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Product: Audio CD
Title: Encore [Decca]
Label: Decca
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Watson introduces rock and pop to me


This is a fabulous, fabulous CD. I can't get enough of the sixth track, "Ave Maria" and I wish the third track "Is Nothing Sacred" would last forever. Russell Watson never fails to amaze me with his wonderful touch.
Tracks 5 (O sole mio) 7 (Mattinata),11, and 12 were the real reason I bought the album since I am an opera buff. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed "Bohemian Rhapsody" which isn't what I normally listen to but I'm the opposite of most Russell Watson fans----he's introducing pop and rock to me which I will never listen to! I just love this man!!!Oh yes, buy this CD, by all means-it is out of this world!!!Opera fans will have to listen with an open mind, however.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Don Giovanni: Lepovello's Revenge (Soundtrack)
Label: Cbc
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
what a thrill !


To hear my favorite singer perform my favorite opera is a treat indeed, and through the the magic of modern technology, we get to hear him do duets with himself, as both the Don, and Leporello. This dual casting, as the booklet says about this hour long film, "...alludes to the notion that the Don and his servant are alter-egos, opposite sides of the the same person".
One of the reasons I like this CD is that I get to hear all the parts of this opera (including the overture) that delight me, all on one disc...also the recitativos, which are sometimes the most delectable of all...and Hvorostovsky does them so well, with his flawless Italian.I also love the trio "Al taci, ingiusto core", and the sestetto "Sola, sola in buio loco". Of the lovely melodic arias, the "La ci darem la mano" duet, and the beautiful Serenata are wonderful, and perfectly suited for his rich baritone.
In the cast there's Dominique Labelle (Donna Anna), Gary Relyea (Commendatore), Liesel Fedkenheuer (Donna Elvira), Michael Colvin (Ottavio), Krisztina Szabo (Zerlina), and Alain Coulombe (Masetto), and though they may not be of Hvorostovsky's stature (few singers are !), they do an excellent job of backing him here. I especially like Relyea, and he gets to sing in what for me is one of the greatest scenes in all opera, the final trio, starting with the Commendatore's "Don Giovanni, a cenar teco"...now to hope this film becomes available on video !



Product: Audio CD
Title: Clearly Love
Label: Mushroom Records
Artist: Olivia Newton-John
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
A brilliant album from 1975


Like other albums from Olivia around that time, Clearly love is full of top quality pop country music, although not everybody thought that back then. Perhaps to convince people that she really was a country girl, the pictures in the booklet show Olivia in a rural setting, usually in the company of a horse or a dog.
The set opens with the wistful Something better to do, which sets the standard for what follows. There are several other great ballads, including Lovers (a Mickey Newbury song) and Slow down Jackson. Let it shine, a bright, upbeat song, was the main single. There are also excellent covers of He ain't heavy he's my brother (Hollies), Summertime blues (Eddie Cochran) and He's my rock (I don't know the original artist, but it was later recorded by George Jones as She's my rock).
While this album does not contain any of Olivia's really big hits, it is a really lovely album that all fans of Olivia's early music will treasure.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Signs
Label: Hollywood Records
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Signs - Brilliant score by JNH


James Newton Howard's score for Signs has topped my collection. The sounds are simple and classic, yet very stimulating and adrenaline-pumping--akin to the famous strings in Psycho. The depth of the music is in its layers of instruments. The music complements the movie (the DVD of which I own) so well, reviving that Hitchcockian-style thriller I enjoy so much. In addition, I think the music captures so well the emotional plot within the story. I typically listen to movie music while driving. On many occasions, I drive with my two young sons to and from school. I watched Signs with them (editing out certain parts). Afterwards, we listened to the music in the car. The three sudden, loud, and scary parts (end of Brazilian Footage [Track 4], beginning of Asthma attack [Track 11] and Hand of Fate [Track 12]) made us all jump. And at every listen, at the climactic part, my younger son says "Swing away Merrill. Merrill, swing away." and then yells "WATER!" (sorry if you haven't seen the movie yet). You can't get a better response from a 3-yr-old. The music tells the story.