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RenTe Fleming ()

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The voice of RenTe Fleming is one of the most beautiful in opera. Her wide range of roles, from Handel's Alcina to her appearance in Previn's A Streetcar named Desire, display a breadth of interest in and curiosity about the byways of opera. This recital covers some of the greatest soprano arias from Bellini to Puccini. All have been recorded many times, and most listeners will have a favorite version as a touchstone performance. As lovely one may find much of the singing, it is possible to be troubled by this disc. Perhaps in an effort to avoid the criticism of blandness often applied to Kiri Te Kanawa, Fleming has gone too far in trying to inflect every word with deep meaning. The tempo and phrasing are played-with so much that at times you may be reminded of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, although Fleming never goes to her extremes. There are times when just allowing the music to makes its point is enough. The recitative preceding Nedda's "Bird song" in I Pagliacci is simply too weighty for the character.... Hide synopsis

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