Having watched the DVD many times, I have eventually decided which of the new songs is my favourite. "Down To The River" (the second song from the Spiritual Medley) came a very close second but my vote has to go to "May It Be" from Lord of the Rings. It is really lovely and suits Hayley so well it is hard to believe it wasn't written for her.
But there are four more songs not previously recorded by Hayley so which one does everyone else like?
Oh, you said that too, Roger! I believe Hayley's version of "May it Be" is the best ever recorded, beating even the original, by its composer/singer, Enya.
I also love a "new" track not on the DVD - Bridal Ballad.
However, the DVD track that most *impresses* me is "Aria Cantilena" by Villa-Lobos. I cannot believe Hayley even attempted that - it seems to me to be really REALLY technically difficult, even for a formally trained classical singer. Katherine Jenkins would find it hard, and pop singers would find it quite impossible to contemplate.
I've heard quite a few versions of this song now, all by classical singers, and Hayley's version was not perfect: she seemed to go very slightly off course for a few seconds towards the end of the first (main) part but recovered very well immediately, and completed it well. Most people won't even have noticed the blip and in any case, I absolutely love it! (Susan, you've a lot to answer for )
But this is one of the things I love about Hayley, she is always eager to push the boundaries and often attempts the unthinkable. First, Wuthering Heights, then in the other direction, Aria (Cantilena), then ClassicAlive, and now, Chattanooga Choo Choo!!!!. I really hope Hayley records "Aria" on CD one day - and continues her occasional excursions into the World of "real" classical music as well as crossover, the more folky stuff and even pop music.
1) This is my 200th post in four and a half months! I'm having such a great time sharing my thoughts and experiences with other Hayley fans from all over the world, and I really enjoy reading everybody's posts.
2) This deserves a fanfare, but I don't want to break the new software already! Yesterday I finally bought myself a DVD player and spent the whole evening watching Hayley's fantastic DVD. The quality and production are superb, Hayley's voice is more beautiful than ever, and I can honestly say it's the best thing I've seen on TV in over fifty years! i21.photobucket.com/albums/b294/hdjoespics/EEjdKsU.gif
The whole DVD is totally stunning, and the concert clearly demonstrates Hayley's versatility and her ever-improving vocal range. My favourite new song is "May It Be", closely followed by "Down To The River" and "How Many Stars?", but Hayley performs every song to perfection and with feeling. She is very professional and natural, and clearly loves performing to a good audience, so Hayley should have a long singing career that we can all look forward to! i21.photobucket.com/albums/b294/hdjoespics/EEjdKsU.gif
The bonus features are a delight, and the half-hour documentary will give great inspiration to other aspiring young singers. I particularly enjoy the contributions from Hayley's primary school teacher and Dame Malvina Major.
I would have to say that my top three new songs are : 1. Down To The River (love the rich melody) 2. May It Be (so calming; very well suited for Hayley) 3. How Many Stars (a great duet)
Plus when I heard this version of Ave Maria, I wasn't sure what language she was singing until mid-song and realised they were in English! I loved Both Sides Now; especially in the doco when she was busking!
We all seem to like the same songs, i think May it Be is the best new song it really suits her voice (perfection) 2nd i like Down to the river. Yes i also like Both sides now although,it does not suit her voice as well as May it be . Maybe some of the songs not all ready ear marked for Odyssey will end up as bonus tracks later. eg Down to the River,How Many Stars
You've probably already guessed which one I like best... OK then, I'll spell it out (since I love this song so much!) 'Down To The River', which Hayley performs on the DVD with the Elim Gospel Choir. This was closely followed by 'May it Be'.
For anyone who may be interested, 'Down to the River' may be found on the soundtrack CD for the film, 'O Brother Where Art Thou?' ... I'm not sure who wrote this song originally, but on the soundtrack CD it is labelled as 'traditional'. I guess it is was a negro spiritual song. On the soundtrack CD it is, entitled: 'Down to the River to Pray'. Although on the CD this song goes on 'for ever' and is longer than Hayley's Concert rendition, I find this song so uplifting... It reminds me of touring Cape Town, South Africa in March 2001, with a Gospel Choir which I sang with, called 'Origin Gospel Choir' (comprising of people from various Churches in Edinburgh). We made a CD called 'Midnight Cry' in Edinburgh and distributed this out in Cape Town, after each of the 5 shows we performed at various locations. It was the end of the South African summer, although still 35 degrees C on some days!. Our mission of course, was to spread the Good News of the Gospel. What struck me, was the huge divide between rich and poor people. You'd see corrogated iron type shanty towns one minute, then only a few minutes drive away you'd see a house with 2 Mercedes in the driveway. A lot of children from poorer families would be forced by their parents to go out and beg for money (some of them would seemingly be collecting for charities). It was a real eye-opening experience, to say the least.
Roger, I believe you sang in a Gospel Choir too?
Anyway I took my 1 copy of the soundtrack CD to, 'The Lowry', Manchester December 6th (5 weeks ago yesterday!) and asked Hayley after the show, if she'd heard the CD- pointing out that 'Down To The River to Pray' was included on it. She said she hadn't heard this particular CD, so I gave her this and only hope that she keeps singing it over and over again until, she eventually includes the song in one of her concerts again!