Classic FM Presents

All posts tagged Classic FM Presents

…songs from his debut album, Classic FM Presents:

I would dearly love to hear Alfie sing these arias again to hear how his voice has matured.  We did hear Nessun Dorma on the Serenata tour of 2014 and Alfie has sung the odd aria over the years but I still want to hear more!

Last week saw the publication of the top ten in the second annual poll to find the best ever Alfie Boe song and we are now counting down, this week arriving at numbers six to four.  Click here to see numbers ten to seven.

Number six is an old staple of Alfie’s operatic repertoire and one that he began singing again on his 2014 UK Winter tour, much to the surprise and delight of most of the fans.  Yes, I’m talking about Nessun Dorma, one of the most famous tenor arias out there and one which seeped into popular culture like no other aria following the 1990 World Cup (if you have to ask which sport, you’re obviously not from these parts!).  Alfie has named Giuseppe di Stefano as one of his favourite tenors to listen to, so I picked his version to show you:

The popular version is of course by Luciano Pavarotti but everyone who is anyone has performed the song which comes from Puccini’s 1924 opera Turandot.  The aria is sung by Calaf (the unknown prince)  who falls in love with Princess Turandot.  If he wishes to marry her, Calaf must answer three riddles correctly or face execution.  He does so but as Turandot is still not keen on marriage, he gives her a reprieve; guess his name before dawn and she can execute him, fail and she has to marry him.  Turandot then decrees that ‘no one shall sleep’ that night until they discover the name.  Reading this again, is it any wonder that quite a number of people have problems with operatic plots?!  I confess that despite loving Alfie’s version, Nessun Dorma is not my favourite operatic aria but this video will brighten up any day:

Number five in the countdown is the third survivor from the 2014 poll and the first from Onward.  Click here to find out more about A Living Prayer.

Having seen numbers five and six, that brings us to the biggest shock of the 2015 vote…number four is last year’s number one, Bring Him Home!  Be honest, how many of you saw that coming?  Not only is it not number one, it’s not even in the top three!  For me, this is good news as it means that many more fans are getting to know and appreciate the vast depth of Alfie’s recorded repertoire.  As wonderful as Alfie’s Bring Him Home is, and it will always be his signature tune, there are so many more choices available, many of which do a better job of showcasing his voice.  Click here to check them out.   Likewise, as fabulous as it always is to hear Alfie on the radio, show presenters and producers should make the effort to play more than just the obvious.

And so now you’ve got over the big surprise, who will be number one?  The top three are Addio Sogni Di Gloria, Keep Me In Your Heart and A Gaelic Blessing – the correct order will be revealed next week!

Bring Him Home is available here.

 

thanks for reading – please share!

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie info straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

 

 

 

So what did you think of the all new top ten in the Alfie Boe Best Ever Song poll? Any surprises?  Did your favourite make the cut?  Don’t worry if not – I’m already planning the third annual poll!

Now, down to business.  The song in at number 10 is Je Crois Entendre Encore which made it to number 4 in 2014: click here to read more.

Number 9 is the first of our two entries from Trust, Forever Young.  Written and recorded by Bob Dylan for his 1974 album, Planet Waves, it has been recorded and performed by countless others down the years; my favourite version is that by Joan Baez:

Alfie is a Dylan fan, so much so that he bunked off Cosi Fan Tutte rehearsals in Strasbourg in order to take Sarah to a concert.  That being so, and only for Alfie would I do this, here is Bob Dylan singing:

Sorry Alfie, I know Dylan’s a genius but I just can’t listen to him sing!  Much prefer your version, sung at the Royal Festival Hall in 2013.  I’ll let Alfie tell you the story about the recording:

Number 8 in the top ten is another survivor from 2014 and the only representative from Storyteller, Rank Strangers.  Click here to read more about this lovely song before we move swiftly on to number 7 in our countdown.

Number 7 is in fact the first song from Serenata to feature and Alfie’s first song as a lyricist.  My Heart is Yours puts Alfie’s beautiful lyrics (I think we can all agree that he’s a talented lyricist which can only bode well for the future) to the music from the Italian film Il Postino and the result is this magic:

In the many interviews Alfie gave around the release of Serenata, he said that the lyrics were for his daughter, Grace but the lyrics work just as a well as a love song.

The next instalment in the countdown will be next week!

Trust (click here) and Serenata are both available here:

 

serenata

thanks for reading – please share!

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie info straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive Alfie photos

xx

 

 

 

 

The poll has now closed but I can now reveal the top ten in the second annual Alfie Boe Best Ever Song vote! As you can see, the results are very different from last year:

  • You Are My Heart’s Delight
  • Wayfaring Stranger
  • Parlami D’Amore Mariu
  • Bring Him Home
  • A Living Prayer
  • Rosie
  • If You Go Away
  • Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna
  • Rank Strangers
  • Je Crois Entendre Encore

And no, it’s not in the right order!

In 2014, the top ten looked like this:

 

  1. Bring Him Home
  2. A Living Prayer
  3. Rank Strangers
  4. Je Crois Entendre Encore
  5. Wayfaring Stranger
  6. Parlami D’Amore Mariu
  7. Rosie
  8. If You Go Away
  9. Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna
  10. You Are My Heart’s Delight

Of this original top ten, only four songs survive and they happen to be the top four – but will they be the top four this time?  You’ll have to wait and see…we’ll be counting down from Friday.

Looking at the albums represented this year, the make up has significantly changed from 2014; then, all the albums bar one had a song in the top ten but this year, only six of his nine albums have an entry.  Serenata, Trust, Onward and Classic FM Presents all have two top ten entries whilst Bring Him Home and Storyteller have one each.  Trust, named as the most owned Alfie album in an earlier poll, had two songs in 2014 as well but they aren’t the same as this year! Once again, classical and rock Alfie are showing as the most popular genres with Bring Him Home remaining the only musical theatre selection on the list.

thanks for reading  – please share on social media!

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie info straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive Alfie photos

xx

 

Christine Firby!

Well done Christine – the Alfie Boe goodie bundle will be winding it’s way to you shortly.

Christine correctly answered the question

How many albums has Alfie released in the UK?

The answer is:   9

Now, this is a fan blog for Alfie Boe so I was astonished when there were less than 10 correct answers to this question!  A complete discography can be found by clicking here but the UK albums are as follows:

Classic FM Presents

Onward

La Passione

Love Was A Dream

Bring Him Home

Alfie

Storyteller

Trust

Serenata

So, if you entered the competition and answered 8 as so many of you did – which album did you forget about? Leave a comment to tell me!

I have a sneaking suspicion that you might have forgotten Classic FM or Love Was A Dream as these were the least owned albums in our survey published in January 2015 (click here to see the results).  If you don’t yet have these albums, they are available here:

classic fm album

Classic FM is only available as used.

love was a dream

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie info (including 4 exclusive photos) straight to your inbox

plus more exciting goodies to be won soon!

xx

Back in November 2014 I asked “How Did You Find Alfie Boe” and I’m pleased to say that lots of you responded, being only too pleased to tell me how and when you first heard that beautiful voice.  A few of you have been on board Alfie’s musical train right since the very beginning – and by that I mean since he was singing locally in Lancashire!  One of his many nephews and nieces even filled in the survey although I don’t know which one! One respondent had followed him since he was appearing regularly in opera and another couple since his first album, Classic FM Presents.  Other reasons given were his 2007 appearance on Parkinson, other TV appearances, Desert Island Discs, through friends, surfing youtube, through hearing David Miller of Il Divo talk about Alfie and his performance at the Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012.

However, like most of us Alfie fans these days, the vast majority (82%) of the respondents found Alfie through Les Miserables.  Of those 82%, just over half first saw and heard Alfie on a PBS 25th anniversary promotion and the others saw him either live or on the DVD of that concert.  This is what one smitten fan said

Saw him on PBS in Florida, USA in March 2011 singing Jean Valjean role and stopped in my tracks when hearing that voice. Watched the whole O2 Les Misarables concert and then had to find out who this wonderful tenor is. YouTubed him and listened and read everything I could find on him. The Alfie and Matt Lucas video Nessun Dorma with his hands in his pockets was what clinched him for me. Joined his Facebook page and his own web page and since have met many wonderful fans of his who over the last 3 years have become good friends. All this from that one O2 performance.

After finding out how and when fans found Alfie, I then wanted to find out when they made their first Alfie related purchase, be it  CD, DVD etc.  I admit that I was expecting most responses to be “immediately” or very quickly, given the devotion shown to Alfie by fans.  However, I was slightly surprised to find that although two thirds of responses indicated that a purchase was made either the same day or next day, the next highest response was months, at least 6-12.  In three cases there was a wait of at least a year and one waited for 3.5 years before making up (her?) mind to buy a CD.  Incidentally, the length of time before making a purchase and considering yourself to be “Boed” does not match up; with the exception of the Lancashire locals and the fan waiting 3.5 years, every single respondent considered themselves “Boed” immediately.

The survey then went on to ask which albums fans had in their collection.  For this survey, I only considered Alfie’s albums released under his own name (not including Serenata which was released after the survey) and the collaboration with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Home for the Holidays.  The rest of his recording career can be found on the Alfie Boe Discography.  The results are:

Classic FM Presents – 61% of respondents own this

La Passione – 82%

Onward – 72%

Love Was A Dream – 69%

Bring Him Home – 98%

Alfie – 95%

Storyteller – 95%

Trust – 90%

Home for the Holidays – 37%

As you can see, the most owned albums are the Decca ones released since the Les Mis connection although La Passione is the most popular album of Alfie’s back catalogue.  It occurs to me as I sit writing these results up, that I should have asked in which order these albums were purchased; it would have been interesting to see how many people had La Passione before Les Mis.  I suspect that like me, the answer would be not many,  otherwise Alfie would surely not have contemplated becoming a personal trainer for the SLC police.

DVD ownership is something else again – this time, there were only four choices as only two tours have been filmed:

Les Mis 25th concert – 96% own this

Bring Him Home tour – 83%

Storyteller tour – 75%

Home for the Holidays – 43%

Perhaps the relatively high amount of people owning the DVD of Home for the Holidays reflects the low amount owning it on CD (they don’t see the need to have it twice), otherwise the completely predictable result is that Les Mis is the most owned DVD.  Of course this was expected, given that 82% of us found Alfie that way to start with.  This is also borne out by 66% of those owning it citing it as their favourite of the DVD’s.  Storyteller comes next, followed by Bring Him Home and Home for the Holidays again bringing up the rear.

Those of you who completed the survey will remember I also asked you which album you preferred – to find out the answer, you’ll have to be a subscriber!

 Just add your email details to the box on the right of the page and you’ll receive the password to the relevant blog post – plus an email containing links to 4 Alfie photos not available in the gallery.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for sending in your nominations for Alfie Boe’s Best Ever Song and then voting for your favourite.  The poll has now closed and the Top Ten is here!

Hopefully, your favourite has made the short list but if not, click here to listen to the new Spotify playlist and choose a new favourite to vote for.  Also, due to popular demand, this poll is open to multiple votes!  Time to find out if Bring Him Home is indeed the fan’s favourite Alfie Boe song or if we prefer something else.

The longer playlist (still available on Spotify) contains songs from all Alfie’s albums, and the Top Ten continues this, albeit with one exception. Judging from this, classical and rock are the favourite Alfie sounds.  Bring Him Home is the only musical theatre song to make the grade.

So come on, get voting!  The poll will be open for two weeks and then we’ll be counting down the Top Ten in the lead up to the UK release of Serenata.

thanks for reading and voting!

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

you get sneak peeks of upcoming blogs, access to subscriber only blogs

and 4 Alfie photos straight into your inbox

xx