on 9 October 2011
A truly great CD. Whilst I have nearly all of Haley's CD's none of the songs on this CD are retakes of others I already have.
Some of the songs are very peaceful and at times haunting i.e. Gabriels Oboe and Once Upon a Time in the West. There is not one track I do not like and Haley's performance through out is superb. I have been playing it virtually non stop along with three other artists for days now and still not tired of it. In fact I still find something new to take in when replaying it.
The presentation case complements the music nicely.
on 29 August 2011
For this album Hayley has teamed up with Ennio Morricone and this is a match made in heaven and it has produced a truly amazing album. Hayley's voice perfectly fits Ennio's romanic compositions. The music on this album covers much of Morricone's early music to iconic film scors such as The Mission and Cinema Paradiso, but there are also mew compisitions and new lyrics some of which Hayley has written herself. Apart from Hayley's outstanding vocals, the new arrangements really stand out on this CD. For me Paradiso contains the best arrangements of Gabriel's Oboe that I have heard with a vocal, its much better than any version of Nella Fantasia I have heard. Also the versions of La Califfa and Cinema Paradiso really stand out with beautiful lyrics and orchestral arrangements. Morricone has really pushed Hayley as these songs are very emotional and Hayley really shows this in her voice and this is the sort of music she should be performing and is very different to her other albums.
The Tracks that really stand out for me are:
La Califfa- Hayley has writen some beautiful new English lyrics for this song and it is orchestrated beautifully; especially the use of the piano in the third verse and strings in the fourth.
Once Upon a Time in the West- This is a vocaliese; I don't think any other artist can do a vocaliese like Hayley, it is amazing how moving this song is when there are no lyrics- again the use of strings is perfect towards the end.
Metti Una Sera a Cena- this deserves a mention becasue it has a more pop-like sound and is different to many of the other tracks and it is also a testament to Morricone's talent that the music seems completely at odds with the meaning of the song.
Lezione di Musica- this is a new composition for this album and again is different; it sounds like vocal exercises and really showcases Hayley's talent and range.
Amalia Por Amor- This is amazing, it is very dramatic which is not something that Hayley does very often, but after listening to this I think she should do more songs like this, it is in portugese, one of my favourites on the album.
Would he Even Know Me Now- these are new lyrics by Don Black, they are beautiful, this song had to grow on me, but after listening a few times this is a really stunning song
Edge of Love- this had lyrics by Tim Rice, it is arranged and performed in a simple style
Malena- another song Hayley has written lyrics for, I love the tune to this and the lyrics, this is a perfect snd to the album
Paradiso is very different to Hayley's other albums and its the best one I think- although her Japanese ones are hard to beat. It is the perfect combination of Hayley's voice and Morricone's music and arragements that make this album so good- I would reccomend this to everyone, even if they were not classical music fans, the music on this album is simply stunning.
on 29 August 2011
A great voice is one thing, but without the right material, the talent is wasted. Who better than the great Ennio Morricone, (composer of Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns with Eastwood, Once upon a time in America, Once upon a time in the West and much more) to collaborate with Westenra. This new album, released a while ago in some countries has some of 83 year old Morricone's famous film music as well as newly written music just for this album. Angelic Westenra has added to this album by writing English lyrics to some of his famous pieces. There are tracks here from Once upon a time in the West and from Once upon a time in America, which alone makes this album a standout. Morricone produced all of the tracks, some with new arrangements and using the resources of his own 120 piece orchestra. Now it might seem I am reviewing Morricone rather than Westenra but that is because the two together make this album what it is.
Recorded in Rome, this is an album not only for the lover of classical soprano but crossover music. Westenra has previously covered many yesteryear songs, such as Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkel), Both sides now (Joni Mitchell), Wuthering heights (Kate Bush) but this album is more of a classical orchestral work. Almost an hour of music, this album is worth listening to on quiet evenings; on thoughtful days.
on 1 September 2011
I've been listening to this album for several months now (after ordering it from N. Z.). This album is innovative in a way that others in her genre are not i.e. others would be happy to keep on regurgitating the same 'classical crossover' type songs, whilst Hayley in this album takes a different path.
Listening to the album a few times and also listening to interviews with Hayley, Ennio Morricone probably pushed her more to excel on this album than on pervious ones and this comes out in the strength and range of the vocals. Favourite tracks would have to be 'Gabriel's Oboe', 'La Callifa', 'Once upon a time in the West,' 'Amalia Por Amor' and 'Malena'. Amalia Por Amor is worth the price of this album alone, and really shows what Hayley is capable of, and what those who have heard her sing live can attest to. Ennio Morricone's orchestra also sounds excellent and compliments Hayley's voice well. I'll leave the last words to Ennio Morricone: "Hayley Westenra is a rare singer, maybe unique in the international panorama. Her voice and perfect intonation have really struck me. This is already a lot for a composer. Then, working with her, I found out that she is also a great interpreter. I'm sure we'll do a good job together."
on 29 August 2011
Ennio Morricone, famous for his film music is now well into his eighties having had a long and distinguished career.
Hayley is the young vocalist that he chose to work with. With good reason. I don't think anyone else in the world could do what Hayley did with these songs. She even wrote some of the English lyrics, and is not shamed by some of the other respected lyricists that contributed to the album, like Sir Tim Rice and Don Black!
As a long time fan of Hayley's voice and music, I am thrilled with this one.
Here is a wonderful exhibition of vocal virtuosity, combined with superb orchestration.
The different ways in which Hayley's beautiful pure voice is used, often as a musical instrument, are pure genius. And what a range of different styles she covers, everything from Christmas carols to Portuguese fado. All performed brilliantly
Much is exquisitely beautiful. On "Once Upon a Time in the West" you don't at first realise you are listening to a human voice, she sounds like a bassoon-like instrument to my ears, and it is only when she hits some higher notes that the truth dawns. Such is the purity of her voice and the accuracy and consistency of pitch that she achieves. There are spectacular vocal fireworks as on "Amalia Por Amor" and "Lezione di Musica". And all through the album run Morricone's gorgeous melodies.
It is far and away the best album that Hayley has ever recorded in my opinion (although I have a very soft spot for her Japanese Songs albums).
Paradiso is like nothing else I have ever heard, from Hayley or anyone else, and deserves huge success. Despite the language barrier, and a nearly 60 year age difference, Hayley and Ennio seem made for each other musically. A thoroughly enjoyable album that will be listened to with pleasure for years to come.
on 17 October 2011
This is a wonderful CD with amazing music and everyone who knows the music from The Mission : Gabriel's Oboe will just love this new version with words and all overseen by the composer himself. Hayley has a beautiful clear voice and this has to be her best CD yet and well worth having in your collection.
on 11 October 2011
I had not got any of her Cds but listened to a short radio interview about this particular album. As I had some credits on my account I bought this CD as Cinema Paridiso was featured.
I listen to my music when in my office (at home)and can be easily distracted. I put this on and listened to it a couple of times - certain melodies made a mark, but nothing special.
And then BANG. The music, the melodies struck home and I was hooked. This CD is brilliant and addictive. Some tracks are perfect, her voice is a dream.
Yet in saying this, I'm afraid that I've raised your expectations too high and I don't want her to disappoint. I don't think you will be.......
on 26 November 2011
This unusual collaboration between 83 year old Italian composer Ennio Morricone and Kiwi classical crossover artist Hayley Westenra is a testimony to mutual admiration. Morricone has composed hundreds of film scores and instrumentals over his very prolific career but has rarely worked with vocalists. His recent discovery of and appreciation for Ms. Westenra's vocal capabilities and Hayley's mutual admiration for Morricone has resulted in the very delightful "Paradiso".
This impressive CD was orchestrated, composed, and conducted by Morricone with his orchestra in Rome but it is very much Hayley's album. Her beautiful, pitch perfect, clear voice complements each of these well chosen songs.
A personal favourite is "Gabriel's Oboe (Whispers in a Dream)" with lyrics by Hayley. She also penned the "Malena" lyrics and co-wrote with Morricone the lyrics to "La Califfa". The one Christmas themed song on this album is the utterly charming "Per Natale (L'Esprit de Noel)".
If you fancy either of these artists, you will enjoy this CD which is a tribute to teamwork.
on 10 October 2011
One of the most pure clear female voices for a long time.Hayley's material just gets better.Looking forward to the next release.
I must confess that I have not heard much of Ms Westenra's singing during the past few years. Encouraged by positive reviews by critics and fans alike, I decided to purchase this CD since I have always liked Ennio Morricone's music.
I was pleasantly surprised to say the least for it is a delightful album. Ms Westentra has a fine singing voice, not a strong one, but pleasant, with much charm. Of the tracks listed, I particularly liked her rendition of Gabriel's Oboe (The Mission) this is beautifully sung; Once Upon A Time In The West(my favourite); I Knew I Loved You,(Deborah's Theme from Once Upon A Time In America) and the delightful Amalia Por Amor.
Enhanced by a very good recording, well balanced and clear, although on occasions, the lyrics can be hard to hear since the orchestra sometimes does overwhelm Ms Westenra's voice.