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Customer Review

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Compilation Of The Work Of A Superb Artist, 11 Sept. 2000
This review is from: The Decca Years 1955-1975 (Audio CD)
As an aficionado of the great singers of the first half of the twentieth century, I sometimes bemoan the quality of singers during the second half of the century. But the singing of Kenneth McKellar during his prime can stand comparison with that of any of his worthy predecessors. John McCormack was the most prominant of those predecessors. And while McKellar's work in opera and German Lieder can not match the Irishman's, his singing of the folk music of the British Isles and his forays into popular music outshine even McCormack's very worthy output of similar material.
Many music lovers under forty may be unfamiliar with the art of Mr. McKellar as he was at the height of his popularity more than a quarter of a century ago. Therefore this pair of compact discs may be the first introduction many have to the singing of Scotland's finest tenor. And a fine introduction they make, for they include excellent samples from nearly all of McKellar's fine Decca albums. We will likely never hear better versions of "She Moved Thro' The Fair" and "Down By The Sally Gardens". And the Hebridean and Highland songs are sung with the vocal and artistic perfection these fine copositions deserve. There are also several selections from McKellar's later Decca period that were very difficult for us "Yanks" to obtain and may be new to even some of his greatest overseas fans.
I am pleased by the popularity of the late Frank Patterson and The Three Irish Tenors, as they have done much to keep the repertoire and style of singing popularized by McCormack and McKellar alive and well. So all you fans of Frank Patterson, Louis Browne, Finbar Wright, Ronan Tynan and Anthony Kearns, take heed. You will not find a more beautiful vocal instrument in the annals of recorded sound than that of McKellar in his prime, so grab this collection while you can.
And Mr. McKellar, should you happen to read this sometime, here's thanks to you for the nearly half a century of joy you have brought to the music lovers of the world. May God bless you and not put you in His heavenly choir for many years to come!
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