for this collection is actually intended to show off that side of her vocal talents, and should appeal to an audience who appreciate the classical side of a person who is essentially a popular singer with a great talent for singing classical music.
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on 29 October 2013
I love this cd by Sarah bright man. If you need your spirits lifting play it loud. Great music, quick and efficient service.
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