At first, I thought it was the strangest thing I had ever heard. I took it out later. Hmm, interesting. And later still. Now, it is one of my favorites. When Ms. Caballe is effortlessly singing those high notes, I get chills every time. This CD is an extraordinarily ambitious piece of work by Freddie. I am stunned by his musical genius.
Going further I took out a library book named Montserrat Caballe casta diva by Robert Pullen and Stephen Taylor (copyright 1994.) What a life story! Chapter 12 is "1985 - 1988: Mercury Rising," which is bits and pieces about their collaboration for the CD. Primarily the chapter is about her career during those three years, but the book has a thorough index including a reference to why she did not partake in the Tribute concert.
"It was because of her non-stop commitment to the EXPO's inaugural week, performing every night, that she was unable to take part in the Freddie Mercury memorial gala at Wembley Stadium. ... And attempts to televise her live backstage during one of the intervals in the performance and beam her contribution via satellite direct to London were frustrated by the discovery that, since the Mercury memorial was itself being telelvised live worldwide from London, it was impossible to obtain a satellite link into the city. ... Both, indeed, cherished plans for a future collaboration together, based upon a stage work Freddie wanted to write."
On the CD the Spanish lyrics were written by Ms. Caballe. Does anyone know the English translation?
Guide Me Home is one of my favorite songs. If that isn't a song to play at a funeral, I don't know what is!
In Overture Piccante, toward the end, after this whole dramatic, serious CD, there are some bars of ragtime/gospel sounds (right before "Sing it sing it sing it sing it sing it sing it sing it sing it" that are pure Freddie.
When Barcelona came out..I felt the same way, and I still do. I also love it. How extraordinary and what a stretch of artistic growth and exploration for Freddie to embark on with such a creatively ambitious ...artwork.
To blend actual opera with one of the world's premeir, esteemed divas, classical music, and pop, in an exercise of passion and muisical innovation and invention. I believe Caballe was and STILL to to this day is flattered, honored, and in awe that Freddie was so struck with her genius and that he would peruse her to collabrate and work together on such a triumphant work...and
Freddie of course, was always awestruck with Caballe, but Caballe in return was inspired by Freddie's genuis and innovation as a composer, arranger, writer, and singer who could live up to Caballe's talent on equal footing side by side.
The 2 created the perfect unique chemistry in art, music, personal, and professional...mutual genuis, talent, admiration, esteem, and regard for one another..which was reflected in "Barcelona" and Caballe's continuing regard to this day for Freddie...participating in projects such as the unveiling ceremony of Freddie's statue in Montreux.