Renée Fleming - Kudos

Verismo

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Minnesota Public Radio March 2, 2010
“…Renee Fleming's delivery on this new release is simple, dramatic, and technically perfect, just as the audience of the Verismo era would have expected. She would have been the people's diva then, just as she is today.”
-Julie Amacher

American Record Guide January/February 2010
“[Fleming] musters ample strength for Manon’s ‘Sola, Perdua’–her upper range is glorious–and she brings deep feeling to Liu’s ‘Tu che di Gel sei Cinta’. She seems to have rediscovered the art of singing simply and letting her beautiful voice flow freely…Fleming has recorded many solo albums; this may be the best of them all.” -Ralph Lucano

St. Petersburg Times December 20, 2009
“This is heart-on-the-sleeve stuff, performed by the reigning American diva…her sumptuous voice and passionate commitment carry the day triumphantly.”
-John Fleming

BBC Music Magazine Christmas, 2009
BBC Music Choice
“Verismo’s emotional immediacy is a gift to a performer like Renée Fleming, her voice combining luscious tone and intensity…Essential for Fleming fans, therefore, and deeply impressive for anyone who enjoys the repertoire.” -Michael Scott Rohan

Sunday Denver Post December 13, 2009
Classical Music: The year’s best discs
“While her easy charm and down-to-earth elegance have obviously helped, it is Fleming’s superlative vocal and acting skills that have made her one of the leading operatic stars of our time…she goes beyond merely beautiful singing to convey, even in these short excerpts, a deeply felt sense of the characters.”
-Kyle MacMillan

New York Times November 27, 2009
Verismo chosen for the New York Times 2009 Holiday Gift Guide
“Renée Fleming is not likely to sing the major Puccini heroines or other Italian verismo opera roles on stage anytime soon. But she gives great pleasure in this well-conceived recording with intelligent and captivating accounts of famous arias from “La Bohème” and “Manon Lescaut,” and fascinating excerpts from overlooked operas by Zandonai, Leoncavallo (his “Bohème”) and more.”
-Anthony Tommasini

San Francisco Classical Voice November 24, 2009
“[T]his CD reveals her voice to be as gorgeous as ever…an even creamier, generous tone, while the lower range has grown lusher. It’s hard not to fall in love with her sound. She also knows what she’s doing…she knows how to sing with conviction, and summons forth the sobs, accents, and dynamic swings that this music calls for…she knows how to play on her strengths…this is a CD that you’ll want to hear, then use as a springboard to further explore verismo repertoire.”
–Jason Victor Serinus

Listen Magazine November/December 2009
“[S]he does a noble job, with the voice in superb shape and the intelligence keen…Fleming takes us through each mood beautifully…Fleming pulls out all the stops…she’s a soprano who sings verismo arias generously and with great art.”
-Robert Levine

J & R, Snap Magazine November 2009
“[O]n her tribute to the verismo genre, she doesn’t disappoint…Throughout, her voice sounds impeccable, and she delivers some career bests. Not least of which, the album’s bittersweet closing cut, ‘Bevo al tuo fresco sorriso’ from La Rondine, where she duets with tenor Jonas Kaufmann, is so moving it could serve as a textbook example for verismo performance. Best of all, these 17 tracks are consistent, despite the number of composers, and feel like a unified work. Art imitates life…beautifully.” -Kory Grows

Opera News November 2009 Critic’s Choice
“[F]rom Mascagni’s Iris, with its anxious, breathless phrases alternating with expansive, dramatic moments. Similarly, Magda’s nostalgic reminiscences in “Ore dolci e divine,” from Puccini’s La Rondine, find Fleming sweetly conversational yet able to pluck suspended and gorgeously shimmering top notes out of the air for the delicate recurring waltz theme…” -Judith Malafronte

Gramophone Magazine Awards Issue 2009 Editor’s Choice
“It is all heart, but not worn too shamelessly on the sleeve. This singer knows restraint, and the value of variety too, as the heart, heavy-laden in one aria, is lightened in the next…the feeling throughout is generous and true. Characterisation infuses the voice without being applied like make-up. And the inclusion of some unexpected charmers – the solos from Leoncavallo’s Bohème have the lilt of good operetta – is most welcome …”
-John Steane

Classical CD Review October 14, 2009
“Fleming is in top form and will not disappoint her admirers... ”
-Bob Benson

The Plain Dealer Sunday, October 11, 2009
“Fleming pours her inimitable blend of expressive acuity and tonal radiance into selections by Puccini, Leoncavallo, Mascagnia and others who specialized in the dramatic genre known as ‘verismo’…Fleming soars pierces the heart. ”
-Donald Rosenberg

www.BBC.co.uk September 24, 2009
“Fleming, Armiliato and the orchestra strikingly capture the urgency and aggression, and Fleming’s characterisation of these colourful heroines radiates off the recording; her voice often gasps and quivers in turmoil, with finely judged dynamics and tender little portamenti. The vocal delivery itself, despite all this drama, is technically perfect, simply delivered and clearly defined. There isn’t an ounce too much embellishment. Jonas Kaufmann joins her for La Rondine’s ‘Bevo al tuo fresco sorriso,’ and the warm sonorities of their two voices are a dream match. The programme also includes the world premiere recording of Puccini’s original manuscript version of ‘Sola, perduta, abandonata!’ from Manon Lescaut. With this recording, Fleming has more than justified her diva status…”
-Charlotte Gardner

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