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on October 20, 1999
This CD has been my first exposure to both traditional and new Fado. I had read about Fado but never heard it. I am planning a trip to Portugal and wanted to know what Fado is all about, so to speak, before I went, so when the news came out that Amalia Rodrigues, unquestioned queen of her art form, had died, I ordered this CD. As her fans have always known, Amalia's voice is powerful and beautiful, the music is sometimes light and lively (as in "Vou dar de beber a dor"), sometimes dusky and melancholic in tone (as in "Primavera"). Magnificent. The only reason I did not award the full 5 stars is that, though Amalia and the music she sings is fully worthy, the CD needs some remastering of the guitars, which boom and distort here and there, the kind of distortion we used to get from predigital sound equipment (particularly badly in "Com que voz"). But Amalia's voice comes through clearly even over the unfortunate instrumental distortions. I'm glad I picked this album to be my introduction to Fado and to Amalia Rodrigues. I only regret that my upcoming trip to Portugal comes after Amalia has left us.
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on August 29, 2003
There is no one that compares or comes close to Amalia, and for a number of reasons. Her gorgeous and lush voice, with tones and delicacy unmatched. Her mastery of control, and restraint, and her total surrender to each song, allowing for the dramatic crescendos and subtle intonations. Trained singer?? - hardly, you can't teach art such as is her voice. The other main factor in making her untouchable is simply, being Portuguese. There is no other music in the world that so truly captures the sadness of exisitence, that isnt a true sadness, but more of an ongoing lament, a thought and mood, a way of life. Its all in Fado, which literally means fate, and no other music in the world captures the sound of fate like fado. Amalia is unnequalled in her artistry because she is truly an artist, singing songs that are truly art. To call it singing doesn't do it justice and to call them songs also falls short. Lyrics that were poems, turn into living and breathing laments, art this is alive in every sense, and beautiful and that rings true, to everyone's heart. These songs are timeless, they were written by fate, Amalia was the voice fated to sing them. This collection is beautiful. To understand the words, just let your heart listen. Adeus, Amalia, querida voz-de-nos. -daniel
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on September 8, 2001
I am not a Fado connoisseur, but I think it would be hard to find another artist that can equalize Amalia's extraordinary talent. Not only that her incredible voice and interpretation style made her the "Queen of Fado" for decades, but I find the music that she sings to be one of the most passionate in the world. No wonder she is considered a national treasure in Portugal. If you want to listen to some of the best Fado, I would say Amalia Rodrigues is the one to look for, and this CD particularly. I bought it a while ago, and I'll never get tired of listening to it. I don't speak Portuguese, but I think that understanding the lyrics is just a bonus, the music says so much anyway.
Add Spain's incredible 'Flamenco' music and you are sure to speed up your heart rate. Interested in Flamenco? Try Paco de Lucia - you can't miss with that one.
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on December 9, 2000
If I had to choose one album of great Portuguese fado music, this would be it. Eighteen selections, each one a major piece of artistry, this album bears listening to over and over again. Like all great music, it offers new enjoyment each time it is heard. When I think of the name of Amalia Rodrigues, I automatically think of the name of Maria Callas. Amalia Rodrigues is a national treasure of Portugal in particular, and of the world in general. You'll thank yourself for buying this album. Michael Nattenberg
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on March 19, 2003
I grew up listning to a little of Amalia Rodrigues way back in India. Couldn't get my hands on more Amalia at that time. I found this CD on Amazon and I bought it after reading the reviews. Now I love her voice even more than I did then. I don't understand the words, but the melodies are so pure and amazing. It is a joy to listen to the simple arrangements, her voice blending so beautifully with the guitar accompaniment. You'll get hooked on Fado after listening to this. Great CD!
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on October 30, 2002
I too was completely unfamiliar with not only the Portuguese "fado" but also Amalia. After purchasing this CD I loaned it to an associate. She wouldn't return it for six months and then grudgingly. Amalia's phrasing, intonation, voice control and musicianship is absolutely astounding. If you appreciate an artist who truly feels her music and is willing to show the emotion this CD is at times heart-wrenching and bittersweet. Put a lock on your heart. You will need it!
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on December 19, 2002
Amalia has left behind a rich legacy of music. This is as good a starting point as any in discovering this legacy. She was the undisputed Queen of Fado. I was first turned on by recordings my mother had of Amalia from the 1950's. I have since built a collection around these early recordings, ever amazed by how much this phenomenal woman brings to music. She captures all the beauty and pathos of Fado, making it an especially bittersweet listening experience. ...
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on November 16, 1999
I'm 1st generation American, both of my parents are Portuguese and my mother's family are all fado singers. We are huge fans of Amalia and all fado -- fado is part of who we are. This CD is the best compilation of Amalia's work that I've heard to date. It is a great tribute to her immense influence on all of us of Portuguese decent. She will always be our most valued national treasure. If you love fado this is a must have in any collection.
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on February 2, 2004
Product info says this was released on Blue Note, but that's not correct. This was released on hEMIsphere, with an additional referent to Metro Blue . Metro Blue is an EMI trademark. Not a big deal, but given the multiple releases of the same material on different labels, just wanted to avoid confusion. In any case, one of the best AR compilations; it's great to have some of the mid-50s versions of these songs available.
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This is a wonderful compilation, maybe the best although it would be impossible to encompass her entire career on a single CD. How sorry I was to hear of her passing. Many are the times I have heard her voice soaring out over the rooftops and alleyways of the Mouraria, her birth place in Lisbon. All my best memories of Portugal are associated with her singing. Adeus, Amalia.
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