Album Review: Anne Sofie Von Otter – ‘I Let the Music Speak’

Anne Sofie Von Otter is a mezzo-soprano from Sweden who is primarily known for performing in operas and concert recitals.  What you may not know about her or suspected is that she is an ABBA fan. 

She had collaborated on an album with Elvis Costello in 2001 (and won an Edison Award, a revered Dutch music award, for it).  So it’s probably a natural fit that she chose to record the songs of Swedish pop group ABBA.  Actually, she’s had somewhat of a history with the band from afar since before she bought the album ‘The Visitors’ (ABBA’s last album) after the Basle Opera engaged her in the 1980s. 

It was Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus’ musical Kristina from Duvemala (1995) that reignited her interest in Andersson, Ulvaeus, and ABBA.  I’m sure the success of her collaboration with Elvis Costello didn’t hurt things either.  The album has Von Otter perform “The Day Before You Came,” “I Let the Music Speak,” “When All is Said and Done,” “I Walk with you, Mama” “The Winner Takes All,” “Butterfly Wings,” “Heaven Help my Heart (from the musical Chess),” “Ljusa Kvallar Om Varen (from Kristina from Duvemala),” “I am just a girl,” “Ut Mot Ett Hav (from Kristina from Duvemala),” and “After the Rain.” 

I’m always interested when performers in one genre (opera) pay tribute to another (pop).  There is some appeal to both Von Otter fans and ABBA fans.  If either of those interests you then you may want to give this album a try. 

‘I Let the Music Speak’ is now available at Amazon. Visit the music database for more information and a complete track listing

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