Renee Fleming is a remarkable performer with an astounding voice. Here are ten Renee Fleming albums I know you'll love. It is my hope you enjoy listening to her albums as much as I do.
After receiving a Fulbright Scholarship to study lieder (art song) in Germany with Arlene Auger (one of the foremost interpreters of German lieder), Renée has made the songs of Richard Strauss a calling card. The "Vier Letze Lieder" featured on this album are given a commanding performance that shows the singers true understanding of the roots of the music. Strauss couldve set a phone book to music and Renée would still deliver!
As Christoph Eschenbach led the orchestra to accompany Fleming's Strauss lieder, he moves to the piano to accompany her on their collaborative Schubert album. Her fluency in German is evident in her diction, though some may feel that her sometimes "scoopy" singing is not conducive to the Schubertian style. Despite such claims, each song is given a fresh and exciting interpretation. "Gretchen am Spinnrade" is by far the highlight of this album, though "Du bist die Ruh" is equally breathtaking.
This album is Renée's first collaboration with Sir Georg Solti and the London Symphony Orchestra. Together they present great opera scenes that include some of Renées signature roles, including Countess ("Le Nozze di Figaro"), the title role of Rusalka
, and Desdemona ("Otello") among other favorites. Flemings Countess is shear elegance. Rusalka of Dvorák is known to be her favorite role, and it certainly shows in her passionate interpretation of the famous "Song to the Moon
Shortly after Signatures, Decca released a live performance of Mozarts timeless opera, "Don Giovanni" (also under the baton of Solti). Renée assumes the leading female role of Donna Anna alongside renowned Welsh baritone, Bryn Terfel in the title role. Renée's performance is no disappointment, as her rich, velvety overtones are still prevalent in the live performance atmosphere. The weight of her upper range and her fluid coloratura make her the perfect voice type for Mozarts heroine.
Renée Fleming joins Jeffrey Tate and the English Chamber Orchestra to present favorites by Gounod, Lehár, Orff, Puccini, Rachmaninov, and Strauss. My personal favorite is "Chi il bel sogno di Doretta" from Puccinis opera, "La Rondine". The opera is certainly not Puccinis masterpiece, but this aria is the gem that keeps people talking about it. After receiving a Grammy nomination for "Signatures" and "Don Giovanni," Fleming was finally graced with the award for "The Beautiful Voice."
Renée and James Lavine released this album of American opera arias. The repertoire is not as well known as that of Puccini or Mozart, but Renée manages to make every track a special entity. The one flaw on the album is that "Glitter and be Gay" from Bernsteins "Candide" is really more suited for a light coloratura soprano, although Renée seems to have much fun singing it. Also on this album is the world premiere recording of "I Want Magic" from André Previns "A Street Car Named Desire."
This self titled album is the epitome of perfection in the Italian and French operatic repertoire for a lyric soprano. Each of the 14 arias show off the full extent of what Renée is capable. Her impeccable use of language is what really communicates the essence of each aria. Whats most impressive about this album is the closing track, Verdi's "Merci, jeunes amies". Many soprano's shy away because of its challenging high tesstitura, but Renée gloriously sings the sustained high E.
Since they had so much fun performing Don Giovanni together, Renée Fleming and Bryn Terfel decided to record some Broadway favorites. Why? Im not really sure. Bryn is much better at the turn over than Renée. All too often her clear, operatic diction distracts from the musical theater style. Nevertheless, her desire to record this CD shows that shes not afraid of exploring different sides of her artistic ability, and I applaud her for it.
This CD is a greatest hits compilation, which is great to start with if you are unfamiliar with Renée . The only track I take issue with is "Sempre libera" from Verdis "La Traviata." She sings it rather uncomfortably. Furthermore, she doesn't sing the high E flat at the end, which is really what everyone looks forward to. I do think it's important for an artist to take on mountainous tasks in order to find limits. In this case it is not an artistic limit, but rather a physical one.
Baroque opera is extremely difficult to sing in terms of style, but Renée delivers yet again. Renée proves that her technical facility is not depleting by any means in her dazzling rendition of "Let the Bright Seraphim." This album was released no doubt as a promotion of the Mets new production of Handels Rodelinda, featuring the fabulous Renée. If anyone can sell out a Handel opera, its Fleming. Listen to this CD to find out why!