Ex-husband Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Records can be accused of scraping the bottom of the barrel in its second compilation of old Sarah Brightman tracks released to take advantage of the singer's international popularity due to her albums Time to Say Goodbye, Eden, and La Luna, all recorded for a different company. Happily, even the bottom of the barrel contains some excellent material, even after the cream was skimmed off with The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection. During and after her marriage to Lloyd Webber, Brightman performed on the Original London Cast recording of The Phantom of the Opera and recorded the albums The Songs That Got Away (1989) and Surrender (1995), and that's the material sampled here, that is, the remaining tracks that weren't used on The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection.
Hans Werner Henze's career is notable for his mastery of a broad range of idioms, from the post-Romantic lyricism of Cantata della fiaba estrema to the neo-classical delicacy of his chamber music to the brash modernism of Der langwierige Weg in die Wohnung der Natasha Ungeheuer. Voices, written in 1973, can be heard as a compendium of many of the types of music he had embraced.
The fourth of four box sets reissuing every recording Sarah Vaughan made for the Mercury and EmArcy labels (including many previously unreleased performances) starts off (after four orchestra tracks) with its strongest selections, no less than 32 songs recorded during a live four-day engagement in Copenhagen during which the singer is accompanied by the Kirk Stuart Trio. Everything else on this six-CD set is somewhat anticlimactic in comparison, for Vaughan is otherwise hindered a bit by string orchestras, a big band and/or a choir. Better to get the live sessions (released as Sassy Swings the Tivoli in addition to a Japanese set by the same name that has extra material) instead although lovers of Vaughan's voice will want to pick up this large reissue anyway.