I have favourably reviewed Sarah Brightman’s ‘Hymn’ album a while back, so I jumped at the chance to check out her new live DVD/Blu-ray ‘Hymn in Concert’. It’s a performance in two acts, the first one being shot in a studio, somewhat akin to a musical, and the second one before a live audience at Festspielhaus in the Bavarian Alps. Both parts look and sound stunning and Brightman’s crossover appeal is undeniably on display here.
The first part features elaborate scenery, coupled with dynamic camera work that gets right up on stage and puts you right next to the performers. At times, it even feels like Brightman is singing directly at you, which can be a little unnerving at times. The staging is magnificient, and her crystal clear voice effortlessly soars through songs like ‘Gothica’, ‘Gia Nel Seno’, ‘Misere Mei’, ‘Follow Me’ and a cover of Queen’s ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’. She’s joined on stage by a supporting cast of background singers, as well as co-stars Mario Frangoulis and Yoshiki. It’s not quite opera, not quite Broadway, but it pulls from both worlds to offer something unique.
The second act is her actual concert. Now with the Bavarian Philharmonic orchestra on stage (and at times a 50-piece choir), the visual elements are toned down and the video unfortunately becomes a bit more static. But Brightman’s voice and presence are enough to captivate the listener as she goes through a setlist that includes her international hit ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ (originally sung with Andrea Bocelli) and highlights from ‘Phantom of the Opera’, with those impossibly high note that she hits so easily. Frangoulis joins her again for this, and she’s joined by Vincent Niclo for ‘Sogni’ and ‘There For Me’.
I’m not exactly part of Ms Brightman’s main public, but you’d have to be quite jaded not to appreciate her amazing voice. Her material is very melodic, and she makes the songs sound so beautiful. I’ve had the same reaction to this release that I had to her album ‘Hymn’: it really feels like winter music. And every since I watched ‘Hymn in Concert’, I often find myself humming ‘Time to Say Goodbye’. If there was a Hall of Fame for earworms, it’d be top of the class.
‘Sarah Brightman – Hymn in Concert’ is available now on DVD+CD, Blu ray + CD and Digital formats. The CD version contains an abbreviated program.
|DVD/BLU RAY TRACKLISTING:ACT 1
Fleurs Du Mal
Stranger In Paradise
Carpe Diem feat. Mario Frangoulis
Gia Nel Seno
(La Storia Di Lucrezia)
Who Wants To Live Forever
Tu Che M’Hai Preso Il Cuor
Miracle (Sarah’s Version) feat. Yoshiki
Film Directed by Gerd F. Schultze