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on 11 January 2005
This collection, spanning 1952-1970, has the best of the legendary Amalia Rodrigues and her Portuguese fado songs of love, longing, sadness and the sea.
Amalia's voice is incredibly expressive; rich, pure, tender, mysterious and aching with feeling. The songs have such romantic depth and melancholic beauty they'll caress you like silk, bathe you like moonlight and pierce you like lightning.
Nothing, nothing can touch this.
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on 9 June 2006
Sorry for slipping into the vernacular: Hobson's Choice = voice.

Listening to this album is an incredible experience. I do not know any Portuguese, I have know idea what the lady is singing (although I can guess what she's singing about) but I am moved almost to tears by the emotion she brings to these songs, as if the words are being torn from her heart.

The quality and range of Amalia's voice are superb. The only comparison I can make is the poor one of a Portuguese Kathleen Ferrier, a poor comparison because Amalia is far less constrained by the conventions of classical singing. Then again maybe it's just the difference between Europeans and the uptight English.

When Amalia Rodrigues died the Portuguese government declared a state of national mourning - she surely deserved it.
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on 8 January 2014
My boyfriend is Portuguese, who loves fado, so naturally, he absolutely loved the CD.
He could not believe his eyes that it was available through Amazon UK.

It's an ultimate treat to fado fan. One will be right to say that it was Amalia Rodrigues who put fado on the world map as a form of chant and music, and her steps were followed by an array of performers and singers, whom, in their own right, achieved success and worldwide fame, following in her path and many of whom sing her repertoire, under its classic form or under a new look.
The music is fantastic - relaxing, full of passion, love and beautifully sung lyrics are so original and nostalgic.
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on 12 November 2012
This should ideally be purchased alongside the accompanying Volume II, which contains classics like `Cansaço', `Canção Do Mar', `Fria Claridade' and the extraordinary `Fado Peniche' - but even on its own it's enough.

'Maldição' and `Estranha Forma de Vida' both exemplify the `existential' dimensions of fado (also taken up so well in Mariza's `Loucura'), the internal dialogue between a lucid voice that knows it's suffering, and the other voice, belonging to the same person, but which is the cause of the suffering. `Primavera' and `Gaivota' both capture the erotic dimension, the former in a more traditional, the latter in a modern poetic expression. Talking of poetry, next to the surrealist imagery of Alexandre O' Neill's `Gaivota', Amalia dares to put to music a sonnet from Camões' 16th-century `Lusiads' in `Com que Voz', whereas Pedro Homem de Meillo offers her, in `Povo que Lavas no Rio', perhaps the most `distilled' vision of what it means to be `the people's singer': a vision utterly and completely unique to Amalia, so much so that I hated Mariza for trying her own version at the Albert Hall a few years back and I'm still ambivalent about Cristina Branco trying it on as well...

But the point is not the poetry, nor the music (if it's possible to make such arbitrary separations, of course) - no, the point is the voice. The reviewer who compared Amalia to Kathleen Ferrier has a point, and all those who have compared her to Piaf or to Billie Holliday are also on the right track, in a way. Whether Portuguese, more generally `European' or simply English-speaking in the most `pedestrian' way, I dare anyone to fail to be moved by Amalia's voice and her performance. Power, control, expressive force, gripping restraint effortlessly coupled with amazing, perfectly judged flourishes (witness the last line of `Maria Lisboa' alone)... Make no mistake: this was THE voice of the 20th century. No-one, but no-one, can touch her.
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on 3 February 2010
Her voice echos down the ages: unsurpassed beauty and pathos and an absolute gem of a recording. Cannot recommend this collection too highly
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on 17 December 2015
lovely product, well packed , arrived on time, and once you hear it, you can see that it doesn't disappoint you, lovely products excellent songs.
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on 21 October 2013
I remember Amalia from the 1960s. What a star and shows up the modern singers no end. They don't make them like this any more!
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on 21 June 2005
I am interested in acquiring this album. But I would like to know if it has been remastered, specially music restauration. I have The Art of Amalia Volume II. Would someone let me know what others have been remastered. I acquire another one of her albums but I did not like the music. Hope someone can help me. Thank you!
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