One minute Katherine Jenkins was a normal singing teacher plodding along with her life in Wales. Enter a huge record breaking recording contract with Universal and suddenly Jenkins was on her way to superstardom. Obviously seeing the potential for making serious money with a singer with youth, looks and a voice, Universal threw Katherine into the mainstream with a heavily promoted, widely publicised debut album that set the stall for a career to follow. Now of course she is one of the most famous singers in the country but this is where it all began for her.
It has to be stated, as classical musical fans will tell you, that Jenkins is not a classical singer, nor is she an operatic performer...she is simply what is known as a classical crossover singer which means she sings a wide range of songs from pop cover, hymns, classic 40's numbers and traditional classical songs in her Mezzo-Soprano voice.
This first album doesn't contain the pop covers and specially written titles that would come to dominate her later work. Instead contained here are the range of songs most singers have in their repertoire Ave Maria, The Ash Grove, Miserere, Caro Mio Bein and Lascia ch'io pianga. These may not be familiar by name but when you hear them I'm certain you will know them. Jenkins voice is strong but not unique so these songs sound like countless other versions.
Also here is a version of Harberna from the Bizet Opera Carmen. This is a role suited to Jenkins voice and it shows as she delivers a great version on this CD which is the stand out track.
In addition to this Jenkins sticks to her Welsh roots, of which she is clearly proud, by recording some classic Welsh anthems including Bread of Heaven, Cymru Fachand Ar Lan y Mor. Not particularly classic songs but will appeal to Welsh fans.
Add to this hymns such as Lord is my Shepard and Jenkins delivers a range of songs on her debut to appeal to all.
The Jenkins package has always been driven by her personality, her constant "smiley smiley" ways and her looks. I am a fan of hers and have seen her live twice but this debut album really doesn't sell what she is about. It's a standard collection of songs to get her name and face out there and despite being a huge selling album in the classical charts for over a year, it was quickly followed by a superior second album.
Good for those seeking to collect all Jenkins work but if you only want the best of her work, avoid this and go for later albums.
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For all of you not in the know Katherine Jenkins is one of wales newest export in the classical music world, starting off as a teacher she soon developed into a professional singer.
She has received many clasical brit awards over the past few years which all began following the release of this her aptly named first album premiere.
Its a relaxing mix of classical greats, religious tunes and welsh classics, one of which she performed so well that she became the anthem singer for the welsh team at the international rugby games, namely the Cwm Rhondda.
The album contains an accompanying inclay card with all the words to the songs which vary from welsh, english and italian classics all transcribed for easy following by everyone.
overall this is a brilliant album for all and especially for those looking to dabble into the world of classical music, and for those who are simply looking for an afternoon of relaxation. Truely enjoyable.
Katherine Jenkins' Première is a true must for all opera lovers or even those like me who simply like to relax when listening to music.
The album was Jenkins' first and includes 14 tracks, sung in various languages.
As you listen to the album you will find yourself relaxing, as the beautiful orchestral music and the stunning voice of Jenkins herself helps to unwind your senses.
My Favourite track simply has to be track six - Ar lan y môr / On the Seashore because of its beautiful lyrics. However this is closely followed by the classic track - The Lord is My Shepherd , which is once again delicately interpreted and performed to perfection. Other tracks on the album include Habanera and Bread of Heaven.
The best thing about the album is that because it is rather orchestral and the music subtle, you can quite easily work whilst the music is playing. I have even found that it helps me to concentrate.
Another point to note is that the album is accompanied by a book containing the lyrics to each track as sung by Jenkins and the English translation. This is perfect for all those not linguistically gifted who wish to know what the songs are actually about.
There's only one thing left to say now and that is if you haven't already got this album, then why not?
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Questo e Per Te
2 The Ash Grove
3 Ave Maria
5 The Lord Is My Shepherd
6 Ar Lan Y Mor
7 Sweetest Love
9 Cymru Fach
10 Caro Mio Ben
11 Lascia ch'io pianga
14 Cwm Rhondda (Bread of Heaven - Wales Victorious)