Showdown: Rachmaninoff Vocalise

>> Saturday, July 25, 2009

I've done this several times before: I present three different performances of a piece, and you choose the performance you like best. Here are three very well-known and loved artists performing the beautiful and haunting Rachmaninoff Vocalise. Choose your favorite and tell us why you prefer that particular performance.

Kiri Te Kanawa

Itzhak Perlman

Renee Fleming


arnold July 26, 2009 at 6:50 AM  

Okay Lynette. . . I will play.
I like them in this order:

I think both ladies need to study the Perlman example. The Vocalise is to be performed as if a violin is playing it. Seamless melody with a sigh/cry in the sound. . . . Both ladies have this. I really was prepared to like Kiri the best -- but Fleming had more soul and spirit. Of course just my opinion. You can't get any better than Perlman

Jaquandor July 26, 2009 at 1:38 PM  

My favorite version has a cello, not a violin...but wow, I tend to think that "Vocalise" is so gorgeous that it would sound wonderful if performed by a banjo-kazoo duo.

tdarlington November 25, 2009 at 12:08 AM  

I think it is a tie between Perlman and Fleming. Technically Fleming is amazing, far more expressive and controlled than TeKanawa. Personal preference for me is the melody played on a stringed instrument. Sometimes the voice sounds like a musical saw. I feel so fortunate being exposed to this wonderful piece.


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