"The Voice of Portugal" is heard here from a 1956 concert recorded at Paris' Olympia Theatre. One of the most important of Portugal's fado singers (the fado tradition emanates from 19th century Lisbon and is an urban café style born in part from African-Brazilian origins), Amalia Rodrigues came to prominence during the Second World War -- especially in Brazil and throughout South America -- and maintained her fame into the 1990s. Having just begun her recording career a few years prior, Rodrigues broke internationally with the version of "Coimbria" heard here (Coimbria is a Portuguese university town that spawned its own brand of the fado). And while she would go on to cut around 170 albums, some featuring her in a pop mode with orchestral backing, Rodrigues can be heard here in optimal environs, with just the sound of her passionate voice, a fado guitar duo, and hundreds of adoring fans. A highlight of the Rodrigues catalog.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook