Collection: The Kiri Selection

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: English Traditional,Gershwin,Martin,Weatherly,Welsh Traditional
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Various
PERFORMER: Kiri te Kanawa (soprano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDC 7 54530 2 DDD/ADD

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This is not the classical Countess Kiri – no Mozartian focus or Straussian breadth of line – but there are times when even this lighter repertory cannot escape Te Kanawa’s burnished operatic top-spin, most notably in ‘Greensleeves’ and ‘Danny Boy’. Fourteen tracks on this compilation disc are re-issues and there are three ‘taster’ tracks from ‘Kiri Sings Kern’ not due for release until March 1993.

There is an irritating and curiously erratic approach to diction: over-articulation alternates swiftly with breathy mid-Atlantic slurring. This ruins the ‘Heart to Heart’ group, which also suffers from dubious pitch. Gershwin’s ‘I Got Rhythm’ and ‘By Strauss’ are beautifully bounced along and, in contrast, Kern’s ‘The Folks Who Live on the Hill’ and McCartney’s ‘The World You’re Coming Into’ are poignantly shaped.

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Overall, although rather a curate’s egg affair, this is an opportunity for those who have never purchased a Te Kanawa ‘cross-over’ disc to hear a varied mix of ballad, folk-song and musical repertory close to Dame Kiri’s heart. Elisse McDougall