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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "If You Are But A Dream . . . I Hope I Never Waken", January 18, 2007
This review is from: Romance: Songs From the Heart (Audio CD)
"Here is a rejuvenated Sinatra - using his superb interpretative skills augmented by nearly forty years of life experience to convey his sorrow, his joy, his heartbreak in a manner at once uplifting and chilling. If there ever was such a thing as method singing, this was it." ~ James Ritz ~

Here's another treasure for Sinatra buffs - the latest compilation CD just recently released by Capitol Records consisting of twenty-one remarkable Sinatra staples, one of which is a previously unreleased alternate take of a gem of a song "Nice 'N' Easy." I would say that the alternate take is equally marvelous as the original recording. According to James Ritz on Liner Notes: "Fortuitously, the first line of that marvelous song's bridge also neatly sums up the objective of this collection: 'We're on the road to romance' . . . and for sixty years, no one navigated that road better than Frank Sinatra." That's very well said. Amen to that! Sinatra and his music epitomize romance in the real sense of the word. His music is not only songs from the heart, but also songs to the heart. Simply put, his music is from one's heart to another's heart. Heart to heart.

As a huge Sinatra buff, of course I have already listened and enjoyed all the songs here from various CDs from my collection, but it's always very nice to hear a new set of songs from the Entertainer of the Century compiled in one CD. The songs are taken from eleven different albums recorded between 1953 and 1961 and orchestrated by three gifted Sinatra arrangers/conductors namely Nelson Riddle, Billy May and Axel Stordahl.

If I have to single out any favorites from this collection, I would enumerate the complete track listing since all the songs are very impressive and my all-time favorites from the first track "I've Got You Under My Skin" to the last "If You Are But A Dream." This is such a beautiful song and very melodic. I just love this song - it is an adaptation from a classical piece by Anton Rubinstein, "Romance." This version was arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle and recorded in 1957. The 1944 original recording was arranged and conducted by Axel Stordahl and was available on a CD format in 1995 on a 4-CD-set entitled "The Best of Columbia Years 1943-1952." I love both recordings for their arrangements and orchestrations are equally done in sheer beauty and perfection.

"If You Are But A Dream"
Music by: Anton Rubinstein
Lyrics by: Moe Jaffe / Jack Fulton / Nat Bonx

If you are but a dream
I hope I never waken
It's more than I could bear
To find that I'm forsaken
If you're a fantasy
Then I'm content to be
In love with lovely you
And pray my dream comes true . . .

I long to kiss you
But I would not dare
I'm so afraid that you may vanish in the air
So darling, if our romance would break up
I hope I never wake up
If you are but a dream.

This is a superb collection that you do not have to skip any track but would certainly do a second or third round in one sitting. This is one of the nicest sets ever compiled. Added delights on Liner Notes are some black and white vintage photos of the Entertainer of the Century - I especially like the full-page photo circa 1950s with his hat on.

A pleasurable listening experience.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 9, 2007 7:20:04 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2007 7:21:44 AM PST
. . . and, to borrow a phrase, "A pleasurable reading experience!" Balanced, informative review (that should be in the "spotlight" --and WILL be, I predict). Particularly appreciated the quote from James Ritz' liner notes re the 'new' alternate take of 'Nice 'N' Easy,'

. . . "Fortuitously, the first line of that marvelous song's bridge also neatly sums up the objective of this collection: 'We're on the road to romance' . . . and for sixty years, no one navigated that road better than Frank Sinatra."
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