As a voice and choral instructor, I have always been intrigued by artists who attempt music for which they are not primarily known. Renee Fleming is a superb operatic soprano. She had fun with "Haunted Heart", though I found some of the arrangements to be trite and at times totally out of the original style; it was literally saved by the final "Hard Times Come Again No More".
So I am doubly delighted with this album. Certainly, every one of these pieces has been recorded by a plethora of artists, and yes a couple of the arrangements are saccharine (I do agree that the addition of the flute in "Panis Angelicus" is superfluous and detracts from the beauty of the Franck piece),
but I think the Handel "Dank Sei Dir Herr" is breathtaking and most of the album is truly wonderful. Susan Graham is another of my favorite singers and the duet from "Hansel and Gretel" is
memorable. As for its being too heavy, the Humperdinck orchestration for "Hansel and Gretel" is as thick as anything Wagner ever wrote.
As for "Amazing Grace", which so many have trashed, this arrangement shows the folk quality of it, and I find nothing objectionable in Mark O'Connor's violin playing. The hymn itself has been played to death and is one of the favorite hymns of many people world-wide; I feel that she does it justice.
It is an album that I will listen to often...with some reservations but the whole a fine effort.