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Noel Coward Songbook

5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 17, 2002
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$35.00
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$35.00 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by joanandree and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 17, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B00006HM8Z
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,051 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I love this CD. I have a collection of Noel Coward performing his major songs, and I found it entertaining, but frankly I was never much drawn to it after the initial novelty wore off. I never really appreciated Coward as a composer because his campy persona and limited vocal talents got in the way. I bought this CD as a gift for a big Coward fan, and I am ashamed that I have not yet given it to him because I enjoy it so much. Bostridge is a really fine tenor. The beauty and subtlety of his voice bring out the beauty of Coward's melodies and the wit of his lyrics without overwhelming them with a heavy and mannered "classical" style, which is the bane of most such "crossover" CDs. The CD is also beautifully recorded. Outstanding songs include "I Travel Alone," "Parisian Pierrot," "World Weary," and "A Room with a View." Bostridge also has just the right touch with the goofier songs like "Mad Dogs and Englishmen," "Something to do with Spring," and "Any Little Fish." I highly recommend this CD to anyone who enjoys witty cabaret songs in general and Coward in particular. It really did give me a new and greater appreciation of Coward's considerable talents as a composer.
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27 of 38 people found the following review helpful By MOVIE MAVEN on September 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Sometimes musical artists should NOT attempt cross-over albums. I am a huge fan of Jessye Norman, Leontyne Price and Joan Sutherland, but their ventures into "popular" music were, at best, misguided and, at worst, heavy-handed and pretentious. Although Ian Bostridge does not embarrass himself, there is no question that he should stick to more "serious" music and leave musical comedy to other singers.
The theatre songs of Noel Coward take a very different kind of approach than Bostridge gives them. They need an actor who happens to be singing. Except for a very few of the songs on this CD (written by Coward for operettas instead of musical comedies) Bostridge's approach is absolutely without any character. All of these numbers are impeccably sung by Bostridge, but none of them are ever really acted. Coward's songs MUST be acted whether they were written in a comic or sentimental vein. The result is another misfired cross-over album in what otherwise is a splendid career.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mitchell Geller on August 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I was bitterly disappointed in this CD, and after playing it a few times it went permanently back into the cabinet. Bostridge is very mannered to his approach to Coward. When i was an undergraduate, I wrote my bachelors honors thesis on Coward, and consider myself fairly well-informed on the subject. I like several of his plays, his short fiction, and his (alas, not too-well-known) poetry. However, I can't abide his singing, I think he was an overrated and shockingly egotistical actor, but a glorious songwriter. Normally I despise crossover, but at 15 -41 years ago -- I bought "Joan Sutherland Sings Noel Coward" and after wearing out two lps found it in London on CD 10 years ago. It remains incredibly beautiful, witty, and filled with gorgeous Richard bonynge orchestrations. i would advise everyone who thinks they hate crossovers altogether to hunt this one down.
Does anyone want, free, Ms Renee Flemings crossover work? She should track them all down and burn them, as they are dreadful. The only other crossover opera singer i have enjoyed is the British soprano Sally Burgess, who is truly comfortable on the opera stage and crooning standards.
mitchell
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dino Starcevic Rivera on June 15, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this CD after reading the reviews, asking if it is a wise choice. I love Ian Bostridge art, intelligent artist, great singer; I admire Noël Coward works, intelligent, caustic. But I was not sure of the mix of both.
After hearing it, I still have mixed opinions but I like it. Bostridge singing is, as usual, pristine,and his approach (as he pointed out on the album notes) is probably closer to Weill than Coward. Don't know if that is a right choice but it is valid as an artistic proposal.
Also, in this kind of albums I always miss the orchestral support. Jeffrey Tate sounds good at the piano, but a little weak given the fact that this is music for the stage.
Anyway, the album is good because it is not common to find the work of people like Coward. Also pay attention to Sophie Daneman's interventions, a beautiful voice that deserves more.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lanja Samsdottir on September 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I must say that I approached this album as a fan of Ian rather than Noel Coward (and admittedly still don't really have a good idea of who the man is). So in terms of Ian's singing, I like it a lot. He has a wonderfully dextrous voice and a clear tone, complemented by Jeffrey Tate on the piano and the soprano Sophie Daneman for several numbers.

Generally I find myself unable to appreciate the work of classical singers who do crossover albums, but Ian is an exception. It has been said elsewhere that he may lack a robustness in his voice, but here in fact, one would not wish for an overpowering tenor. He isn't at all overblown, unlike many other singers in crossovers. The lightness of his voice lends a kind of intimacy to these recordings, as if he were singing in a café or an at-home musical evening.

The material is, of course, a departure from Schubert, &c., but he handles it well. However, I do think that he has a better emotional feel for the 19th century German romanticists and the 20th century British classical composers (i.e. Britten). This recording is pleasant but it seems to me to lack the emotional depth of Ian's Schumann in particular - a perceived deficiency that might lie with the composer Coward rather than the performer.

I like to listen to this CD when I want to listen to Ian sing, but am not in the mood for his more serious/depressing recordings (a la Schubert & Britten). The lyrics are pretty inane, the same goes for the songs themselves - melodically speaking - but Ian makes them special. So four stars.
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