Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Sunday Times, 21st December 2014
He is in easy, laid-back voice in characters ranging from Fagin to Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Strallen is a delight, and David Charles Abell and the BBC Concert Orchestra give sumptuous support.
International Record Review, December 2014
Keenlyside manages to adapt his voice without any self-consciousness, and what comes across is a fabulous sense of lyrical line, a gorgeous creamy tone, acute characterization and superb diction, all the songs performed with a style and flair that is impossible to resist...This is superb Broadway singing, so much so that I quickly forgot that I was listening to one of the best opera singers of his generation.
To this day, music from classic Broadway and Hollywood musicals continues to enjoy immense popularity with audiences and performers alike. Here Simon Keenlyside, one of the world’s most charismatic and sought-after operatic baritones, presents Something’s Gotta Give, an album devoted to songs from musicals – songs that require every bit as much attention to text and interpretation as Lieder, and often the same mastery of vocal technique as operatic arias. Scarlett Strallen, a regular presence on West End and Broadway stages, partners Keenlyside in duets and sings two numbers on her own. They are joined by David Charles Abell conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra in original orchestral arrangements, a number of which have been specially restored for this recording.
American Record Guide, March/April 2015
In these songs you can picture Keenlyside as the leading man, and the voice fits the image. In 'I'm Reviewing the Situation' from Oliver and 'If I Were a Rich Man' from Fiddler on the Roof the interpretations are so broad that they become caricatures. These songs don't spoil the overall effect. The orchestra plays excellently under David Abell's direction and the sound is very good. The 97-page booklet is in English, German, and French.
Liner Note Authors: Derek Greten-Harrison; Peter Moores; Simon Keenlyside.
Recording information: Watford Colosseum (03/03/2014-03/05/2014).
Photographers: Chris Christodoulou; Bill Cooper .
American musicals have been performed in London for pretty much as long as there has been such a thing, yet British albums of Broadway songs are considerably rarer than those from the U.S., and usually they tend toward the international sort of spectacle production. Thus it is all the more surprising that British baritone Simon Keenlyside, not previously known for crossover material, has nailed the thing on his first time out. Several factors work in his favor. He does not affect an American accent (which many of these songs wouldn't have been sung in originally), but he finds a natural melodic flow and articulates the words beautifully. "Reviewing the Situation," from Oliver!, is especially interesting: Keenlyside effectively depicts an American put-on of a British accent. He finds an ideal collaborator in soprano Scarlett Strallen, who seems to come at the music from the theatrical side and makes an ideal foil. Keenlyside chooses a fine program of familiar but not overdone numbers, and he benefits from excellent support from the BBC Concert Orchestra under David Charles Abell, who uses sparse arrangements based on original pit-orchestra versions. The best thing of all, though, is an X factor based on the heft Keenlyside gives the material. He sings a couple of numbers from Carousel, the most serious and problematical of all the musicals, and he gets to the human spirit in something as light as Rodgers' "It Might as Well Be Spring." An ideal gift item for those who enjoy the operatic/musical theater boundary line. ~ James Manheim
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