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Paradiso

4.6 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 4, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

2011 album from the New Zealand-born soprano. With a CV that belies her 23 years, having performed with Jose Carreras through to Andrea Bocelli and touring North America with Il Divo, Hayley is now realising her dream of working with master Italian composer and conductor Ennio Morricone, on her studio album Paradiso. Well known for his iconic film scores including The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West, Morricone is regarded as one of the most prolific and influential composers of his era. Despite the 60-year-age difference and distinct language barrier, Westenra and Morricone struck up an incredible bond whilst recording Paradiso with Ennio's orchestra in Rome last summer.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 4, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca Records
  • ASIN: B004VPHPQ2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,142 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I admit, I am a fan of both Hayley Westenra and Ennio Morricone's music, and have listened to them both for quite a while. So, when I found out they were doing a collaboration, I was super excited. This album does not disappoint in any way, shape, or form. Hayley Westenra's voice is exquisite, displaying a depth of emotion not seen in her previous albums. As always, Morricone's music is superb, and both the new tracks written specifically for this album and the old ones rearranged for Ms. Westenra are delightful, sending the listener into a little taste of paradise, making the album aptly named. I would recommend this product to anyone, but especially to enjoyers of soundtracks and classical crossover.
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Format: Audio CD
A decade on from her New Zealand-only self-titled debut album, and Christchurch's finest, 23-year-old Hayley Westenra, can no longer rely on the angelic-looking choirgirl persona which helped her replace Charlotte Church as the world's most successful young soprano. But having achieved quite the coup by recruiting legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone for her fifth album (and first non-seasonal studio release since 2007's "Treasure"), "Paradiso", it's unlikely that she would have had to, anyway.
Recorded with the 120-piece Roma Sinfonietta in their hometown, its 13 tracks are a world away from her usual fare of traditional hymns, operatic standards and classical pop numbers, revealing a maturity and creative streak lacking from most of her contemporaries.
Indeed, perhaps to establish her songwriting credentials, Morricone has allowed several of his most famous compositions to be rewritten by the now-grownup star, including one of his most famous pieces, "Gabriel's Oboe" (now "Whispers in a Dream"), and the themes to 1970 films "La Califfa" and "Malena", all of which show she's more than up to the rather imposing job.
The less obvious song selections also indicate Westenra is no longer content to follow the crowd, with only the soothing harmonies of "Jill's Theme" ("Once Upon a Time in the West"), the beautifully lilting vocal adaptation of "Deborah's Theme" ("Once Upon a Time In America") and the string-soaked "Profumo di Limone" and "Would He Ever Know Me Now?" (both from "Cinema Paradiso"), likely to be familiar to mainstream audiences.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Paradiso I first saw Hayley on Celtic Woman. I enjoyed listening to her sing and purchased all of her cds and one dvd. Her voice continues to mature and her music is always enjoyable. I am thrilled Ennio Morricone has written some songs for her. Paradiso is great!
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Format: Audio CD
Hayley has done it once more! Incredible vocals, lyrics, orchestration, incredible EVERYTHING! I highly recommend buying this album.

Of course "Gabriel's Oboe (Whispers in a Dream)" is one of the best!

"Cinema Paradiso-Profumo Di Limone" and "Cinema Paradiso-Would He Even Know Me Now?" are naturally two of my favorites because I've always liked the melody--long before this album was released.

"Metti Una Sera A Cena" at first was not one of my favorites, but it quickly grew on me and now I listen to it quite frequently.

"La Califfa" and "Malena" are purely gorgeous.

"Once Upon A Time In the West" is just....BEAUTIFUL!

"Lezione Di Musica" makes me feel so happy! It's just so...fantastical!

"Per Natale" is one of my FAVORITES! Singing in French is one of my favorite languages to sing and listen to. This song, like "Lezione Di Musica" makes me feel so very happy! It makes me think a little bit of Christmas!

"Amalia Por Amor" is lovely. The techniques used are impressive. This song reminds me of a tongue-twister. I can only appreciate even more Hayley's singing said tongue-twister in a different language!

Her rendition of "Here's to you" (lyrics by Joan Boaz) is beautiful and very well sung. The final stanza of the song, with the trumpet, is so moving.

"Deborah's Theme...", "Da Quel Sorriso Che Non Ride Piu" and "The Edge of Love" all just leave me speechless. In a good way of course.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Every word that comes out of her mouth is golden magic....Her song selection is always good. You will not be displeased by the selections on this CD. I wish Hayley would sing "Those Were The Days" by Mary Hopkins, that would be fantastic. Hint, Hint Hayley....Worth more than every penny spent......Also, get "PURE" if you don't already have it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This unusual collaboration between between 83 year old Italian composer Ennio Morricone and Kiwi classical crossover artist Hayley Westenra is a testimony to mutual admiration. Morricone has composed hundreds of film scores over his very prolific career but has rarely worked with vocalists. His recent discovery of and appreciation for Ms. Westenra's vocal capabilities and Hayley's mutual admiration for Morricone has resulted in the very delightful Paradiso.
This impressive CD was orchestrated, composed, and conducted by Morricone (with his orchestra) but it is very much Hayley's album. Her beautiful, pitch perfect, clear voice perfectly complements each of these well chosen songs.
A personal favourite is Gabriel's Oboe (Whispers In A Dream) with lyrics by Hayley. She also penned the Malena lyrics and co-wrote the lyrics with Morricone to La Califfa. The one Christmas themed song on this CD is the utterly charming Per Natale (L' Esprit de Noel).
Overall, this collaboration is a tribute to teamwork. Enjoy!
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