My Secret Heart: Songs Of The Parlour, Stage And Silver Screen
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With his 1999 Met triumph as Tristan--the most taxing of all Wagner's tenor roles--Canadian singer Ben Heppner has fully earned his heralded position as the great new Heldentenor of our time. His Lohengrin is a signature role, while his album German Romantic Opera has been nominated for a Grammy. Yet Heppner also commands tremendous versatility--and of a much more engaging character than that of the typical crossover effort--using his powerful, bronze-tinged tenor to tender and charming effect in My Secret Heart. This is a collection of songs roughly from the period between the two world wars, when music began to reach mass audiences via radio and screen. Many of these are almost forgotten gems--emblems of a vanished era--but once had wide cultural currency: the World War II hit "We'll Gather Lilacs," the radio show Family Hour's theme tune "Let My Song Fill Your Heart," and the oft-recorded 1919 ballad "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise." Heppner, with his sturdy beauty of tone and sweet, natural-sounding vibrato, breathes new life into this genre. He handles the idiom's unabashed schmaltz with charm and brings a lilting urbanity to two Noël Coward tunes, with especially bittersweet refinement in "I'll Follow My Secret Heart." --Thomas May
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Top Customer Reviews
There is no question that Heppner is one of the greatest tenors of our age. He is often compared with his fellow Canadian Jon Vickers (with whom he shares much of his repertory) but especially here, he is beginning to remind me more and more of Jussi Bjorling, and I can think of no higher compliment. Part of this is because Bjorling actually sang quite a bit of repertory similar to what Heppner sings here, but more importantly, both voices have an ideal combination of power and sweetness. Heppner's is essentially a very lyric voice despite its large size, and he is capable of great tonal beauty and sensitivity. This not only makes his Wagner, Giordano, and Berlioz very special, but makes him equally adept with the gentle little gems he sings on this disc. He is helped somewhat by the fact that these songs, most of which were written in the very early part of the 20th century, are a lot closer to the 'classical' style than more modern pop. But what really makes Heppner perfect for this material is his total identification with the texts, his tenderness, and his utter sincerity. Also, his diction is superb - you won't need the printed texts to understand what he is singing. In the hands of a lesser singer, some of these old fashioned songs would be absolute treacle.Read more ›
The things that I have read about Ben have been very true. He really is a lot more than I ever bargained for. He is THAT GOOD.
I need to go out on a limb and say that he is the best tenor I have ever heard. In my wildest dreams I never thought anyone could be that good.
For this cd Ben choose to sing a lot of standards. Bravo! This is my kind of music. Ben did an excellent job crooning us with his golden voice. He knew when to hold back and when to sing at full strength. This is marvelous how he worked each song to get the full meaning out of it.
The only complaint I have is there was not enough of the good olde songs that I wanted to hear Ben sing. I know it's hard to please all the people all the time and I understand where Ben was coming from.
This cd is a must for the fans of beautiful opera singers who crossover with popular music.
(P.S. Tell the writer of the liner notes, that "Deep in my Heart" starring Jose Ferrer was a movie about the life of Sigmund Romberg, not Rudolf Frimal.)
Most recent customer reviews
Wonderful to hear those old songs sung by such a great singer.Published 17 months ago by Irene Watt
The more I listen to this disc the more I appreciate the subtly of Mr. Heppner's voice. Sensitive and powerful, full of emotion. A beautiful album.Published 20 months ago by Marian G. Higgins
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