Solange Knowles, take note — "Australia's premier [sic] soprano" did it first, and a bit more stylishly. The purple feather bolero, that is. Which is my silly, flippant way of pointing out that Vienna, City of My Dreams, Yvonne Kenny's disc of operetta arias, is, at long last, very nearly here. Release date is September 6th and the link above will take you, should you feel so inclined, to a cover image and tracklisting. Just so it's clear, I do love the rest of the dress. I just don't know about the
Big Bird Ginger Rogers homage.
To be slightly more relevant — I approve the tracklist. Way back in February I outlined my own wishes, and I'm happy to find that eight of my fifteen choices have come to pass. Although they are all the predictable ones; my quiet little left-field hopes have gone unnoticed, sadly — no "In einem Meer von Liebe", which would have made my year.
It didn't occur to me to wish for the Nuns' Chorus from Casanova, but I'm glad it's there. Likewise "Sei nicht böse" and, a particularly lovely choice, "Im chambre séparée." And then there are some admirable oddities. In particular, two selections by Paul Abraham. One, from Ball im Savoy, features, yes, a banjo! Also included is "Good Night" from the wonderfully titled Viktoria und ihr Husar. But if she was going to sing something from Viktoria, why not that much loved classic, "Meine Mama war aus Yokohama, aus Paris ist der Papa." It's a question that answers itself, I daresay.
The inevitable "Vilja-Lied" is there. I could have done without it, quite frankly, despite what should be a sentimental attachment. But it was always going to be included, so fine. Makes her third (or fourth) recording of it now — I guess she has a higher tolerance for it than I do.
There's only one serious problem with this disc so far, and that's the vile publicity blurb accompanying it. Seriously, who writes this stuff? I know I can get pretty florid. But phrases like "swirling, vibrantly-coloured new album", "blaze of gypsy fire", "lavishly-produced feast for the ears" and "romance, passion and sparkling humour of Vienna, city of dreams and delights" are bit much for even me to stomach. I know it's a very populist kind of album, but Yvonne is nothing if not classy and she deserves better. If the wording is an attempt to reel in the R*eu-buying crowd, I might need to injure somebody at ABC Classics.