Bocelli’s Cinema
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - December 3, 2015 - 9:00am

What a wonderful treat it is to get Cinema by Andrea Bocelli at this time of the year. He just made the Christmas celebration brighter with this gift of much loved music. It is a delightful serving of movie memories done a la Bocelli and superbly executed by the extraordinary triumvirate of Toni Renis, David Foster and Humberto Gatica, the same guys who also produced Bocelli’s big selling Amore album.

Renis is the Italian pop idol-turned-acclaimed music icon who composed Volare, Never Never Never and more recently, The Prayer.  Gatica is the Grammy-winning recording engineer known for his extraordinary mixes, a big number of them for recordings produced by David Foster. And then there is Foster, Asia’s Got Talent judge nowadays but more importantly the hitmaking producer behind many of today’s hits. The trio already adds up to beautiful music. Throw in Bocelli into the blend and you will get songs that will warm anybody’s heart.

And this time around he is singing songs from the movies.  Bocelli offers this explanation why: “The film world is particularly fertile ground for songwriters, because it offers their creativity such scope, setting them free from the confines of tradition, both formally and lyrically — not every song is a love song.” Not indeed although his singing makes all of them sound like one.

The choices are rather predictable. You want beautiful and famous movie music, here they are.  But the producers still managed to come up with some surprises.  One is Por Una Cabeza, which is my favorite cut.  This is the tango that Al Pacino as a blind war hero danced to in Scent of a Woman. 

Another one is Ol’ Man River from Showboat, which if I am not mistaken is usually performed by a basso. But it came out so well here and I am glad to hear Bocelli explore his low tones. I like it very much whenever a classical tenor gets into pop mode, which happens a few times in the album. Some come out tentative out of their comfort zones but Bocelli always manages to sound like he is having a good time. But of course, who wouldn’t with songs like these and those superb arrangements? 

Forgive the laundry list of songs. While Bocelli’s name is more than enough to sell an album, the titles in this particular case, play a most important role in selling the product. Here goes:  Maria from West Side Story; La Chanson de Lara (Somewhere My Love) from Dr. Zhivago; Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s; E Piu-ti Penso, a duet with Ariana Grande of songs from Once Upon a Time in America and Malena; Be My Love originally by Mario Lanza from The Toast of New Orleans; The Music of The Night from The Phantom of the Opera; Brucia La Terra (Speak Softly Love) from The Godfather.

No Llores Por Mi Argentina (Don’t Cry for Me Argentina) with ex Pussy Cat Doll Nicole Scherzinger from Evita; L’Amore e una Meravigliosa from Love is a Many Splendored Thing; Mi Mancherai from Il Postino (The Postman); Cheek to Cheek with Veronica Berti from Top Hat; Sobridi Amore Vai from Life is Beautiful; Historia de Amor (Where Do I Begin) from Love Story; Nelle Tue Mani (Now We Are Free) from Gladiator; and as a bonus track, another version of Cheek To Cheek in English with Karen Mok.

And since we are on the subject of Bocelli and Foster and it is indeed already that time of the year, we might as well take time to listen to My Christmas from five Christmases ago. This was Bocelli’s first Yuletide album and it was produced by Foster. You know Foster, he has a way with Christmas music. Check out to what he did with Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé and other Christmas albums. Bocelli’s got the same attention to detail and fully captures both the fun and solemnity of the season.

I Believe with the Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins; Blue Christmas a duet with country music star Reba MacEntire; a moving What Child Is This with Mary J. Blige; The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) with Natalie Cole; an utterly adorable Jingle Bells with the Muppets and the solo Bocelli with Angels We Have Heard On High, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town; The Lord’s Prayer; Adeste Fidelis; O Tannebaum, Silent Night, Cantique de Noel; Caro Gessu Bambino; and God Bless Us Everyone, the theme from The Polar Express.

ACIRC ADESTE FIDELIS AL PACINO ANDREA BOCELLI ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH ARIANA GRANDE BE MY LOVE BLUE CHRISTMAS BOCELLI BOCELLI AND FOSTER NBSP
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