Recorded on September 21, 2010 as Sting was smack dab in the middle of his Symphonicities tour, Live in Berlin – available as a CD/DVD set, a Blu Ray, and a condensed single-disc CD – offers further orchestral reimaginings of Sting’s songbook, retaining a healthy chunk of the songs on the 2010 album Symphonicities and finding room for other highlights from his past, both obscure and quite familiar (“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” “Russians,” “King of Pain,” “Every Breath You Take”all pop up on the video). Compared to the studio album, the symphonic flourishes don’t seem quite as overwhelming – the attention is drawn to Sting and his songs, not to the orchestrations – and the show is paced expertly, turning Live in Berlin into a bit of sophisticated comfort food for longtime Sting fans.
Given Sting’s far-reaching ambition and interests, it was merely a matter of time before he recorded an orchestral album, but 2010’s Symphonicities surprises by offering symphonic arrangements of his older songs instead of a new work. This is a canny move, for the common complaint lodged against rock-classical crossovers is against the quality of the material – think Paul McCartney or Billy Joel – a criticism that can’t be leveled here, as this is a selection of some of Sting’s best songs.
The SACD mix on this album is amazing. Sting never sounded better. Makes the album come alive and seem like STing is right in the living room. The 5.1 mix is very well done. Just wish they would do the same for Ten Summoners Tales.
One of the strengths of vocalist Tierney Sutton and her long time team of Christian Jacob/p, Kevin Axt-Trey Henry/b and Ray Brinker/dr is that they know how to select themes for their projects. Sutton and company have successfully created homages to Sinatra, Joni Mitchell and even the American Folk Book. This time around, she focuses on the pen of Gordon Matthew Thomas Summer, aka “Sting”, with material from The Police and solo career joining together through the puree of Sutton’s deliver.
Ten Summoner's Tales is the fourth solo studio album by the English rock musician Sting. The title is a combined pun of his family name, Sumner, and a character in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, the summoner. Released in 1993, it explores themes of love and morality in a noticeably upbeat mood compared to his previous release, the introspective The Soul Cages released in 1991 after the loss of both his parents in the 1980s. This album contained two US hits; "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" reached No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and "Fields of Gold" reached #23…