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Classical - Released January 1, 2008 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1998 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Year
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Classical - Released June 14, 2019 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet
A long break. In the fall of 2018, Renée Fleming sang for Broadway musicals under the BBC Concert Orchestra led by Rob Fisher including the likes of Jerome Kern, Richard Rogers, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, and some lesser-known names. A little unexpected yet welcome, with this new work, the American soprano returns to a more traditional repertoire. To be precise, she puts forward a very beautiful selection of Brahms’ Lieder, the entirety of Schumann’s Fraueliebe und -Leben Op. 42, and finally Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder in an orchestral interpretation led by Christian Thielemann with the Münchner Philharmoniker. Today, Renée Fleming’s tone is perfectly crepuscular, autumnal and suitable for these Lieders filled with melancholy. Harmut Höll’s accompaniments are beautiful (especially in Brahms), and the direction of Thielemann is often poetic
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Classical - Released September 1, 1998 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet
Sure, it takes guts for a soprano to call an album THE BEAUTIFUL VOICE. But Renée Fleming did it, and the title fits. Fleming, a recognized performer with a wealth of talent, had the luxury of being allowed to program the music she loved--music as gratifying to sing as it is to hear. With careful and varied support from Jeffrey Tate and the English Chamber Orchestra, Fleming's program is a wash of exquisite music, mostly about love: longing for lost love (in "Marietta's Lied"); first knowing love (in "Depuis le jour"); in youth (the "Jewel Song"); and in old age ("The last rose"). Fleming is at her best here in operatic selections in which the diva halts the action to tell a story, to dwell in a moment, or to draw her on- and off-stage audiences into the action. There is some well-trodden ground here, but long, flowing lines and sumptuous, floating high notes keep the program fresh. In a market glutted with artist-centered albums, THE BEAUTIFUL VOICE is a standout. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2009 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released January 1, 2008 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released July 7, 2000 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Musical Theatre - Released September 7, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released January 1, 2009 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

This collection of arias and scenes from verismo operas will be a must-have for fans of Renée Fleming. Fleming is in excellent voice, singing with her characteristic immaculate technique, creamy tone, warmth, and dramatic incisiveness. The disc should also appeal to fans of obscure verismo because it includes, in addition to some of the standards, a good selection of rarities, including excerpts from Leoncavallo's La bohème and Zazà, Zandonai's Conchita, Cilea's Gloria, and Giordano's Siberia. These are mostly roles Fleming is unlikely to have an opportunity to sing on-stage, so it's especially valuable to have her insightful and beautifully executed interpretations recorded here. Besides being balanced between familiar and more obscure repertoire, the album gives Fleming a chance to shine in music spanning a broad range of emotions, from the wrenchingly poignant to the girlishly lighthearted. In "Senza Mamma," which opens the album, Fleming sings with aching grief, and shapes the aria with grace and dignity. She is also memorably touching in "Angioletto, il tuo nome?," an extended scene from Zazà. Among the most appealing selections are the excerpts from La Rondine, which show Fleming at her most joyfully radiant. Marco Armiliato, leading Coro e Orchestra Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, provides exemplary accompaniments, attentively responsive to the singer, but at the same time full of individuality and character. Decca's sound is clean, present, and well-balanced. © TiVo
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 1, 2005 | Decca US (Classics)

Haunted Heart is the debut of the "other" Renée Fleming -- the smoky chanteuse lurking behind America's most prominent operatic soprano. It is a transformation so organic and whole that it may astonish even those who already know of Fleming's history with jazz singing. Make no mistake: this is not "Renée sings Jazz" in the vein of "Kiri Sings Cole Porter," or even "Dawn Upshaw Sings Rodgers and Hart." This is not an operatic voice in wonderland. It is a new voice, the voice of an entirely different musical persona, and on its own terms something quite successful. The husky yet limpid, entirely un-operatic sound Fleming cultivates for this album is distinctive and original, not the result of mimicry. But if you need an image to conceptualize what you'll hear, think Anita Baker or a leaner-sounding Patti Cathcart: deep, warm, breathy, but with deceptive freedom and clarity. Paired with the sprawling pianism of Fred Hersch and the effects-laden guitar of Bill Frisell, Fleming's singing stands strangely out of time, neither old nor fully modern. It is decidedly old fashioned in many ways, a return to the front-and-center vocalism of the 1940s and 1950s -- an album about songs, and about singing. But the eclectic track list -- including famous songs by Lennon and McCartney, Bill Carey, Stevie Wonder, Gustav Mahler (yes, that Gustav Mahler), and Stephen Foster -- could only be a product of postmodern thinking, in which boundaries of time and style become increasingly meaningless. That eclecticism is a great strength of Haunted Heart. Hearing Fleming deliver a torch song to beat all in "You've Changed," only to follow it up with the joyful "My Cherie Amour" and then a stylishly down-tempo rendition of "In My Life" gives new legs, and fresh context, to all three. But that inclusiveness eventually catches up with Fleming, and the second half of the album begins to wander as she inserts songs from the Classical repertory. Mahler's "Liebst du um Schönheit" seems lonely clothed only in sparse guitar accompaniment; and Emile Paladilhe's "Psyché" suddenly transports Fleming back to the soprano register -- the only time on the entire album when you'll be reminded of Fleming's concert singing. Fleming shows admirable expressive versatility, and fluidity that few singers of any style could match. Her singing is deeply honest and imbued with an arresting sexuality. Frisell's distinctive guitar echoes give a surreal poignancy to the plaintive "Answer Me," and a snappy good nature to "When Did You Leave Heaven?" His finest moment is the concluding "Hard Times Come Again No More," in which his gentle accompaniment mirrors the change of text and vocal inflection throughout each of the four verses. Fred Hersch's arrangements are for the most part very effective, though they have a tendency to ramble, squandering songs' momentum and sense of structure. His playing, and especially his accompanying in slow ballads, shows exquisite touch and sensitivity, and a fluid sense of rhythm that is both enveloping and clear. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Apart from several Massenet operas, the music of French composers has never been central to Renée Fleming's recorded repertoire. This disc of French orchestral songs spanning more than a century, including Ravel's Shéhérazade, Messiaen's Poèmes pour Mi, and Dutilleux's Sonnets de Jean Cassou and Le Temps l'horloge (which Fleming premiered in 2009), demonstrates the singer's absolute mastery of the music and its idioms. Her affinity for the subtlety of the language is evident in her languid, sensual performance of Shéhérazade. Fleming has not often been associated with modern music more progressive than André Previn's, but her performances of the Messiaen and Dutilleux offer proof of her remarkable versatility. Messiaen wrote Poèmes pour Mi for "grande soprano dramatique," which generally doesn't describe Fleming, but she draws on the luxuriant richness that she brings to Strauss to provide all the power and drama the songs call for. Messiaen doesn't make things easy for his singer, but Fleming is entirely persuasive in his treacherous, low-lying recitative (which she puts across with scary fierceness) as well his ecstatic, high-soaring arioso. This is especially evident in "Action des grâces," which begins with the first and ends with the second. The songs throb with Romantic passion but they are also are clearly products of the Messiaen's distinctive, sometimes brash, modernism and it's a measure of conductor Alan Gilbert's achievement that he doesn't stint on giving full expression to either strain. His balance of tenderness and ferocity, along with Fleming's luminous singing, makes this one of the most gripping recordings of the song cycle. Dutilleux, who wrote Le Temps l'horloge for the soprano between 2006 and 2009, knows how to make the voice sound fabulous and Fleming knows how to sell the songs, to bring the music to thrilling life. Seiji Ozawa leads Orchestra National de France in the live recording of the world premiere of that work. In the other pieces Gilbert conducts Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio France. The conductors and the players convey an embodied understanding of this music and perform it with vibrant energy and nuance. Decca's sound is impeccable and beautifully balanced. Highly recommended for Fleming's admirers and anyone who loves French vocal music. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg

Incredibly, the world's greatest living conductor is getting better as he gets older. It's true -- Claudio Abbado, whose combination of effortless technique, lucid textures, and luminous tone coupled with his endless love for music has made him the preeminent conductor of our time, has only gotten better with age. Abbado's first Mahler's Fourth from 1978 is beautifully played by the Vienna Philharmonic, radiantly sung by Frederica von Stade, and joyously conducted by the young Maestro at the first peak of his powers. After his successful years with the Berlin Philharmonic and especially after some health problems, Abbado's second Mahler's Fourth from 2005 is extraordinarily spiritually led by the old Master at the peak of his interpretative abilities. His fluent technique is even more refined, but Abbado now seems more relaxed and thus more expressive than before, allowing and even encouraging portamento and vibrato. His lucid textures are less contrapuntal now and more flowing and his luminous lines are more lyrical and even more luminous. And his endless love of music -- and of life -- has infused the performance with a tangible sense of transcendence. The Berlin Philharmonic responds to its former music director with obvious affection and consummate artistry. Some listeners might find that Renée Fleming is too ironically maternal for the child's view of heaven that closes the symphony, but no listener will complain that Fleming is anything less than incandescently erotic in Berg's Sieben frühe Lieder that closes the disc. Deutsche Grammophon's live sound is entirely translucent. © TiVo
CD€13.99

Classical - Released January 1, 1997 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

CD€14.99

Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

CD€13.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

CD€13.99

Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

The voice of Renée 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. Unfortunately the recitative to the Adriana Lecouvreur aria is omitted -- and that would be the place for such an approach. "Casta diva" needs to have its cabaletta to fulfill the form of the piece. The French arias are the best items, and it is good to have a recording of the "Bolero" from Verdi's Les Vèpres siciliennes in the original French. Fleming's high E at the end is fine, but Mackerras should have utilized the traditional concert ending; the coda is too long for recital purposes. Nitpicking aside, there is fine singing on this disc -- but its approach is too intellectual for the content. © TiVo