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Habanera
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2010
A wonderful collection by a truly wonderful artist. To my mind Elina Garanca is one of the finest mezzos around today. The common denominator of this album is 'gypsy music'. Garanca sings a fascinating mixture of opera, operetta, zarzuela, spanish songs, and even music theatre. Listen to the first track 'Como naci en la calle de la Paloma' and I guarantee you will be hooked. There are three suburb excerpts from Carmen. I recently heard her sing the role at Covent Garden; I have seen many different Carmens in my lifetime, but I think that Garanca is the best ever in every respect. Listen to the magnificently sung csardas from 'Gypsy Love' by Lehar or one of the charming spanish songs, but then I could go on and on and mention every track on this disk. I just want to mention 'I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls' from The Bohemian Girl by Michael Balfe. I had difficulty in associating this charming piece with the theme of 'gypsy music' until I discovered that Arline, the heroine of this mid nineteenth century opera is kidnapped as a little girl and brought up by gypsies. In the Bernstein excerpt from 'Candide', listen to the charming way she pronounces the word 'assimilated', a giveaway to her Latvian origin. In short, Elina Garanca has a gorgeous voice, both creamy and full, truly a voice to die for.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2010
I love everything about this lady's voice. She has a wide range and brings a warmth and passion to her performance that few can match. This album pays tribute to her love for Spanish Zarzuela and to the Gypsy way of life. It contains several famous songs from Carmen (including two different versions of the Habanera) and I loved it from start to finish. A worthy addition to her growing collection of recordings, I can't wait for her next album. Buy and enjoy the music and the passion!
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Elina Garanca's beautifully performed and entertaining anthology of arias associated with opera's notion of gypsies is varied in style, wide-ranging in terms of repertoire and as authentic as can reasonably be expected of a blonde Latvian born in Riga. The sleeve note adds, a little hopefully perhaps, that's she's married to a man from Gibraltar, suggesting a somewhat closer connection to the Iberian home of most of the arias on this disc. Of course all this geography is beside the point. The point being whether or not the music is well executed, and there is no doubt it is. Garanca has a wonderfully rich mezzo voice which has no difficulty in expressing the range of emotional states demanded by these arias, whether soaring upwards in scornful dismissal or sweeping low in a dark and sexy guttural.

Accompaniment is provided by the expert and versatile orchestra of Italian Radio, the philharmonic choir of Turin, Roberto Alagna, and the guitarist Jose Maria Gallardo del Rey, all under the direction of Karel Mark Chichon. Highly recommended.
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on 10 April 2014
This is a mix of Carmen hits and other gypsy type songs. Great performance from a fabulous mezzo who deserves to be better known. This CD would be one of my Desert Island choices.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2010
This is an exquisite CD. It is an enjoyable mixture of songs and her voice was superb throughout.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2011
I discovered Elina Garinca when watching Sky Arts who showed her performance in Carmen at the New Youk Met. Since then I have been hooked on her voice. Her portrayal of Carmen is incomparable and this compilation of her music which includes several tracks from Carmen was a must buy. I recommend anyone who appeciates the beauty of opera and the beauty of women to buy it and also to buy the DVD version of her portrayal of Carmen at the New York Met to fully appreciate her voice and her unique style and beauty.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2014
What else can one say about Elina's singing. OK ... its not I Capuleti e I Montecchi (what a great shame that there is no official recoring of Garanca and Netrebko in that opera and only a US hand-held camera version) but a joy to listen to for all that.
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on 18 October 2014
Excellent
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 February 2012
I have just reviewed Elina Garanca's Bel Canto album Bel Canto [+digital booklet] and given it 5 stars for being one of the best albums I have heard in the past 10 years. This is not the case with this album, which i only give 4 stars to. There is no problem with her voice which is so beautifully velvety and a delivery which is precise and fully focussed. IMHO the best mezzo-soprano since the 1940's.

My problem is with 2 or 3 of the tracks which are awful, for example Track 10 'I am easily assimilated' from Candide. Of course there are many great tracks, the usual suspects from Carmen, 'I dreamt I dwelt in Marble Halls' from The Bohemian Girl and several of the tracks have accompaniment from the guitarist Jose Maria Gallardo del Rey Trees Speak which really adds something special to them. I am just left wondering if this could have been a better album if it were 15 or 16 tracks instead of 18 tracks.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2013
Fans of Garanca will undoubtedly love this album. Deutsche Grammophon have a winner with this artist. Very popular in Europe, its a shame she doesn't often visit the UK.
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