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POLYNESIA Spirit of Polynesia - Traditional Chants, Drum Dances and Other Music from Rapa Iti, Fiji, Hawaii … (recorded by David Fanshawe, 1978-1989)
(Saydisc: CDSDL403)

Reviewer: NA116200
Date Reviewed: 03/28/11
POLYNESIA Spirit of Polynesia - Traditional Chants, Drum Dances and Other Music from Rapa Iti, Fiji, Hawaii … (recorded by David Fanshawe, 1978-1989)

A Wonderful, Eccentric Collection

Fanshawe's collection of traditional Polynesian chants is a delight. Many of these musicians are not professional- they simply play music in their free time. Fanshawe's skill in finding these people, recording them, and arranging them is unique. The size of the album makes it feel like Fanshawe truly spanned Polynesia and took a sweeping record of its collective spirit. Approximately half of the tracks are in a chanting form that achieves glorious harmonies. Others look at sounds unknown to the average Western listener. I'm no expert in world music, but this collection of Polynesia's music could be a good addition to yours.

CROSBY, Bing: Classic Crosby (1930-1934)
(Naxos Nostalgia: 8.120507)

Reviewer: NS94944
Date Reviewed: 03/26/11
CROSBY, Bing: Classic Crosby (1930-1934)

When Der Bingle was just Bing

Music lovers who groan at the mere thought of Bing Crosby, the overweight balding golf-playing millionaire who often sang flat, a parody of himself, should listen to this classic compilation of some of his early recordings made shortly after he left the Paul Whiteman band and went out on his own.

Not only does he sing in tune but with a thoroughly captivating youthful exuberance and delicious jazz phrasing. In these early days Bing had an amazingly rich and beautiful baritone capable of all sorts of variation, which he uses to deliver the words and music to these popular songs of the 1930s with absolute conviction. Listen and you will understand why this young man became one the biggest stars of Paramount Pictures and on radio... and yes, a millionaire many times over!

TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Vocal Music (Tchaikovsky Romances) (Hvorostovsky, Ilja)
(Delos: DE3393)

Reviewer: RS103255
Date Reviewed: 03/22/11
TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Vocal Music (Tchaikovsky Romances) (Hvorostovsky, Ilja)

Rich Romances, rich voice!

Twenty years ago Dmitri Hvorostovsky first recorded Tchaikovsky songs for Philips, just having won the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. It’s remarkable how little his voice has aged since then. If anything, the dark, full vibrato is even more under control at the very top of the register. Hvorostovsky has added many of the more unconventional Tchaikovsky songs to his repertoire since that first recital disc. It's a feast to listen to the richness of Tchaikovksy's Romances, sung by this rich voice. Here we have 24 songs, and every sparkling aspect of Tchaikovsky's art comes along. There are dark numbers (but  Hvorostovsky does not make them too dark); there are cheerful songs, like the famous 'Serenade of Don Juan'. If you like Tchaikovsky's music, sung in a beautiful way, buy this record and enjoy yourself!

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