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Love Songs

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 26, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Together Anne Sofie and Brad have brought together some of the greatest songwriters, including Jacques Brel, Léo Ferré, Barbara, Michel Legrand, Leonard Bernstein, Paul McCartney, Joni Michell and others. 'Powerful, literary, poetic and rich in emotion, they
wrote music that has you in tears,' says Brad Mehldau. He continues: 'She [Anne Sofie] expresses tenderness without sentimentality; she knows how to be expressive
without ever overdoing it. She has great understanding, more than anyone else, of the text, whether
it is in English, French, German, or any other language.'

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Love Songs, for mezzo-soprano & piano: It may not always be so
  2. Love Songs, for mezzo-soprano & piano: We Met at the End of the Party
  3. Love Songs, for mezzo-soprano & piano: Child, Child
  4. Love Songs, for mezzo-soprano & piano: Twilight
  5. Love Songs, for mezzo-soprano & piano: Because
  6. Love Songs, for mezzo-soprano & piano: Dreams
  7. Love Songs, for mezzo-soprano & piano: Did You Never Know?

Disc: 2

  1. Avec le Temps, song
  2. Pierre, song for voice & piano
  3. Marcie
  4. Something Good, song (from film score 'The Sound of Music')
  5. Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (The Young Girls of Rochefort), film score: Chanson de Maxence
  6. La chanson des vieux amants (The Song of the Aged Lovers), song ('Mon amour')
  7. Sakta vi gå genom stan, song (Swedish version of 'Walking My Baby Back Home')
  8. Att angöra en brygga, song
  9. Dis! quand reviendras-tu?
  10. What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?
  11. Calling you
  12. Blackbird
  13. Some Other Time, song (from 'On the Town')
  14. Walking My Baby Back Home, song
  15. Dis! quand reviendras-tu?
  16. What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life?
  17. Calling you
  18. Blackbird
  19. Some Other Time, song (from 'On the Town')


Product Details

  • Conductor: --
  • Composer: Brad Mehldau, Leo Ferre, Barbara, Joni Mitchell, Richard Rodgers, et al.
  • Audio CD (October 26, 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Naive
  • ASIN: B003ZZPKZW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,420 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Anne Sofie Von Otter Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Keymer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 5, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a really interesting album. It's not jazz and it's not NOT-jazz, more like a combination of art song and jazz-influenced piano. Otter has a lovely voice and Mehldau is, of course, a Bear on piano. The first disc is seven songs written by Mehldau to be performed in concert with Otter, using lyrics from the poets e. e. cummings, Philip Larkin and Sara Teasdale (five by Teasdale). This disc is impressive but it lies definitely on the art song side, like an update of Schubert lieder sung by a mezzo instead of a bari like Fischer-Deiskau or Bryn Terfel.

The second album is more varied and, to me, more immediately accessible. It starts with 'Avec le Temps,' the great love ballad by Leo Ferre'. A lighter song by a French chanteuse named Barbara follows and then Joni Mitchell's "Marcie," a song I probably wouldn't have liked if I were listening to Mitchell sing it but like it with Otter doing it. The best song on the album (well, co-best, along with "Avec le Temps") is Bob Telson's "Calling You" from the movie Baghdad Cafe. Otter does a good job on this though not as good as another version I have of the song, sung by the colossal soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson on her Lavinia recital album. (I don't know of any classical music singer who has the pipes to match Hunt Lieberson's.) Otter also sings the early 50s ballad, "Walking My Baby Back Home," but in Swedish! She seems to have lifted it from a recording by the Swedish jazz singer Monika Zetterlund. Mehldau plays straight on the French songs, freer on the American ones, giving them moire of a jazz feel.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Esta vez tanto la Von Otter como Brad Meldahu han conseguido la perfeccion. Dos Cd para dos tipos diferentes de acercamiento musical a la belleza. En el primero nos encontramos a una Von Otter denrto de su registro de mezzo soprano, que como siempre esta magnifica. Lo curioso es que canta temas compuestos por Meldahu que demuestra una especial sensibilidad que nos remite a un clacicismosin estridencia muy cercana a los lieder post romentico. Sobrio y perfecto convierte esta experiencia en un autentico placer.
El segundo CD Esta compuesto por versiones de cancion francesa e incursiones a standars americano e incluso una version de los Beatles. Aqui Anne Sophie Von Otter esta simplemente genial. Su voz natural, la belleza de su fraseo, la intimidad del acompañamiento convierte este proyecto en una obra maestra. Si buscan un disco para reflexionar, para olvidarse de las vulgaridades mundanas, no lo duden, es este.Sera muy dificil encontrar ese tandem entre lo clasico, lo contemporaneo y la musica popular mas perfecto y elegante. Un triunfo sin paliativos y lo que es mas dificil desde la humildad mas interiorizada. Perfecto
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Format: Audio CD
...but why couldn't they put all the music on one CD? I believe they could have gotten all of that music on there!

Setting questionable presentations aside, I happen to like the CD very much. As a collaborative effort, I find "Love Songs" w/Von Otter much more convincing and less "mannered" than the Mehldau/Fleming effort, IMHO. With each listen, I find myself becoming a fan of Mr. Mehldau with his precociously emotional approach to the piano. (Check out, for example, his solo on McCartney's Blackbird!)

My two cents.
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Format: Audio CD
Brad Mehldau is a terrific pianist, so for him I give this album 3 stars.
But Ms Von Otter has a beautiful voice, and she knows it.
As a result she imparts absolutely NO emotion into any of these songs.
The tunes are all lovely, but she sings them identically.

She is not heartbroken where she should be heartbroken, she is not enraptured when she is in love, she just...sings.
If you want exquisite French music (female) check out Lara Fabian.
But if you want your heart broken by the exquisite music of Jacques Brel, then listen to Jacques Brel.

Sofie Von Otter could do with some acting lessons to accompany her lovely but monotonous warbling.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I am glad that this album come out....it has nice love songs without it being the same old standards....like the fact that the songs are in English, French and German..the only song that I didn't feel worked was "Child, Child" its just a hot mess....not pleasent on the ear at all....One of my favorites is Marcie and Bagdad, calling you. Thank you for coming out with this work.
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My prejudices first. Anne Sophie von Otter is the first operatic voice I ever enjoyed (her recording of Schumann's "Rose, Meer und Sonne." Brad Mehldau is the third jazz pianist whose work I admired (after Keith Jarrett and Oscar Peterson). But this recording was terribly disappointing. Mehldau is a surprising fine composer of songs. He is also a sensitive pianist as an accompanist. But von Otter's vocal style is so inappropriate for this genre and frankly, her vocal quality has markedly deteriorated (at least her upper range). So much as I admire these distinguished artists, I cannot recommend this CD.
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