3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Before she was a sparkling pop/classical diva, Sarah Brightman was a Broadway star and the onetime wife of the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber. This two-disc set that includes her "Encore," a collection of songs from mostly-obscure musicals, and "The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection," several of Webber's songs (mostly picked from "Songs That Got Away" and "Surrender").
"Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection" starts off with the gothic "Phantom of the Opera," but quickly moves on to lighter fare in the airy "Unexpected Song," a soaring duet with Cliff Richards in "All I Ask Of You," the sparkling "Love Changes Everything," and some tepid forays into the shrill "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" and "Memory."
"Encore" is far more ethereal and steady. The piano-led "Whistle Down The Wind" starts it off on a strong note, before the aching "Away From You," operatic "Think of Me," affectionate "If I Ever Fall in Love Again," and the symphonic "Nothing Like You've Ever Known." A particular highlight is the sparkling "What More Do I Need," a little tune that celebrates how love brightens up even the most dingy little apartment, in the most miserable weather. "With your love/what more do I need?"
Sarah Brightman was obviously on solid footing with these two CDs. It might leave a bad taste in some fans' mouths that "Collection" is mostly compiled from a pair of other Brightman albums, but if listeners don't have "Surrender" and "Songs That Got Away," this two-disc set would be an excellent way to acquaint themselves with it.
"Encore" is steady and well-suited for Brightman's voice, as well as having a sort of Victorian-garden air. "Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection" has the most flaws of the two -- some of the songs like "Memory" aren't suited to Brightman's voice, and she comes across as shrill and uneasy. But in songs written for her talents and "Encore," her voice alternately soars and murmurs in an airy soprano.
Sarah Brightman reached her artistic pinnacle so far in the velvety "Eden," but her stuff here is still quite beautiful. "The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection/Encore" two-pack is a satisfying look at some of Brightman's Broadway-based songs.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2007
Both of these discs afford great pleasure. The Lloyd Webber compilation presents many of his biggest hits in fine performances by his ex-wife. The Encore disc gives fascinating glimpses of worthy but little known pieces from musicals. Arrangements are wonderful, and Sarah Brightman is in excellent voice throughout. At times she has a tendency to wax a bit operatic, but she certainly does have the chops to bring it off successfully, so I'm not complaining. Obviously, Ms. Brightman was trained in the classical tradition, and she knows how to use her voice to best advantage in service to the material. In short, she has musical integrity.
5 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2002
Yes, it's true. Sarah has nothing to do with these cds, but her voice. It's another record that Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really "not that" Useful Group release to make money. Those two cds are very good though. If you have one of them, i suggest to get the other separatly.