Katherine Jenkins - La Diva [Decca]

Katherine Jenkins - La Diva [Decca]
Recording Location: Trinity College, Carmarthen
Artist: Katherine Jenkins
Duration: 43:12
Genre: Classical
Release Date: April 12, 2005
Album: La Diva [Decca]
Styles: Classical Crossover, Vocal Music

Pert looks and pushup bra? Check. Throaty, pint-sized voice? Check.

Digital reverb, multi-tracking, and arrangements inspired by televised Olympics coverage? Check. Houston, we are "go" for Calculated Crossover! Not to malign crossover, mind you: though it's as far from the heart of classical music as Pat Boone's In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy was from hard rock, it is a distinct genre with a well-established audience base and a number of smartly branded, very bankable artists. The problem here is that, with her cookie-cutter debut La Diva (must we laud ourselves in Italian?), Katherine Jenkins makes no effort to carve out a niche for herself, instead offering uninspired, formulaic retreads of acts already on the market. If you've heard Charlotte Church, Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli, or Josh Groban, you've already heard this album (at times literally, as witnessed by the opening track "Time to Say Goodbye," made famous by Brightman and Bocelli), and for the most part you've heard it done more memorably. Though she is older than Church by a number of years, Jenkins' voice is no more developed or capable (though it is slightly more polished). She doesn't have the flashy high notes or wispy allure of Sarah Brightman, or any of the legitimate chops that made Andrea Bocelli the only crossover singer to actually cross over. But she has cover girl looks and a pleasant, mike-friendly voice, so she may indeed score a hit.In the obligatory "sung in a foreign language" category, Jenkins offers numbers in passable Italian, Spanish, and French. Her "O sole mio" has been drained of its Italian seasonings and omits the usual climactic high note; her sexless "Séguédilla" (often spelled Seguidilla) from Carmen takes its only moment of personality from an interpolated laugh that was obviously edited in. In the "famous piece of instrumental music turned into a song" category, she offers "En Aranjuez con tu amor," based on Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez (for guitar and orchestra). Batting cleanup in the "inspirational" category, both John Williams' "Hymn to the Fallen" (from the film Saving Private Ryan) and Rodgers and Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone" will have you reaching for your snare drum.

Jenkins comes across best in "Calon Lan," sung in her native Welsh: there is a sense of expressive purpose and linguistic fluidity that is sorely missing from much of the rest of the album, and it makes for very pleasant listening. Mozart's mostly unmolested "Laudate Dominum" is similarly enjoyable for its simplicity and faithfulness to its original form.

Title/ComposerPerformerTime
Time to Say Goodbye (Con te partirò), song / Francesco SartoriKatherine Jenkins feat: James Banbury / Czech Film Orchestra And Choir3:45
Caruso, for voice & orchestra / Lucio DallaKatherine Jenkins feat: James Banbury / Czech Film Orchestra And Choir3:52
Nabucco, opera (Nabucodonosor)
Va PensieroKatherine Jenkins feat: Czech Film Orchestra And Choir / Jenny O'Grady / Metro Voices3:47 Amazon
Chi Mai (originally composed for Maddalena, film score) / Ennio MorriconeKatherine Jenkins feat: James Banbury / Czech Film Orchestra And Choir3:29
O sole mio, for voice & piano (or orchestra) / Gaston Capurro / Eduardo DeCapuaKatherine Jenkins feat: Czech Film Orchestra And Choir3:19
En Aranjuez con tu amor, for voice & piano (or guitar) (after the second movement of the Concierto de Aranjuez)Katherine Jenkins feat: James Banbury / Czech Film Orchestra And Choir4:08 Amazon
Carmen, opera
Séguédilla (Près des remparts de Séville) / Georges BizetKatherine Jenkins feat: Czech Film Orchestra And Choir2:06
Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114)
Song to the MoonKatherine Jenkins feat: Czech Film Orchestra And Choir5:38
Calon lân (A pure heart) / John Hughes / TraditionalKatherine Jenkins feat: Czech Film Orchestra And Choir / Dave Rowland2:27 Amazon
Saving Private Ryan, film score
Hymn to the Fallen / John WilliamsKatherine Jenkins feat: James Banbury / Czech Film Orchestra And Choir / Jenny O'Grady / Metro Voices4:30 Amazon
Vesperae solennes de confessore for soloists, chorus & orchestra, K. 339
Laudate Dominum / Wolfgang Amadeus MozartKatherine Jenkins feat: Czech Film Orchestra And Choir / Jenny O'Grady / Metro Voices3:55 Amazon
You'll Never Walk Alone, song (from "Carousel") / Oscar Hammerstein II / Richard RodgersKatherine Jenkins feat: Czech Film Orchestra And Choir / Jenny O'Grady / Metro Voices2:16

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