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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Singing new songs

Two opera stars explore other music

Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel and American soprano Renée Fleming both shine brightly in the operatic firmament. Both stars recently ventured out of their repertoire to record spiritual and sacred music. The results are compelling.

On Simple Gifts (Deutsche Grammophon, 2005), Terfel includes a wide variety of musical styles—from Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus” through traditional hymns to popular songs. Some songs stretch the definition of “spiritual” but are beautifully sung. Two of these are “The Rose,” made famous by Bette Midler, and Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns.” Interesting choices.


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