Classical Crossover Tasters Originators Edition


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Title : Classical Crossover Tasters: Originators Edition
Description : A selection of crossover standards by their original artists. For the story behind each song, click to read more.

Angel by Sarah McLachlan
McLachlan is a singer-songwriter from Canada and has sold over 40 million albums despite being relatively unknown in certain parts of the world. The song was first heard on her album 'Surfacing' in 1998, and would later be used for the 'City of Angels' soundtrack. The song is about Jonathan Melvoin - the keyboardist from the Smashing Pumpkins, who died of a heroin overdose in 1996. Cover examples: Katherine Jenkins, Yulia, Angelis

May It Be by Enya
The lady who needs no introduction has often been approached to score films (most famously for 'Titanic') and she readily declines, but she offered up this gem for Peter Jackson's 'Lord of The Rings' debut. Cover examples: Hayley Westenra, Angelis, Celtic Woman

Nella Fantasia by Sarah Brightman
This is an adaptation of Ennio Morricone's 'Gabriel's Oboe' from the film 'The Mission'. Brightman was a fan of the piece, and was desperate to adapt it. For years Brightman wrote to Morricone begging permission to turn it into a song, but he kept refusing. Determined, Brightman continued until he finally relented. Apparently because he was sick and tired of her asking. Brightman wrote the lyrics in English and had them translated into Italian. It's now one of the most covered songs in crossover. Cover examples: Russell Watson, Paul Potts, Il Divo

Pie Jesu by Sarah Brightman and Paul Miles-Kingston
'Pie Jesu' was composed for Brightman's voice by her then husband, Andrew Lloyd Webber, in 1985. It was part of his score for his 'Requiem'. The song was dedicated to the victims of terrorist attacks in Ireland. Cover examples: Libera, Opera Babes, Charlotte Church

The Prayer by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion
Why the ugly album cover? David Foster collaborated with Patrick Doyle for the score and soundtrack of a Warner Brothers animated film 'Quest of Camelot' and this was one of the songs Foster contributed. The film flopped spectacularly but the soundtrack is now a collector's item as it's full of big names and original songs. Cover examples: Josh Groban & Charlotte Church, Russell Watson and Lulu, Faryl Smith

You Raise Me Up by Secret Garden
This Irish-Norwegian duo are also the originators of 'Nocturne'. They are a quietly successful neo-classical project. The song was originally an instrumental, and based on the original melody of 'Danny Boy', but after Rolf Løvland of the group read some of Brendan Graham's novels, he approached him to set words to the piece. Even though the song has been covered by over a hundred artists, Josh Groban's version is most often considered the definitive version. Cover examples: Becky Jane Taylor, Sissel, David Garrett

Time To Say Goodbye by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli
This duet was adapted by Frank Peterson, Brightman's producer, from 'Con Te Partiró', originally sung by Bocelli as a solo. It is by far the most famous crossover standard. Brightman was fishing for a song she could use to perform as a tribute at Henry Maske's last boxing match. She came across Bocelli, who was very obscure at the time. After hearing 'Con Te Partiró' she invited him to perform with her, catapulting Bocelli to success, and Brightman herself breaking into the mainstream. The single sold just under 3 million copies worldwide, and is still the biggest selling single of all time in Germany and Belgium. Cover examples: Katherine Jenkins, Keedie, Amy Nuttall

Walking in the Air by Peter Auty
Contrary to popular belief, it wasn't Aled Jones that originally sang this song. It was recorded for the film 'The Snowman' and the boy you hear on that soundtrack is in fact Peter Auty. Aled Jones came not long after with his cover version which was a massive commercial success. Cover examples: Aled Jones (obviously), Andrew Johnston, Hayley Westenra

Who Wants To Live Forever by Queen
A power ballad written by Brian May and performed by Freddie Mercury, it was written specifically for the film 'Highlander' about a man who is immortal, but is watching his mortal wife die of age and illness. Mercury had classical connections and habits, so it's perhaps of not much surprise that it found its way into crossover repertoire. Sarah Brightman was the one to bring it over to crossover for her 1997 'Timeless' album. Cover examples: Gregorian, Katherine Jenkins, Jonathan Ansell

The Phantom of the Opera Suite by Andrew Lloyd Webber
This musical is the most financially successful musical of all time. And Sarah Brightman's name pops up yet again. She was Lloyd-Webber's muse for the musical - he wrote the role of Christine Daaé specifically for her voice.
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