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Premiere Extra tracks

4.7 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 April 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00016W7D6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,885 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Welsh mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins' debut album Premiere is a collection of songs that reflect her musical influences. Tracks include "Habanera" from Carmen, "Ave Maria", John Rutter's "The Lord is my Shepherd", Welsh folk songs and some new arrangements of classic tracks.

BBC Review

Hitting the headlines with the largest ever record deal in UK classical music - a reported £1m - a beautiful 23-year-old school teacher from Neath is about to blaze onto our TVs in an avalanche of hype.

Launching her debut album Première, soprano Katherine Jenkins says she is responding to people's increasing boredom with pop music.

With CD artwork which could be straight from a Cosmopolitan cover shoot, the former Welsh Choir Girl of the Year follows hot on the heels of Charlotte Church and New Zealander Hayley Westenra, whose voices and images of angelic youthfulness have won massive record sales. Indeed, the release of Première was brought forward by two weeks due to popular demand.

These so-called 'classical crossover' artists certainly know how to get around the perceived difficulty in getting to like classical music, that centuries-old tradition of lengthy music for the mind and sounds with substance.

Crossover tracks are as bite-sizingly short as pop songs and their popular tunes often have never belonged to a real opera or symphony. The sales of real classical music, featuring highly skilled singers and performers, have been left trailing.

Katherine Jenkins repeats this unbeatable formula with a Welsh flavour. Première is a slickly produced album taking us from famous classical tunes such as 'Miserere' to Welsh hymns such as 'Cwm Rhonnda'. By the time a soft drumbeat gently kicks in on 'Baïlèro', it's clear we're in chill-out territory.

Great - but Katherine Jenkins says she also wants to be respected by people who are already lovers of classical music. So why do the composers who created the beautiful music she sings only get credited in the CD sleeve's small print, next to her thanks for having "the world's best management team"? Hiding away the fact that 'Sweetest Love' is based on Bach's 'Air On A G String' doesn't bring any one closer to feeling a bit more comfortable around classical music.

The short but sweet, sentimental arrangements featured on Première have more to do with the world of pop music, as does its total length of just 45 minutes. And while Katherine Jenkins' voice is gentle and wholesome, it's also heavily produced and we don't hear any variety in tone.

Despite this, Wales has a new superstar who will warm the cockles of many hearts and make millions of pounds: Katherine Jenkins will headline the Albert Hall before Wales next triumphs in the Six Nations.

Just as long as no one tells me it's a virtuoso performance. Oh wait - what does that sticker say on the CD cover? --BBC Wales

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 10 Oct. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Being a singer myself i found myself extremely critical of other singers, not liking Hayley Westernra and Charlotte Church. I think their age led me to criticise their maturity but the beautiful warm tones of Katherine Jenkins could not be criticised. All of the songs, especially Ave Maria, Miserere and Bailero, are beautifully sung and well produced. An excellent album that deserves to be more highly aclaimed, and i am waiting desperately for a song book, which i cannot find anywhere!!!Please bring one out!!Cannot wait for her next album a very worthwhile and enjoyable buy.
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Format: Audio CD
I have come to this the wrong way round, having first bought and generally liked Katherine Jenkins second album, which is still in the classical chart after nearly a year and which won the Album of the Year award at the recent Classical Brits. Although this earlier CD also sold well, I suspect that I am not alone in investigating this album in retrospect and by comparison.
Katherine does have a wonderfully strong and clear voice, with little noticeable vibrato. Her diction is also quite clear, although less so than on the more recent album.
The material is firmly in the light classical drawer, with four traditional Welsh folk songs, a vocal adaptation of Bach's Air On A G String, and John Rutter's setting of the 23rd Psalm (I'd love to hear her singing the more traditional tune) added in for good measure. The arrangements (some done jointly by Jenkins herself) and orchestrations are generally in tune with her singing - on a couple of numbers I thought the backing was a little strong, and on a couple more there's an unnecessary additon of electric bass and modern percussion, though it's not over-intrusive.
In summary this was a fine debut album - it's not as smooth and polished as the later one, and the repertoire is not quite as populist, but it is just as enjoyable.
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Format: Audio CD
Amazon, thank you for delivering this in under two weeks to my home town in South Africa. This is truly a remarkable cd, and even a more remarkable performer. You will have to buy it!!!! Her versions of Bailero, Caro mio Ben(Perfect), Lascia Ch'io pinga, Miserere(Wonderfull) and Ave Maria are brilliantly performed. Strong voice, clear and pitch perfect!
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By A Customer on 3 Sept. 2004
Format: Audio CD
I think Katherine has one of those crystal clear voices that sends a shiver up your spine. My personal favourites are Ave Maria, Bailero and Sweetest Love. I can't wait for the next album to come out and you can order it now! Of all the female vocalists out now, only Hayley Westenra comes close to Katherine.
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By Mart TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Oct. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Premiere is the first of 2 CDs released by Katherine Jenkins in 2004 and, as its title suggests, is her debut album. It is notable for several reasons- it reached the no.1 position in the classical charts where it remained for 8 weeks, and marked the beginning of the biggest recording contract in UK classical music history (reportedly worth £1 million) when the singer signed to the Universal label.

I have to say that, for a debut album, and particularly considering Katherine's appearance, I thought the cover picture and the sleeve pictures are slightly drab, although sales figures for the CD suggest her fans think otherwise. This presumably is the image that Universal wanted to portray, although it's interesting to see the marked transformation of the singer's appearance to a sharper, more glamorous one on her following CDs.

I have no complaints though about the choice of music on this CD, other than at 45 minutes long there's not enough of it. It's a mixture of classical, opera, traditional and crossover styles, with a few Welsh and Italian lyrics thrown in for good measure. The emphasis is on classical and operatic music, and amongst these can be found my personal favourites.

The aria `Lascia ch'io piango' (let me weep) from Handel's opera Rinaldo is a piece which everyone seems be including in their repertoire these days and this is a lovely version, sung largely in its operatic form, without the vocal embellishments which is a modern trend which I think often spoils this beautiful piece.

Another popular classical (or more accurately Rennaissance) piece is `Miserere' by Gregorio Allegri.
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By A Customer on 29 Mar. 2004
Format: Audio CD
I've been lucky enough to hear Katherine singing songs from this album in concert recently - and I'm going to be the first in line on 5th April to buy my copy! Katherine has such a beautiful and unique voice, I feel certain that she is well on her way to stardom. Songs such as Ar Lan y Mor and Cymru Fach show that she is still a Welsh lass at heart. Good luck Katherine!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It seems odd to think that at one time, Kathryn Jenkins was an unknown teacher that sung a bit; she has become one of the most sought after mezzo-sopranos in the classical world.

This was her first album and it contains some really good tracks; a nice mixture of classics with quite a few traditional Welsh songs. She does justice to all of these and it's an album that stands the test of time. Although not her best work, it is still a very good collection and one that is worth listening to more than once.
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