Prelude to a Kiss

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About the Album
Plácido Domingo & Renée Fleming

This recording, taped at a gala concert in Chicago in 1998 and videotaped for a telecast on the PBS series Great Performances, presents music about doomed love composed by Leonard Bernstein, Charles Gounod, Franz Lehar, Duke Ellington, and others, including several Spanish songs that show Plácido Domingo in top form. After all the tragedy, there is a duet that signals one happy ending: the Merry Widow waltz. Domingo and Renée Fleming are two of today's greatest singers, and they live up to their reputations.

Fleming has three songs with jazz-based music by Duke Ellington. They give her the opportunity to display her considerable technique. In a Sentimental Mood her voice goes soaring, arching, gliding and is held in its high registers while embracing the tones and inflections of a typical coloured blues singer. In Do Nothin’ till You Hear from Me, the smoky lower reaches of her range are used with an engaging syncopation. The lines, "When we’re apart, the words in my heart reveal how I feel about you..." give her the opportunity to display some engaging ambivalent coquettery while she shows how good a jazz singer she is in her improvisations during the closing moments of the song. The lovely Prelude to a Kiss allows her to develop this improvising still further. Finally there are the two Franz Lehar numbers with Domingo singing Dien is mein ganzes Herz with the depth of feeling we used to associate with Richard Tauber. Domingo and Fleming team up for a glittering final duet, the Waltz song from The Merry Widow.

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Track List

  1. Bernstein: West Side Story - Prologue 4:30
  2. Bernstein: West Side Story - Tonight 4:53
  3. Bernstein: West Side Story - Rumble 0:55
  4. Bernstein: West Side Story - Somewhere 3:14
  5. Gounod: Faust - Version 1860/1869 - Act 3 - "Il se fait tard...O nuit d'amour" 9:12
  6. Gardel: El día que me quieras - original version 4:19
  7. Moreno Torroba: Quisiera verte y no verte 2:21
  8. Moreno Torroba: Jota castellana 3:05
  9. Verdi: Otello - original version - Act 1 - Già nella notte densa (Love Duet) 9:55
  10. Ellington: In a Sentimental Mood - Arr. Ham 3:29
  11. Ellington: Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me - Arr. Ham 2:51
  12. Ellington: Prelude To A Kiss - Arr. Ham 4:13
  13. Lehár: From Das Land des Lächelns: "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" - sung in German - Act 2 - Dein ist mein ganzes Herz! (You are my heart's delight) 3:27
  14. Lehár: Die lustige Witwe / Act 3 - "Lippen schweigen" 3:02

Recording info

Release Date: February 2, 1999
Label: Decca
CD / Download: 1
ASIN: B00000I088