Image © 2000
||Winter in July
||A Whiter Shade Of Pale
||He Doesn't See Me
||How Fair This Place
||Hijo de la Luna
||Here With Me
||Solo Con Te
||She Doesn't See Him
||First Of May (Live)
(20 August 2000) The latest album by Sarah Brightman entitled
La Luna (Angel Records (USA) 7243 5 56968 2 3, 2000) released
in the United States on 29 August, continues much in the vein of the
star's prior albums Eden and Time To Say Goodbye
(Timeless in Europe and other territories). A classical
crossover album in every respect, La Luna, with its
moon themes, has something for every one of Sarah's
fans. Cover versions of folk and pop songs perfectly compliment her
modern interpretations of the more classical Aria-oriented tracks.
Once again produced by Frank Peterson, the album clearly blends
sounds from the Dive and Fly era with the artist's
most recent releases.
Sarah Brightman has long led the way in the classical crossover
genre and has been joined by
Emma Shapplin (review),
Izzy (review) and
Filippa Giordano (review).
The Angel Records version of La Luna differs slightly
from the German pressing both in running order and tracks included
to best address the American audience. Most notable is the
differing lyrical viewpoints between the complimentary
ballads "He Doesn't See Me" (USA) and "She Doesn't See Him"
(EEC). This stunning track blends contemporary sound with
Celtic orchestration. The four additional tracks on the
American version make it more accessible, emphasising
the contemporary side of the classical crossover genre.
Musical Discoveries readers that have long requested a
review of Sarah Brightman's work should appreciate this
(pre-release) album review.
The album's classically derived tracks are performed graciously
with operatic vocals soaring well above the orchestral instrumentation.
Examples include "La Califfa" (Lady Caliph), Beethoven's "Figlio
Perduto" (Lost Son), Handel's "Solo Con Te" (Only With You), and
Rachmaninov's "How Fair This Place"/"How Fare This Spot" sung in
Russian; it is joined to a Frank Peterson instrumental introduction
entitled "Serenade" which includes Sarah's lovely soaring vocalise.
The most accessible tracks on the album include Brightman-style
anthem "Here With Me" and uptempo rocking tune "Winter In July".
The inclusion of Sarah's stunning cover of Gary Brooker's "A Whiter
Shade Of Pale" this time with rich orchestral arrangements perfectly
compliments "A Salty Dog" on Dive. Sarah's cover of
"Scarborough Fair" is sensitively sung over light instrumental
arrangements. The song was recently covered by Gypsy Soul as
Sarah's singing in the lovely uptempo classically derived piece
entitled "Hijo de la Luna" (Son of the Moon) is most reminscent
of Kate Bush's style.
Slow ballads ("La Lune," "He Doesn't See Me" and "This Love") are sung
tenderly and evocatively, backed with a well-produced blend of
traditional and modern arrangements. The bluesy jazz smoky piano bar
undertones of "Gloomy Sunday" add to the unique sound of the album.
The American version of the album closes with the title track, an
Frank Peterson adaptation of a Dvorak classic that blends classical
construction with Brightman's operatic soaring vocals and slightly
contemporary arrangements. A hidden track within "La Luna" includes
a unique Brightman acoustic interpretation of "Moon River." Interested
listeners will have to wait until about 5:15 on the counter for it
The booklet accompanying the compact disc of both EEC and USA
versions is as stunning as the music. Produced on high gloss paper
and loaded with stunning photos by Simon Fowler (all available on Sarah's
website), it contains
lyrics both in the language sung and their translations. You can
order the American version of La Luna from amazon.com
here as well as the import version
here. Sarah Brightman's earlier albums are also available at amazon.com.
Diverse in its content, well-produced in all regards with stunning
vocals certain to delight our readers, La Luna is worth
a trans-Atlantic journey and is a must listen!