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Renee Fleming: Sacred Songs (2006)

Rene Fleming  |  NR |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rene Fleming
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Decca
  • DVD Release Date: April 11, 2006
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E97HTE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,057 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Filmed in Mainz Cathedral November 13, 2005
  • Bonus songs: A Simple Song, The Holly and the Ivy, Silent Night
  • Music video: Ave Maria (Schubert)
  • Photo gallery
  • Mainz Cathedral film
  • Mainz impressions
  • Discography
  • Sung texts enclosed

Editorial Reviews

Renée Fleming, a.k.a. "The Beautiful Voice," is in fine form here, the voice gleaming with radiance in a November 2005 concert in Mainz Cathedral. With an orchestra under the baton of early music guru Trevor Pinnock, she opens with an abundantly embellished "Rejoice greatly," from Handel's Messiah and ends with Adolphe Adam's Christmas staple, "O Holy night" in a soupy arrangement by Chris Hazell. The musical highlights are the "Laudamus te" from Mozart's Mass in C minor and "L'Adieu des bergers" from Berlioz's L'Enfance du Christ, the former exciting for its coloratura, the latter a touch fussy, while in other selections, tonal beauty is bought with mushy diction. Chorus and orchestra get several selections for themselves, but the spotlight's on Fleming, very much the décolleté gowned diva. Mainz Cathedral is a handsome structure whose graceful columns and vaulted ceiling make for interesting visuals that complement the music. Added bonus songs include Bernstein's "A Simple Song" from his Mass, and a pair of traditional items including "Silent Night," these shot in front of a crèche and a Christmas tree with singer and accompanists wrapped in winter clothes. Extras include still photos and a film about the cathedral. Fleming's fans will snap this up. --Dan Davis

Product Description

Fleming performs a concert from Mainz Cathedral November 2005 with the Mainz Cathedral Choir and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, conducted by Trevor Pinnock, in Christmas and other works by Handel, Hammerschmidt, Franck, Mozart, Praetorious, Wade, Fau

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas kitsch meets a glorious voice December 23, 2006
And the result is a DVD filled with luxurious singing and devotion. Moreso than on her album named Sacred Songs as well Renee Fleming sings with elegance and poise, giving even the most rehashed evergreen a life of its own. What I love most about this DVD is its simplicity. An old school diva in a beautiful, classy dress rather than a girl strutting around trying to be sexy. Her voice has a velvety warmth I miss in nearly ever other full lyric soprano we have these days. Genuine emotion is pulsing through her singing, she's an artist willing to take risks, never just a voice but always an artist. This DVD is excellent for the holidays ahead and I'll be playing it more than once for I'd rather hear Renee Fleming perform these pieces than yet another pop singer.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sounds as beautiful as Renee looks! January 7, 2007
Verified Purchase
I first saw this performance on PBS, while looking for Christmas concerts.

Strange as this might sound, I had never heard Renee Fleming. I had seen several photos of her and assumed (wrongly!) that she was just another opera singer they were promoting to sell her recordings in other markets.

It was an eye-opener. Renee Fleming sings with precision and ease, and every song demonstrates that she has worked hard to acquire the education and training to make her singing seem effortless. On top of this, she sings with warmth and feeling, seeming to be enjoying the concert as much as those assembled in Mainz Cathedral, and we who watch it on dvd.

The only negative thing I would say is that I hated her dress--it simply was not at all flattering to her. But her good looks, her immense talents, her enthusiasm, and the beautiful Mainz Cathedral all contributed to make this a Christmas concert that is a gift to all who see and hear it. After some of Renee's brilliant embellishments, the camera even catches the face of one of the musicians whose face seems to indicate that she has just heard some superlative singing--that she was there to bear witness to an exceptional performance. Once you see it, I think you will agree--it's a magic moment--a magical Christmas concert.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely lady with the Golden Voice May 27, 2007
Renée Fleming has been one of my favorite sopranos for several years now. As a voice teacher and an accompanist, I find her voice contains that rare combination of depth and brilliance, solidity and flexibility that is a rare and illusive. Her CDs and DVDs are never more than a short reach from my stereo or television.

When you combine her singing with my favorite time of year, Christmas, and my favorite European destination, Germany, you have a treat which cannot be surpassed. Her voice, soaring through the Cathedral of Mainz, is like a precious stone in an exquisite setting, and provides a muscial experience that transports me to that place and time at every hearing.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fleming - DVD Sacred Songs - Mainz Cathedral July 26, 2006
Song selection - admirable

Vocal performance - Superlative, as you can nearly always expect from Renee Fleming.

Support performance - Very Good.

Setting - Excellent.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class concert June 15, 2007
Decca provides the following, but 2 chapters marked with (*) are not there:
CHAPTER LIST (total play time - 54 min.):
Hornpipe (Water Music): Handel (Chapter 1) [instrumental]
Rejoice Greatly (Messiah): Handel (Ch. 2) [on CD - Track 12]
Dank sei dir, Herr: attrib. Handel (Ch. 13) [choral, CD T.12]
Machet die Tore weit: Hammerschmidt (Ch. 3)
Panis angelicus: Franck (Ch. 4) [CD T.6]
Laudamus te (Mass in C minor): Mozart (Ch. 10) [CD T.5]
Vom Himmel hoch: trad. (*)
In dulci jubilo: trad. (*)
Adeste fideles: trad. (Ch. 7) [choral]
Berceuse (Dolly Suite): Fauré (Ch. 5) [instrumental]
Mariä Wiegenlied: Reger (Ch. 6) [CD T.15]
Abends will ich schläfen gehn (Hänsel und Gretel): Humperdinck (Ch. 8) [CD T.12]
Ave Maria: Schubert (Ch. 9) [CD T.4]
L'adieu des bergers (L'enfance du Christ): Berlioz (Ch. 11) [CD T.14]
Réjouissance (Orch. Suite No.4): Bach (Ch. 12) [instrumental]
O Holy Night: Adam (Ch. 14)
A Simple Song: Bernstein [CD T.8]
The Holly and the Ivy: trad.
Slient Night: Gruber
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