I was just on another site called www.classicalx.com - a site dedicated to classical crossover music, which has it's own Hayley section and I heard some wonderful new music by Sissel - a track called Viate Lux - here's the link if you want to listen: www.classicalx.com/Sissel.html
Many thanks for the link. I was going round in circles trying to find the clip, but eventually I realised that all I had to do was click on the Play button on the ClassicalX Music Box near the top of the page. I'm only mentioning it in case anybody else has the same trouble!
ClassicalX sent me her album promo to have it reviewed for their site, here it is:
Nicola Javis checks out the latest ‘Sissel-ing’ album ‘Into Paradise’ from Norway’s number one export Sissel.
‘Into Paradise’ is a different offering from Sissel - whilst she has concentrated primarily on her pop career, here we are given her first crossover album showcasing Sissel’s sweet and authentic vocal ability. What makes Sissel’s interpretation of these classics unique is the fact that she has had no classical training. The result is a beautiful album sung with conviction, purity and bell-like clarity we wouldn’t expect from the trained classical singers out there today.
We are presented with a diverse and exciting track-listing from classical to the traditional and even to pop (even if only briefly). The album opens up with the stunning ‘Vitae Lux’, which is beautiful in its simplicity and uplifting in its melody. She provides us with an alluring rendition of ‘Sancta Maria’; normally given the harsh treatment by soprano greats but given a gentle, yet strong treatment by Sissel. ‘Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns die Stimme’ is by far the most joyful song on the album and the simple, yet appealing arrangement makes way for Sissel’s voice, which really takes centre stage. ‘Dusk’ is in a league of its own, both atmospherically and generically; it’s one of the darker songs of the album and thus it contributes to the album’s diversity. ‘Marble Halls’ was written for voices like Sissel’s; consisting of traditional fairy-tale-like lyrics. Sissel delivers an innocent and calm sadness in her vocal performance which is demanded by the song. ‘Like An Angel Passing Through’ is Sissel’s nod to Abba; it’s a bit of an odd choice on first impression but it is arranged in a way that it suitably complements the rest of the album.
Sissel brings something new and vital to these songs and whilst fans may initially be disappointed about the lack of pop-like material, their disappointment will quickly diminish once they have given her new album a listen. ‘Into Paradise’ allows the listener to melt away and lose themselves in the beauty that is Sissel’s voice. A complete and utter triumph.
I have this cd and it is great I will right a review latter. mine is the US one which is a little different but the songs that the US one has on it makes up for not having some of the songs that are on the UK one because they are great songs and the UK is missing out on them.
As I listened to Sissel, albeit at a paltry 40 kbps, I found myself reminded from time to time of Hayley - both as as she is now, and as she may be developing. Occasionally, the similarities were uncanny. Sissel is my kind of singer.
I am quite certain that when I can buy her new album (tomorrow!) I will love it.
Hello Natasha and everyone! Oh, sorry Andrew, I missed that Classic FM broadcast
I've heard songs from Sissel in the past that I've liked but with not much classical/crossover material of hers to buy, I didn't get any of her albums. She's made some nice pop songs but where I think she really comes into her own is in classical crossover - with classical arrangements (no pop backings please!) and finally, at last, she's released one! But I may have to wait a few more days before I can buy it locally here in the UK (though it's already released, apparently). Why wait? Well, I've just read that Tesco - the UK's biggest supermarket chain - will be promoting her new album next week and THAT means it's got an excellent chance of making the charts! So, I'll save myself a few pounds and buy it from there.
As Kimberly said, the UK version of "Into Paradise" is different from the US version (which seems to be what Nicola reviewed) with two tracks dropped and four added. This approach is similar to what is done with Hayley's albums and the intention seems to be the same - to make the album more "classical" for the UK market. It is hard to be sure (without hearing it all) if the UK version will qualify for the classical charts - but it is certainly possible - and if it does, because Tesco are stocking it, it could go top of the UK classical charts. I hope so.
I wonder if Sissel's record company have tried with this album to appeal specifically to Hayley fans? More evidence for this is Sissel's mention on Hayley's official website and the type of songs and arrangements on the new album. And look what the HMV UK album description says: The Norwegian-born Sissel has been described as having a voice more beautiful than Enya, the broad appeal of Hayley Westenra and the attitude of Dido. What a tribute... Sissel has been making albums for 20 years and she is being compared by HMV to "our" Hayley - in the same breath as Enya and Dido!!! ! I think Hayley just became a paid-up member of the Musical Establishment!
Well I must keep myself occupied while waiting for the album so I searched out a few musical Sissel links: Pie Jesu video (fabulous!) plus other samples and some pop tracks.
I'm kicking myself because I was not able to record the Sissel interview from Classic FM on Tuesday evening. I was actually in the car at the time, driving to choir practice. I'll try to find out if any of my friends recorded it though.
BTW If anyone is interested in an Elgar concert, the choir I sing with, ERCU (Edinburgh Royal Choral Union) will be performing 'The Kingdom' by Elgar, this year with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at The Usher Hall on May 14th.