By Amy Harkess
The world’s best-selling soprano of all time returned after an anticipated four years, releasing Symphony in January 2008, a classical crossover/opera album that is possibly her best album yet. Joined by the London Symphony Orchestra and four other accomplished artists, Sarah Brightman‘s ninth studio album deservedly reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Top Classical Crossover Albums chart.
With her latest album Dreamchaser being released in 2013, the English star is known for the recreation of not only herself but also her music. With this in mind, it is vital we appreciate this incandescent album as Dreamchaser’s first released single “Angel” already demonstrates a unique musicality.
With the above image demonstrating a dark, gothic and powerful impression Symphony opens with an instrumental track, titled “Gothica,” that introduces us to the eerie yet seductive sound we are about to experience. From “Gothica,” we are introduced to symphonic sounds of the rock-edged “Fleurs Du Mal.” The uncommon use of rock guitars and drums combined with the strings demonstrates Brightman’s versatility with her crystal clear, on point piercing notes. The gothic atmosphere is emphasised by the powerful echo of the choir in unison, which is completely breath-taking.
Joining Brightman is none other than the profoundly successful Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli. “Canto Della Terra” is as musically sound and beautifully presented as Brightman and Bocelli’s previous collaborations. The contrasting tones and pitches of both artists demonstrates why their previous duets “The Prayer” and “Time to Say Goodbye” were successful, the latter becoming the biggest-selling single in history. With such artists singing these beautiful lyrics, “Canto Della Terra” has the potential to go such lengths and further.
Also joining Brightman is Italian tenor Alessandro Safina with the tonal duet “Sarai Qui”. The track was originally a Faith Hill hit, and creates a sense of momentum as the two voices come together: Safina’s higher and reaching tone creating a contrast to that of Bocelli’s. Furthermore, Brightman comes together with Fernando Lima to perform the Spanish track “Pasión” which is considered by critics to be the “signature piece”. In addition, “Pasión” was used as a theme song for the Mexican soap opera of the same name and also appears on Lima’s album also titled “Pasión”.
Brightman’s fourth duet of the album “I Will Be With You” contains gentle acoustic rhythms throughout the song, reminding the listener of a 1980’s pop duet. Performed in English with Paul Stanley from KISS, the gruff undertones of Stanley hold their own against Brightman’s higher range, both remarkable in the dually sang chorus.
“Let It Rain” is one of Brightman’s most successful solo tracks on the album. The song immediately demonstrates “ready for radio” tones and was the most radio played track on the album. With a hint of pop tones when mounting to the chorus; the song is primarily piano-driven and is sung with ease by Brightman.
The album comes to a conclusion with another solo track, “Running”. Released back in August of 2007, “Running” was used as the International Association of Athletics Federations Green Project Charity song.
All in all, Brightman’s 54 minute Symphony is an artistic, diverse album of ambitious proportions, ambitions that have been achieved. Each track is unique in its music, composition and tonal value but they all have one commonality: Brightman’s faultless voice. We wait in anticipation for Dreamchaser, welcoming the awe and excellence Brightman continues to produce.
View Brightman and Andrea Bocelli performing “Canto della terra” live:
Check out a Sarah Brightman review blog on her previous album Symphony http://www.sarahbrightman.com/home #sarahbrightman