Renee Fleming in Vegas, a non-review
You might start to think I’m some sort of Fleming afficionado. Not really. I do owe La Fleming something and that is my appreciation for Strauss1. Outside of Strauss, though, she’s not kept my interest. But I do enjoy her masterclasses and her sense of humour. She’s not a diva for nothing.
You might wonder, then, why I’m talking about a Fleming recital. It’s because I wanted to see if she is really that poor at Hallelujah. To that end I listened to her Mayday Vegas recital of song whilst ironing my shirts. It’s one of those jobs I’m loathe to do without something else to occupy my mind.
The good news is this live Hallelujah is a lot better. The bad news is the bootlegger was sat 43568457346 miles away from the stage in a very echo-y venue. In recording terms that spells disaster. So against my good intentions I can’t talk about anything beside Hallelujah. This time she gives it a lot of feeling. She’s got a gospel-ish kind of smokiness in her lower notes which is appropriately melancholic and pleasant. This is the type of song that needs a tinge of world-weariness to really work and she’s got that. She still doesn’t sound as much the consummate lover as Jeff Buckley does but it’s not bad. If not passionate, she’s tender. I guess I was right to blame the producer.
- My introduction to Strauss was via her Capriccio. ↩