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Product: Audio CD
Title: Mahler - Symphony No. 8 / Popp · Augér · Minton · Harper · Kollo · Shirley-Quirk · Talvela · Chicago SO · Solti
Label: Decca
Artist: Martti Talvela
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Just the wrong voices

I love this recording, especially the drive that Solti generates through the first movement. When the organ (which was added post-recording?) and tam-tam come crashing in toward the end of the second movement, my entire house shakes.
I favor Solti's interpretation above both of the Bernstein recordings. HOWEVER, using a soprano like Gwynneth (pre-wobble) is what Solti should have done. The voices are simply too light, and recording engineering can't make a lyric voice into a dramatic one. Popp, Auger, etc. Wonderful artists, but Marian Anderson never sang Queen of the Night.
And for those who think that it's not Mahler's best work, I think that it parallels the FIFTH SYMPHONY in its inspiration. EIGHT has long been my favorite of Mahler's works.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Music for a Darkened Theatre, Vol. 1
Label: Mca
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
These will be probably considered classical in the future.

Elfman's music, particularly the darker type, ie, from "Batman", "Edward Scissorshand", and "Beetlejuice"--all from his collaboration with Tim Burton kinda reminds me of the great Bernard Herrmann and his work with Alfred Hitchcock...although Elfman's scoring sometimes is a lot more strange. Almost like Vincent Price in one of those funny-scary roles he was known for.....

Product: Audio CD
Title: Measure of a Man
Label: Rca
Artist: Clay Aiken
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
a true American Idol -- WOW ..

Having followed the success of Clay Aiken from American Idol, I can truly say he is absolutely incredible. I've not only enjoyed his live perfomances on/off the show, but have been playing this CD continuously since purchasing it on the release date. It's a rarity these days to find someone with not only enormous talent, but who is also true to himself. I love each and every track on this CD and feel Clay shine(s) (also a great song), through every one of them. Let's hope he re-releases his older demos! Amazing voice, amazing person. A big THANKS to Clay for such an enjoyable accomplishment. ~Can't wait for the next one!

Product: Audio CD
Title: Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church
Label: Sony
Rating: 1/5
Customer rating - 1 out of 5
2nd Time is Not a Charm

I had purchased Charlotte's last CD "Enchantment" at K-Mart. In addition to the regular songs, they added 4 "bonus" songs as a test-marketing promotion. However, the 4 songs were not received well, especially Bridge Over Troubled Water, which sounded as if Charlotte had a cold. Accordingly, the 4 songs were dropped from the regular album. So, subsequently we have a "Best Of" CD and there are those 4 songs including Bridge Over Troubled Water included again, without re-doing the vocal tracks.As others have noted, there are some of her better songs missing from this CD including Carrickfergus and Danny Boy, although Danny Boy is on the DVD. In addition, Habanera should have never been sung by Charlotte let alone be in this album. That song was meant to be sung by a mezzo. If they were going to do an album like this, they should have polled her fan clubs first. This is a very poor selection.