Symphony: Live in Vienna – Sarah Brightman – Beautiful Voice, Beautiful Cathedral, Beautiful Recording

Sarah Brightman's Symphony: Live in Vienna

This is one of those recordings that when you listen to the audio format, you feel so-so.  But when you watch the video format, you would go: Wow, this is really great!  Like that Within Temptation concert DVD I’ve watched lately.  Maybe it is the beautiful acoustic nature of a Cathedral (in the old days, Churches were built to amplify acoustic sound naturally through the design of the domes and etc.) now that I have downloaded Sarah Brightman’s “Symphony” album from you-know-where, I certainly prefer the recording inside the Cathedral in Vienna to the studio recording.  Such perfection.  The musical notes, the instruments, the vocals, and if you see how creative Sarah Brightman’s team covered the entire Cathedral from the entrance, to the altar, all the way to the top of the organ pipes singing “The Phantom Of The Opera” with her guest, you will be as impressed as me.  Those high notes, live.  Such emotion.  Standing ovation.  Inside the Cathedral Stephensdom.

Can anyone see what’s wrong with this picture?

Cynthia and I didn’t expect this concert to be held inside a Cathedral.  Not just any Cathedral.  One that visited by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.  Imagine an orchestra, a choir, audience sitting on wooden benches, videographers running along the marble alleys walked by millions in the past, Sarah Brightman, her guests, and a rock band.  A rock band?!  Yes, drums and guitars – both electric and acoustic – near the altar.  We can’t say we are comfortable with this picture, being Catholics ourselves.  Churches to me are places for worship, to have a dialog with the divine ones.  But I suppose if “Ave Maria” is in the program list among with others what appear as God inspired songs such as “Pie Jesu”, we shall accept that music as beautiful as this can only be … divine in some ways?

Those who have watched the concert either live or on recording format should agree with me that the guest vocalists are just as great.  Powerful tender voice of Alessandro Safina (such chemistry between him and Sarah!), beautiful voice of Fernando Lima, and the contemporary, emotional voice of Chris Thompson.  Such a treat, even if you may not be familiar with the album “Symphony” like us.

I have no clue how the soprano-classical-meets-pop-arrangement Sarah Brightman can sustain those high notes.  It is so out-of-the-world.  Goose bumps all over listening to the recording.  Such control.  Besides the video recording of the concert, there are exclusive interviews with Sarah Brightman, Father Anthony Faber, and historian Elisabeth Lloyd-Davis to give the home audience a holistic picture on the concert.  “Symphony” may not be my favorite album of hers.  But this DVD/CD has won my heart.  Oh, what lovely dresses she wore that evening.  Below is the video for “The Phantom Of  The Opera”.  Check out the end note.

PS. Yes, you hear right.  The next song is the oh-so-famous “Time To Say Goodbye” soloed by her.

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