Sarah Brightman’s pristine soprano has the power to shine with transfixing intimacy through the densest of orchestrations, and on Symphony (2008), she once again proves herself the mistress of any musical setting. Brightman’s albums have typically combined classical delicacy with pop bombast, invoking the timeless glories of opera while stooping to crowd-pleasing kitsch. Symphony is no exception — high-minded theater pieces like “Schwere Traume” and “Attesta” are interspersed with florid Goth-rock tracks like “Fleurs du Mal” and mild Celine Dionesque pop tunes like “Let it Rain.” To underscore these extremes, Brightman pairs up with everyone from the stellar tenor Andrea Bocelli (“Canto Della Terra”) to Kiss stalwart Paul Stanley (“I Will Be With You (Where the Lost Ones Go)”), remaining serene and inviolate no matter who’s sharing her spotlight. Producer Frank Peterson guides her into a Meat Loaf-like expanse of Sturm und Drang on “Running,” a nine-plus minute epoch of Wagnerian proportions. While Sarah can certainly handle such concoctions, she’s more appealing in smaller-scale numbers like “Pasion” or “Sarai Qui.” Symphony successfully sustains its archly-romantic mood, making up with sweeping gestures for small lapses in taste. As ever, Brightman stands resolute through it all, glowing like a clear, pure flame.

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