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The Kiri Selection

1 rating: 3.0
Classical album by Cleo Laine, English Traditional, Enoch Martin, George Gershwin, James Horner, Jeremy Lubbock, Jerome Kern, Kiri Te Kanawa, Paul McCartney, and Rob Winch
1 review about The Kiri Selection

Nice cross-over

  • Mar 8, 2003
There is only a single track on "The Kiri Selection" that didn't come from one of her other releases, and that is "The World You're Coming Into" from Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio. The rest of her songs can also be heard on "Kiri Sings Gershwin," "Come to the Fair - Folk Songs & Ballads," "From Heart to Heart" with Malcolm McNeill, and "Kiri Sings Kern."

It's a jumbled mixture but Dame Kiri negotiates the songs with a light, brilliant touch, never bringing too much heavy operatic artillery to bear on what are essentially popular songs. For those of you who are not operatically inclined, you may remember this lovely soprano from the 1981 marriage ceremony of HRH the Prince of Wales to the Lady Diana Spencer. Te Kanawa sang "Let the Bright Seraphim" (and wore a very strange hat).

Unlike some sopranos (my chorale director says Dame Joan never sang a consonant throughout her entire career), Kiri is scrupulous about her intonation and you will be able to understand almost every syllable she sings. My personal favorite is her rendition of Kern's "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes:" "They said some day you'll find,/ All who love are blind,/ When your heart's on fire,/ you must realize,/ Smoke gets in your eyes." She sings with intense pathos, yet a little tremble of courage. I can just see her sitting in some chic '30s cocktail lounge, head (with that outrageous hat on it) held high while her friends chaff her about her unfaithful love. She reaches up to brush the smoke or tears from her eyes and pretends to laugh away a remark that was much too personal.

When Kiri sustains a note, she does something with it. She doesn't just sit on it à la Pavrotti and let us admire her beautiful voice. She interprets every nuance of the lyrics, unlike some of my very favorite opera singers who don't cross over into popular music very well, e.g. Domingo, Ramey, Norman, and Dame Joan.

Te Kawana fans, unless you already own all four of the albums mentioned above, this CD is definitely worth your while. Kern and Gershwin enthusiasts will also find interpretations to treasure.

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The Kiri Selection
Label: Angel Records
Genre: Classical
Release Date: November 17, 1992
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"Nice cross-over"
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