- Audio CD (11 Nov. 2002)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: EMI Classics
- ASIN: B00006JC6R
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,498 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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1. The Singer; 2. Greensleeves; 3. Jerusalem; 4. The Sky Above the Roof; 5. Pavane; 6. O Waly, Waly; 7. A New Heaven; 8. Let It Be; 9. Love Went A-Riding 10. Running Home; 11. Brezairola; Scorborough Fair (feat: Ian Bostridge); 13. Lagan Love; 14. Fields of Gold; 15. Abide with Me.
For The Singer, Lesley Garrett has dropped the "diva from the Dales" tag and instead explores her Celtic roots. The album has been produced by Tolga Kashif, whose credits include the BBC "Perfect Day" as well as a forthcoming symphony based on the music of rock band Queen; the result is a disc quite different from Garrett's previous releases.
Kashif's hand is evident from the opening seconds. Michael Head's "The Singer" is an unaccompanied song describing an encounter with an enigmatic figure. It's simple yet haunting melody allows the soloist to created the mysterious atmosphere. However, Kashif chooses to add stormy sounds, echo effects and a Celtic drone, which are unnecessary (and the persistent sound of rain verges on annoying). Kashif does redeem himself though with his colourful orchestrations of "Greensleves" and "O Waly, Waly".
Garrett sounds as though she is enjoying exploring the breadth of songs on the disc, which range from "Scarborough Fair" (where she is joined by tenor Ian Bostridge) to Sting's "Fields of Gold" via Fauré and Vaughan Williams. The final track, a rousing version of "Abide With Me" featuring cornet player Maurice Murphy brings Garrett right back home to Yorkshire. --Rebecca Agnew
Top customer reviews
The choice of songs spans from these modern songs, the mysticism of William Blake's Jerusalem and the traditional, very apt for a Yorkshire singer, Scarborough Fair.
The album should appeal to many of those who like folk music, albeit with singing of a higher quality than many proponents of that genre achieve.
"The Singer" is a marriage made in heaven. Beautiful, traditional, music, beautifully sung; what more could one ask?
The CD captures the mood superbly, and is a joy to listen to. It is not difficult to recall the stunning visual images which accompanied the music - what a pity the BBC did not see fit to issue a video of the whole programme.
Garrett's voice is perfectly suited to this kind of musical arrangement and I sincerely hope this will be only the first of such recordings.
I would have no hesitation in recommending this recording to anyone.
The selection of songs is wide-ranging, reflecting an eclectic taste, but provides an enchanting collection. These range from the mysticism of William Blake's Jerusalem to Sting's Fields of Gold. Both Scarborough Fare and the arrangement of Abide With Me display allude to the Yorkshire upbringing while the inclusion of both familiar (Greensleves) and unfamiliar (O Waly, Waly) folk songs reinforce the Englishness of the selections.
While its has strong folk music influences, the folk music purist will doubtless object to the orchestrations, although I feel that these enhance the songs. The Singer is a delight to listen to and may encourage a new range of listeners.
With Lesley's voice and Tolga Kashifs arrangements (which always show off a song to it's best) this is a truly exceptional album. 12 out of 10!!!!
An album for yourself and one to give as a present, it will be appreciated.