Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If music makes you happy, then this will, 16 April 2011
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This review is from: A Song In My Heart (Audio CD)
Wynne Evans has headed the lists of the most hated man in television adverts. He is the vocalist with the curly moustaches and in your face delivery.

Apart from obviously having quite a sense of humour he is also, away from selling a website, a magical professional tenor vocalist produced from years of study and training.

In an interview, Wynne Evans paid tribute to the late, great Mario Lanza and made no bones about the fact most of the tracks on this CD were previously recorded by Lanza. So what's the difference?

Quite a big one. Lanza had a harder, more diamond edged vocal mitigated by a warm, smoky accent. Wynne Evans, by contrast, is as precise as Lanza but with more characterisation allied to the lyric content and a sweeter tone. You get the sense with each song he instantly drops into the rôle. Two tracks, one following the other illustrate this well. The first, 'E lucevan le stelle' from 'Tosca', is frankly, beautiful. The vocal acting is quite different. Lanza sings from the torment of Cavaradossi's anguish; Evans from the same but with a more convincing gentleness in the Tosca 'moments'. The following track is a medley of 'Core Ingratio' and 'Torna a Surriento'- the ice cream songs as they've come to be known, particularly in reference to Pavarotti's concerts. In these, Evans is every bit Lanza's equal and these renditions earn their place on this CD. I think the greatest contrast between Lanza and Evans is that Evans is by far the better vocal actor. That isn't to say if Lanza were around today this would be so. Standards were very different when Lanza was recording. There were 'concert' voices and 'opera stage' voices and one of the reasons opera got such a bad press was the acting skills didn't match the sublime vocal ones.

In fact, there isn't a single track on this CD that won't please. My favourite, partly because it's rare to hear a male vocalist take it on these days, is 'Over There'. Fans of James Cagney's portrayal of George M. Cohan will remember he wrote this during World War I when the US army joined Britain's war against the Kaiser. Within months it was the most popular song at the music halls usually sung by a winsome beauty.

Wynne Evans' version has wonderful diction, is deeply evocative creating a real sense of the atmosphere of the old music halls plus an enthusiastic backing choir. It's fun and its inclusion works well with the more earnest tracks such as 'Ave Maria' and 'The Lord's Prayer'.

I would like to hear much more, for instance, Giordano's 'André Chénier', or Leoncavallo's 'Pagliacci'. In the meantime I've no hesitation at all in recommending this collection. It is 'easy listening', but the best kind to be had.
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