Both operatic and cabaret performer, Anna Bergman's initial album was promoted as offering a taste of each with a few other styles in between. But the album has a definite bent for the operatic and semi-operatic. Her lovely contralto is heard on Johann Strauss lieder, Puccini arias, and Lehar waltzes. Ron Raines comes in for a semi-operatic rendition of Frank Loesser's "My Heart Is So Full of You" from the Broadway hit The Most Happy Fella. These pieces dominate this CD. Clearly Bergman feels most comfortable when she can use the full force of her voice, although she gives a fun, upbeat version of "Ice Cream" from another Broadway show, She Loves Me. Moving closer to cabaret is her lovely poignant version of the medley "So Far Away/You're Nearer" and the inevitable "Noël Coward Medley." All of the songs bring to the fore Bergman's absolutely pure voice, with every syllable ringing sound and true. Her accompanist, pianist Alex Rybeck, goes beyond the call of duty to provide solid support. Putting it all together, this album recalls those midweek recitals in some hall at Julliard or Carnegie Hall featuring an upcoming very talented singer eager, willing, and ready to display her vocal wares. Fortunately Bergman has graduated from these venues, having appeared at such important New York spots as Arci's Place, The Firebird Café, and more recently at Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room. There is much to be savored on this initial CD by those who revel in the sheer enjoyment a beautiful, well-modulated, and well-applied voice can offer. And this one offers a great deal. You just wish the album had come closer to its announced intentions of showing the singer's ability to handle a variety of vocal styles. Recommended.
AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan
feat: Ron Raines