Norman Lebrecht on shifting sound worlds
A circle of readers has been asking for updates on America’s precocious child soprano.
This Fourth of July performance was privately recorded by a British audio engineer.
The Nation’s capital on the fourth of July ceremony in the presence of our nation’s leaders and broadcast worldwide is a fitting venue for Jackie Evancho and her transformation from little girl into a young lady. The quality of her voice and stage presence is, as always, incredible. I cannot stress enough how as amazing it is to hear and watch Jackie perform on television and video, to actually attend a live performance and experience first-hand the magic of this young lady is incomparable to anything you may have witnessed before. Those of us who have spent our lives listening to many types and qualities of music know qualitative perfection when we hear and experience it, and Jackie Evancho is that qualitative perfection.
She’s no longer a child – she’s becoming a woman, and IMHO her voice is even better. God bless you Jackie as you have blessed us with your talent and beauty.
Jackie had all of her many sparkling charms in full display when she sang Can You Feel The Love Tonight at Capitol Fourth..
EVERY new Jackie event becomes THE NEXT BIG THING..!!
Really Norm? You saw her perform and you still call her a “child”?? Please.
Actually at 13 years old Jackie is still a child even though she appears to have the grace and poise of someone far older. Her voice is beyond description so I won’t even go there but following her career has been a great ride and I expect to follow it until I am no longer living.
Every day, there are performances on televisions and computers all over the world of classical singers. Perhaps we could have updates on them?
Just post the link(s), Janey.
Yes like Sarah Brightman, Mirusia Louwerse, Charlotte Church, Tarja Turunen and Floor Jansen. I would love to see Norm bring those fine singers into this site, but somehow I don’t think he will because they’re not opera singers(except for Turunen). For whatever reason, Norm has latched onto Jackie who is also not an opera singer. I think he may feel she has the potential to sing opera, and I would agree with him. Whether she ever will is of course up to her but she certainly has that ability, whether Mezzo Soprano or Soprano.
Which reminds me…is there an article on Jamie Barton’s Cardiff triumphs? What an incredible voice she has!!!
Actually, Mirusia Louwerse had operatic training & sang in several operas according to Wiki. She mostly tours now, often with André Rieu, but I don’t think she’s sung in actual operas any time recently. (Wiki mentions that she sold out the Sydney Opera House in 2012 as part of her Home Tour.)
As I recall, this blog had more than one thread regarding Jamie Barton in Cardiff, but I defer to Mr Lebrecht.
Where in Mr. Lebrecht’s mission statement for this blog does he say it’s about opera? Here’s how he himself describes it:
“Taking the spin out of the classical record industry, and more ”
He’s focused on classical music. And in the ears of 90% of people in English-speaking countries, the Classical Crossover genre is classical. I realize that to the minority of classical music fans who regard themselves as purists, Classical Crossover is pop music, but that’s really not true. CC is just the latest iteration of light classics, which includes everything by Gilbert and Sullivan, for example.
At the same time there’s a great deal of sung classical music that is not opera in any way. All those Schubert lieder. Strauss’s sublime Four Last Songs. Mahler’s Das Lied Von Der Erde. Walton’s Belschazzar’s Feast. All of Bach’s choral music.
So in that context, it makes sense for Mr. Lebrecht to include Jackie Evancho in his purview, since she performs in a classical style even when she’s doing a pop song, as was true recently when she sang Bridge Over Troubled Water for Cirque du Soleil.
Personally I’m not very interested in Classical Crossover as a genre. I prefer “real” classical music myself. But I make an exception for Ms. Evancho because of her extraordinary qualities as a vocalist. Perhaps Mr. Lebrecht does too.
Classical style, no, not at all. Broadway musical perhaps, but not a technique to be used for operatic arias yet. There is a LONG way to go before singing Lieder, art song or anything “classical”.
This being a classical music forum, I presumed all its participants would be knowledgeable about classical music. Apparently I was wrong. But I’m glad to help. Operatic singing is a kind of classical singing–a subset. The full-bore operatic technique is often misapplied when it’s used for other types of classical music.
For example, I once listened to dozens of renditions of the vocalise from Villa Lobos’s “Bachianas Brasileiras” and to my taste the best was one by Salli Terri done in the 50s. She was by no means an opera singer, and used a technique far better suited to the “scale” of this piece, while most of the opera singers bellowed their way through it as if it were an operatic aria–which is more assuredly is not.
Likewise, the beautiful duet from Bach’s Cantata No., 78 should be sung in baroque style. Doing it as if it were Wagner or Puccini would be appalling.
The difference between Jackie Evancho’s sound and that of Broadway musical singers is very large indeed. If you were to listen to a Broadway singer like Megan Hilty, who appeared on the American Capitol 4th national celebration of our shedding the English yoke–that’s a Broadway singer.
Ms. Evancho’s sound is perfectly suited to the delicate shadings of chamber classical music–better than that of opera singers who don’t know how to dial it back. That’s why I prefer her “Ombra mai fu” to that of most opera singers, even though it’s an opera aria. However, performing an opera aria in concert form has different requirements than performing it in an opera.
In an opera, each aria needs to further our understanding of the persona’s character and advance the plot. In a concert, both of those things become irrelevant. What’s important there is developing the song as a standalone piece, delivering the idea of that song to the audience without regard to its place in the opera it was plucked out of.
Opera singers often perform arias in concert exactly the same as it they were performing it in the opera. This is an artistic misstep. Not as bad as singing Broadway musicals as if they were operas, but going in that direction.
I enjoy the best operas a lot. And if I were casting, say, “Don Giovanni” and Jackie Evancho auditioned for Donna Elvira’s part I would reject her. On the other hand, I would prefer to hear her do “Bachianas Brasileiras” than a fine opera singer like, say, a Netrebko.
The bell of truth– ringing clear.
Wow, Ehksu, personal preference and prejudice trying to pass itself off as superior knowledge from someone who thinks he can talk down to professionals.
Well, I have been teaching voice in various institutions and the current one uses the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music as a guide. There is NO fundamental difference in training a voice that can sing from the A category, Baroque, B Art Song or C Opera (roughly speaking). The D category is reserved for popular music – the difference being STYLE, NOT voice production.
In reference to your rather diffuse list, Anna Moffo comes to mind as someone who sang Bachianas Brasilieras as well as she did Mozart, Puccini or anything else she put her voice to.
As for Broadway musicals, I didn’t exactly mean having to bellow out on a stage, but the kind of repertoire that Julie Andrews excelled in. However, Jackie has a LONG way to go before she comes up to that level of expertise. Not being glued to a microphone would be a start.
The “delicate shadings of chamber music” require voices that do not 1) have audible register changes, 2) the ability to sustain long lines 3) clear diction 4) musical knowledge, not imitation of pop stars and more.
Just because you prefer Jackie’s “Ombra Mai Fu” to that of skilled singers doesn’t make it good or better. It just shows your own taste and prejudice that you are probably entitled to.
You could have said it with more respect but, “Being “glued to a microphone” is the norm for nearly all of the singing genres other than opera, is it not? This practice cannot therefore be held as a fault except where microphones are not allowed. And, in the context of the arts generally, where freedom is a byword, an artist can certainly sing an aria, or any other song outside its own genre, in their own way, implicitly rejecting the original criteria. The skill requirement in opera is different than the skill requirement in jazz, for instance, is it not? But, here it is not a matter of more skill or less but one of different sets of skills. I think you once said something to the effect, that one could not compare the works Shakespeare to comic books, but I submit that Shakspeare could do no better drawing a quality comic than a comic book artist could write a quality play. In the separate context of both of these, there would be various skill levels, but applicable only in their respective fields. You might want to say that a lot more people would be able to create a good comic book than a good play, thereby establishing that the play is better because is came out of rarer talent. If you look at human society collectively, you can see that more people choose to believe that stealing, for instance, is wrong than the other way around. Thus a case where the greater number of people results in the higher standard. Respectfully.
How about this?
Anna Netrebko on Ivan Urgant’s Late Night Show (with English subtitles). The segment is 15 minutes long and is really quite enjoyable:
(Click on the CC button to see the subtitles)
‘Found another one:
Anna Netrebko’s interview on Russian TV, June 2013 (with English subtitles). It’s about 9 minutes long.
(once again, click on the CC if you don’t see the subtitles)
This interview has some very interesting answers about her life as as singer.
Jackie would likely not like being called perfect– rather aspiring toward that goal and meanwhile transformational, improving from an amazing young talent with rough edges to an extremely accomplished young teen– able to entertain any audience uniquely, memorably… and surprisingly NO damage to that jewel of a voice after several active years.
Everything she sings sounds exactly like everything else that she sings. Perhaps now that she is growing up and her voice still sounds the same as it did when she was a child, people will grow tired of this one-trick pony. I don’t notice any slacking of sales of Andre Rieu or Andrea Bocelli recordings, however, so there’ll probably always be a niche for this gal, but the saccharin of her voice is matched only by the sappiness of her fans’ comments. Norman, was it a slow news day? Or did you just feel like stirring the pot? I will now retire and wait for the brickbats that I’m sure will follow ….
If you throw brickbats yourself, what do you expect in return? Roses?
As Blake said, “Dip him in the river who loves water.”
It is certainly true that Jackie is a Classical Crossover singer, as she has said repeatedly, and not an opera singer, as she has also said repeatedly. If everything in that genre sounds “exactly the same” to you, that’s nearly as silly a statement as saying all opera sounds alike, or that all Asian people look alike.
I listen to a great deal of music that Jackie Evancho doesn’t do. For example, Nelli Andreeva would be my choice for the Bulgarian version of classical crossover. Ms. Evancho would need a long time to learn to sing in that style. And while I enjoy the few opera arias she does, I wouldn’t expect to listen to her doing Mimi’s role in La Boheme any time soon. Nor would I go to Ms. Evancho for jazz, folk, rock & roll, Indian classical, Balinese classical, or Tuvan throat singing, to name a few examples.
But people excel in each of those areas rarely excel in other areas. Even within opera, we have Italian verisimo specialists and bel canto specialists and Wagner specialists. But by your measure, I should ignore some fabulous heldentenor because he doesn’t do, say, “Nixon in China.”
Or ignore a high jumper because he isn’t also a 10m platform diver. There are performers who do several genres well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’d always go to them for music in one of the genres they do. Just as no decathlete throws a javelin better than elite javelin specialists do.
As for your evident personal hostility towards this 13 year old girl, along with anyone who enjoys her music…that’s something you need to take up with your therapist. I wouldn’t dream of participating in a discussion thread about an artist whose music I disliked, such as Justin Bieber.
I might if someone I liked did something I liked…badly. Thus I might comment on the aesthetic horror show that is the operatically-performed West Side Story, with Kiri te Kanawa–a great opera singer–butchering Maria’s part. Or, say, the time Aretha Franklin, a great soul singer, did a truly horrible “Nessun Dorma.”
Thus an opera lover could legitimately discuss Jackie Evancho’s “Nessun Dorma” or “O mio babbino caro” or “Ombra mai fu,” since those are the three opera arias she’s done in her career so far. However, it would not be legitimate to compare doing those arias in concert with performing, say, Prince Calaf’s role in Turandot, of which “Nessun Dorma” is a small part.
But life is short, so mostly I focus on the performers and genres that I like. Moreover, as David Hume pointed out in his essay “On taste” it is intellectually dishonest to bust the chops of a performer or performance within a genre you dislike overall.
Thus you’ve made it clear that you dislike classical crossover in toto. That’s a fair argument to make. I’m not much of a fan of classical crossover myself, apart from Ms. Evancho. But to criticize an artist within a genre as if there’s anything that artist could do within that genre to win your favor–when in fact there’s nothing–is deceptive at best.
Classical crossover is more popular than opera because it’s more generally accessible music, aimed at a more general audience. This means that nobody listens to classical crossover instead of opera, though I have read many fans of Jackie Evancho say they started listening to opera because of her (while many others do not, to be honest).
As for Jackie Evancho’s fans, I see that you find their panegyrics loathsome to behold. I suppose you’d prefer them to grind their teeth when they hear her as you evidently do, rather than stand there enraptured with tears streaming down their cheeks.
Here again, you really should ask your therapist why you find others’ joy so distasteful.
Reminds of scene in Faust when the eponymous protagonist is in his study, pining for his lost youth, when suddenly the Adversary appears in a puff of smoke, upon which the astonished Dr. Faustus exclaims “Who are thou?” and the figure says “I am He who Denies.”
mezzodiva54, the most amazing thing in this entire discourse, is how much you and many of the classical posters sound just like the Jackie fans to whom you direct your broadsides. That you folks cannot see yourselves in one another’s behavior is the irony of the ages. Every sentence designed to sting, insult or hurt. It is especially ironic to see this coming from the classical side, the side you would have us believe knows better. So much for class.
If you think her voice still sounds the same, you lack a discerning ear. Your post is as sarcastic and intentionally hurtful as you would have us believe Jackie’s fans are sappy and her voice is saccharin. Your post suggests the same lack of intelligence and sophistication as you ascribe to the worst of Jackie’s fans. You really can’t see yourself in them, can you?
until this little girl is grown up, she will continue to give me the “creeps”…
Speaking as a former teacher of gifted children, most of them experienced adults like you who couldn’t fathom anyone being any more talented than they themselves were at that age. And then blamed the gifted child for the adult’s intellectual and spiritual limitations.
Sad, really. As invidiousness always is.
observe my follow-up comment below…
You get “the creeps” at the drop of a hat, don’t you?
nope…please read my “parting shot”…
And here is part of the concert in Red Square, performed the day following the preceding interview:
Dmitri Hvorostovsky/Anna Netrebko – Udiste! Come albeggi la scure al figlio Moscow, June 19, 2013
There, I’ve done my part. Next, please?
To consider Jackie a “woman” at this point is perverted. She is still a child, pure and simple. People considered and declared Trevon Martin a “child” all over the media, and he was 17! Jackie’s voice is in transition, but still is very good- the environment in DC didn’t let her really give a perfect delivery- but she sang it and didn’t lip-synch it like too many other “pros”.
The wonderful thing is that Jackie Evancho, when she isn’t performing onstage, is enjoying her life much as any other middle-class teenager living in an advanced society would.
The tragedy is that in other parts of the world girls her age are already married to older men they hardly know and having children they aren’t ready to have, and we have to see heroines like Malala nearly murdered for simply wanting to go to school.
She really did well in these two songs. Her diction in the national anthem was very good. She does have a remarkable stage presence and communicating power for someone her age. This is no doubt due to extensive experience performiing, not to mention never, or at least not just yet, having to pass through the self-conscious stage that most prodigies have to go through.
Thank you for this gracious and accurate comment. Makes me regret my previous asperity with you upthread.
She has been performing in public for nearly half a dozen years, and I’m sure that contributes greatly to her confident stage presence. At the same time, if you were to look at her first performance when she was just 7 and cracked on all the high notes of the Phantom of the Opera song she did…she had that remarkable stage presence even then.
Some people are just born this way. I have about .1% of her musical talent but I was born loving to perform in public–virtually no stagefright ever. Just genetics, I think, Nothing in my background pointed this way, and in Jackie’s case neither of her parents show any desire to be in the public eye, nor have any of her siblings, really.
Cabbagejuice, don’t all children, prodigy or otherwise, pass through a “self-conscious stage”? Perhaps you meant this is another way that went over my head.
you are all insufferable idiots…allow ms e. to enjoy the remainder of her childhood. life will crap on her as it does everyone…and then her understanding of what she sings will match her incomparable voice…
Good for you terry baer – Well said! Sounds like life has already crapped on many other commentors here.
thank you, sir…thank you very kindly. and, if you are not already, become a Yuja Wang devotee…you are, quite obviously, NOT a troglodyte…have a nice day. terry baer
What’s YOUR problem? I write a compliment and this is the result!
Anything less than total adoration evidently is not tolerated by the Evancholists. To be more specific, I do have reservations about the timbre but in the above contexts it was OK. Classical singing doesn’t promote audible breaks in register, except for special effects. If someone here thinks that the technique for Bridge Over Troubled Waters is applicable to operatic arias, this is simply wrong.
Some prodigies were able to bridge the adulation of being child wonders with the right guidance. Life doesn’t have to c**p over one for a smooth transition to happen.
Actually CJ I agree with you pretty much. On Jackie forums I’ve been attacked by some for/when experessing anything besides unquestioning adoration, though fortunately Jackie has many sane fans along with the more whirly-eyed ones. But I’m sure this is true of the fan base for any popular performer.
I’d only demur about opera arias when they’re being performed as standalone concert pieces, where I think different rules apply. But even in concert, I think Jackie performed “Bridge over troubled waters” in as close to a pop voice as she does, while her treatment of “Nessun Dorma” while still not operatic, was classical.
As for prodigies growing up, again I agree with you. I do think some types of song will only really be doable by her after some boy has broken her heart, but in general we hear about the child stars who crash and burn because no tabloid newspaper would sell if it were full of headlines like “Child star has normal childhood, grows up fine.”
Former child star Alyssa Milano recently said she thought the child stars she knew who crashed and burned would have crashed and burned anyway.
@Ehkzu I did answer you above, maybe you didn’t see it.
I think a significant problem here is the lack of definition for some terms, in particular, “Classical Crossover”. In the recent past this would have been called “Light Classic”. This had more to do with the actual music like Autumn Leaves played by Ferrante and Teicher duo, or the “Warsaw Concerto” (one of the shortest concertos ever), up to and including Richard Clayderman who does have pianistic skill.
However, when it comes to singing, the term seems to be in use for excusing technical flaws as in the case of Sarah Brightman (not early). The refrain would be, “well, she’s not an opera singer, so what are you expecting from her? People like it, etc.”
I don’t think a child, or adolescent can have the wider view of music and decide for herself that what she is doing is a certain genre because of her limitations, she does it in that way. In fact, probably not a lot of thought has gone into characterizing just what it is she is doing but Classical Crossover is a good bucket term. In NO WAY, is Jackie’s “treatment” as you say of “Nessun Dorma” classical. I explained some of the criteria for classical singing and she has not started to learn that yet.
this does not apply to the astonishing artistry(at the same age)of YUJA WANG, the greatest classical pianist of all time…
re: “talking down to professionals”
My professional expertise is not music, but writing & editing and associated stuff. And I’ve seen my share of people who confused basic literacy with any kind of real expertise. But I’ve also seen many professionals in my field of expertise who had all the requisite credentials yet who were unable to write things others would wish to read.
I’ve no doubt this is true in music as well. For example, the church I attend has two recording-quality organists who are members of the congregation (benefit of living in the college town of a prestigious university). One isn’t quite as technically accurate as the other but plays with more heart, and I prefer to listen to him play.
What’s “heart?” I’m not an expert at this, so I may not have the language to describe it, but we all know the difference between the sheet music and the performance–even when the sheet music is exquisitely detailed as to the composer’s intentions.,
I don’t want to talk down to professionals but sometimes it’s called for when the pros in question go outside their mandate, or use what my wife’s religion calls “unrighteous dominion.” Or when they become like the distinction I heard made between music lovers and audiophiles: music lovers listen to the music; audiophiles listen to the flaws.
I played some of Jackie Evancho’s music for the two professional musicians I referred to above. One was awed. The other only heard the flaws. Both are themselves expert performers, though neither is a singer. But I think the difference is applicable.
One understood why grown people weep when they hear her sing. The other did not. I’m not saying he should have wept. Neither did, in fact. But as a proficient musician he should have understood why so many weep, and he did not grasp that.
The is the problem with professional expertise. It can help some with natural gifts hone them tremendously. But it can also help someone without those natural gifts gain enough technical expertise to get into a position of power over others–performers and even paying customers–but without the whatever-it-is some are born with, others not.
It’s what the move Amadeus was about. I’m not saying it maps exactly to Mozart’s life. But it does talk about this difference admirably. The Salieri of the movie had all the right credentials, and was a pretty good performer…but Mozart had the real thing.
And when an expert reveals himself or herself to be a Salieri (again, the Salieri of the movie), they make themselves vulnerable to criticism, despite their expertise.
When it comes to singing, as a very amateur singer (bass chorus for Carmina Burana at UCLA and Stanford’s community chorus), who can’t finish a verse of a familiar hymn without dropping down one full step usually if I try to sing acapella, I can hardly claim personal expertise–just enough to kind of understand what the pros mean when they talk about portamento, passagio, vibrato, phrasing, tone, pitch, breath control, and other aspects of the singer’s art.
But like many music lovers I’ve been listening closely to a wide variety of music for many decades. Just as we listeners should attend to what music professionals opine about, the pros should listen to the music lovers closely as well. In part because we pay their bills ultimately. But more importantly because a lot of careful listening confers its own expertise.
With Jackie Evancho I’m certainly aware of her technical imperfections. For example, while singing the National Anthem on the Capitol Fourth a few weeks ago she snuck in an extra inhalation just before the high note at the end. She won’t do that as an adult, I’m sure.
I also understand the limitations of the light classics–currently called Classical Crossover–that she now specializes in performing. As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t normally listen to CC or light classics. I don’t dislkie the genre but I listen to music to be thrilled, not anesthetized.
However, I do find Jackie Evancho’s performances thrilling. I also love the singing of many others in other genres, so it’s not like I only listen to Ms. Evancho. Singing and instruments too. Recently I spent hours getting myself acquainted with obscure (to most Westerners) guitarlike instruments such as the theorbo and the guitarra Portuguesa, for example. And a while earlier, listening to dozens of renditions of the prelude to Bach’s first cello suite (Jann Wenn-Sing was my pick BTW), on modern and baroque cellos (plus the violincello da spalla), and the string bass too.
So I listen to Ms. Evancho in a very broad context, and I hope that as she grows her musical horizons will expand.
That said, I’d be impressed if any of the voice experts here had any theories as to why grown men and women weep when Jackie Evancho sings, when few other singers–even very good ones–have that effect.
@ Ehkzu Triggers that make people laugh or cry is a subject for group psychology that is beyond the compass of this thread. As an editor you are probably aware of sticking to the point and being as concise as possible without going into an emotional deep end.
Obviously moving the public is time and culturally bound. Jokes that amuse people in India or Pakistan don’t do the same for what you call those in “advanced countries”. The same for screaming hysteria over the Beatles or Frank Sinatra back then.
Jackie’s last concert in Lewiston is a case in point. It was reported that the bulk of the audience were grey haired! The triggers that move an above 50 audience apparently don’t do the same for a younger crowd. It may have been a detour to channel her career away from the adolescent market. Redefining and rerouting might get the repertoire out of a dead end. But things will be very different. It’s a strange position for a young person to be out of synch from her peers and more with an elder crowd.
the second sentence of your penultimate paragraph is exactly the point i make in my follow-up comment…so don’t be so goddamn smart ass in your criticism of others…
With all the purple prose flying around it is intriguing to try figure out what “exactly the point” you “make in a follow-up comment” or if it refers to my “second sentence of (the) penultimate paragraph. OK, I guess you mean the sentence with “people like it”.
That’s perfect! You may think that Yuja Wang is the “greatest classical pianist of all time” just as others may think that Jackie is the greatest singer of the new century.
However, your personal likes or dislikes (even if you come here and call everyone “insufferable idiots”) are just that, and not objective criteria for which there is PLENTY in music.
Yevgeny Kissin was about as much or more of a piano prodigy and matured as a fine artist.
In Jackie’s case (and this is like talking to the wall to her fans), intuition and talent are wonderful.
She has loads of it BUT artistry is about refining the raw material.
I will not bother to answer the “smart ass” insinuation by you.
After your constant bashing of Jackie, I was shocked and pleased that you had anything good to say about her. Maybe you have finally found a place in your heart for her?
mr(or ms)cabbagejuice, ms e. merely requires ‘life experience’ to UNDERSTAND what she sings about. it is a given that she IS astonishingly gifted. re: your reference to mr kissin…yes, he is an extraordinary pianist. however, for two-hundred years the modern pianoforte has been waiting for someone, and now the wait is over. Ms Wang IS that someone and i am hardly alone in this belief. perhaps your understanding of the greatest of all musical instruments and its literature could use more than a little.bit of further study…i reckon so.
@terry baer You people make some incredible assumptions. First, we are all “insufferable idiots” and now my alleged “understanding of the greatest of all musical instruments and its literature could use more than a little.bit of further study…i reckon so.”
I have a college degree in piano performance and have been teaching piano and voice in various institutions (also taught Piano Literature).
Ms. E requires more than life experience, she needs proper vocal training. One doesn’t have to be sick and die of consumption in order to sing Violetta in Traviata. The expression is embedded in the music. That’s why one has to STUDY the language of music to penetrate it. Meanwhile, kids can get by temporarily by imitation.
To be consistent, one should expect a young pianist not to be able to rise to the subtilties of a mature Chopin work as in his Bb Sonata. But Kissin was more than adequate. In fact, his interpretation ranks with the best masters. Ms. CJ
dear Ms. CJ, i was a’ thinkin’ maybe you be a gurl and you sure be lots of fun…a’ la, “when harry met sally”, i don’t recall anyone quoting me back to me quite as you have done(thank you very kindly). my fervent wish for young Ms E. is simply that life will not throw her TOO many ‘curves’. she is such a lovely young lady, whose innate talent cannot be “taught”. as merely one example, that serves to illustrate Ms Wang’s nonpareil artistry, i offer her interpretation of the 12th variation of sergei’s ‘rhapsody on a theme’. it is both sublime and definitive as ONLY she is capable of. ah, chopin(it is a little known fact that freddie was an avid angler, who preferred live bait over artificial, as is true of all purists of this endeavor), the quintessential ‘piano guy’. now that Ms Wang has added the E-flat minor concerto to her repertoire(formerly the sole province of Mr Gilels), one can only hope that the F-minor concerto will soon be in the works. admittedly, she will be hard-pressed to ‘top’ Mr Watt’s rendition. and the preludes…to hear her rendering(as if it were a painting-perhaps Van Gogh)of number 17 will be, for me, a true gift given. have a lovely day, Ms. CJ. sincerely, terry deal baer
Eb minor concerto for piano? Never heard of it. Zimerman in recent years practically owned the E minor (published as the first, but really the second). Six flats would be a b***h for string players as maybe Tschaikovsky’s Bb minor might be. Rachmaninoff would be a good resource for his own music (violinists have also complained) as well as Arthur Rubinstein for the sparkling Paganini Variations.
Daniel Trifonov, the winner of the 2011 Rubinstein Competition might be the most prodigious on record for that piece. Not sure if the namesake of the competition would approve. Arthur was not at least in the latter part of his life, sympathetic to the slash and burn, Fastest Fingers in the West that young people have a habit of projecting.
And by the way, If you ever want a bird’s eye view of what immense talent lies beneath the pyramid of the highest paid, most known pianists, go to the daily rounds of a competition to take it all in, as I have done.
had just changed a friend’s leaky tire…thus the “flat” was merely a subliminal “slip of the wrist”. upon further reflection it occurs to me that you are no fun at all. you are certainly far more impressed with yourself than anyone else is…perhaps pompous, self-absorbed ‘wannabe’ would not be an inaccurate description. i hope you were neither inmate nor patient in any of the ‘institutions’ where you have taught. your use of “b***h”, regardless of context, is surely most revealing. Ms Cabbagepatch, have a nice day…and i bid you adios.
@terry baer Ah, no, you are not going to throw yet another brickbat and get the last word.
Besides having a large fan base of pensioners, JE fans are particularly acerbic in defending their own emotional reactions to her. I wouldn’t say defending Jackie, because she doesn’t need it!
The ugliness coming out of the woodworks makes you wonder about all that sweetness and light triggering such downright meanness of spirit.
It really galls them when knowledge backs up someone’s opinion rather than their own gut mediated responses. They throw around the term, “opera snob”, when this inverse snobbery is too blatant and ridiculous, proudly based on ignorance.
As for ‘Eb minor piano concerto’, even the Kennedy Center can make a mistake on its heading with Yuja Wang as soloist. The article though is correct about Chopin’s E minor concerto, couldn’t be otherwise. The tonality would be evident if one goes through the trouble of reading it.
Do you know Conrad Tao? If so, what do you think of him?
“Insufferable idiots” is akin to your “useful idiots”. Are both usages, here, applicable, or neither?
Classical piano has a long, 200+ year history, and I find it difficult to believe that anyone can make a statement that any pianist is “the greatest ever”. Personally, I don’t find any “greatness” in the little I’ve heard of Ms. Wang. She has fast fingers, a la Lang Lang, but little interpretation, as yet.
Recently I was listening to a recording of Frederic Lamond speaking of his lessons with Liszt during a master class. One of the students was playing Chopin’s Polonaise in A flat, and when he got to the octave passages in the left hand, Liszt interrupted him with the comment ” I don’t want to listen to how fast you can play octaves. What I wish to hear is the canter of the horses of the Polish cavalry…”
Please do not forget some of the pianists of the past. I must remind you of Josef Hofmann, who toured Europe and North America (including dozens of concerts in New York) at THE AGE OF 11! He continued to develop into a brilliant pianist, who for a long time (particularly between 1915 and 1938) was considered the greatest pianist in the world by many of his contemporaries. He is still my favorite pianist, though I would not consider calling him, or any other pianist “the greatest”.
where to begin…the Lizst quote is, of course, super. sadly, YOUR remarks are all “downhill” from there. you need not remind me of anything or anyone associated with the piano. as the first head of Curtis, i rather imagine that Mr. Hofmann would be reasonably pleased with Ms Wang’s world-wide acclaim and that she is considered the logical successor to Horowitz(and a darn sight easier on the eyes than old Vladimir, i might add). having heard them all, including Kapell, i do feel that i am in a position to have an opinion that is, at least, moderately valid. by the way, would you happen to be related to the good Dr. Jonas? no matter, as you certainly would benefit from an injection of something somewhere on your anatomy(i can think of a suitable location should you be at a loss to decide where)that will inoculate you against future public displays of such breathtaking ignorance. have a nice day.
Knowing your eclectic appetite, want to be sure you didn’t miss the above performance posted by Norman recently… something miraculous — for me at least.
@ Terry Baer:
Your musical knowledge is welcome, appreciated specifically since you’ve given of your time to share it with insufferable idiots.
As for Jackie, her voice is attractive and her ability to control it is brilliant… but what brings out those tears is her absolute love of life and joyful desire to share that love.
mr carlisle, perhaps this represents ‘damning with feint praise’. oh, well(deep subject), that notwithstanding, your explanation of young Ms E’s universal appeal is most worthy…thank you for sharing. terry baer
Oh, the magic of the Bach Air portrayed by Ms Myers and the violin she so rightly adores:
The instrument’s tone throughout the piece is marked with superb clarity surrounded by warm layers of resonance beautifully enhanced with her wide range of exquisitely applied vibrato and her precision in controlling the speed of the bow to draw the majestically held notes and how the bow comes to its last fraction of a millimeter before heading back… all of this topped off by some signature embellishments a few seconds before the final note… AND her technical expertise does not impede her expression of loving dedication to the piece.
The mesmerizing mood throughout is close in nature to the slow passages with closeup views of the precise and exotic hands of Ms Wang at the piano.
Jackie’s technique if sometime in the future, reaching this kind of perfection, will undoubtedly not dampen the beauty of her performances but gather ever more respect from her peers.
Mr. Carlisle, you are neither insufferable nor an idiot, but rather a truly intelligent human being that UNDERSTANDS music irrespective of instrument(perhaps the human voice is the greatest of all instruments, if so, i sit corrected-much less exertion required than standing), genre, or individual performer. it is rare to encounter an individual who possesses a truly genuine artistic aesthetic…you sir, are one of those rare individuals. i don’t merely reckon so…i know so, and that’s the truth. i salute you. thank you, terry deal baer
This has so far been one of the most level-headed conversations about Jackie Evancho I have read on this blog. I can do without the gushing superlatives and predictions of inevitable greatness, as much as the hostile rejection of Ms. Evancho as a viable artist. If I’m not mistaken, there’s some more middle ground opening up between the worship-her and loathe-her camps (or put less oversimplified, between those who draw lines in the sand no matter what objective facts and educated opinions are offered from both ‘sides’).
I’m sensing an emerging wait-and-see approach, which to my mind is the only realistic way to characterize Ms. Evancho’s chances for vocal success, which is a much more moderate position. Full disclosure: I adore Jackie Evancho, and I have cried many times for reasons that I don’t care to question (happiness for me is in short supply sometimes, so I don’t question it when it comes). But I have also absolutely burst into tears during a handful of the handful of operas I have attended. Another disclosure: I am an opera dufus, so I couldn’t even name the ones I’ve seen, but there is something about the relationship between voice and listener emotions that I think is uniquely dependent on the performer’s delivery and the listener’s involvement. Because this is personal, I don’t think it’s even worth discussing. Yes, Jackie seems to bring this out in her audience more than others, so there’s something more going on besides the fact that I’m a gray-haired sentimental fool, but as was said, let the sociologists figure that one out.
As for the (one?) attack on NL for posting this without comment, I infer nothing about his motivation for doing so. As a journalist/blogger, he simply offered the latest that Jackie Evancho has to offer, and let it speak for itself.
Back to “wait-and-see.” In spite of early certainty of Jackie’s demise as a flash in the pan, the fact that she is gently persisting through a crucial period in her biological life gives me hope. I agree that professional training is crucial at this stage, not so much to prepare her for any specific style, but to keep her vocal apparatus and tecnique in good shape and adaptable to shortcomings and emerging strengths as she works her way to the other side of adolescence. Of course, I’m hopeful that she will emerge with a healthy voice that is stronger than ever, but I will let time and Jackie speak for themselves.
re: Jackie’s vocal health
I don’t know what more her parents can say about this. They’re repeatedly stated that her vocal health is of the highest important to them, and they’ve had her checked by otolaryngologists who specialize in singers regularly. Those otolarygolotists say that the main source of trouble they see in singers Jackie’s age come from belting–so many of them bellowing out “Tomorrow” from Annie repeatedly, for example, or trying to project operatically.
Contrariwise, Jackie never belts–not ever. She always sings mic’d. She also sings well within her actual range, according to her parents, including lowering her Nessun Dorma and her O Mio Babbino Caro. Her concerts are spaced out to give her time to rest her voice, and during concerts she alternates frequently with other singers and/or orchestral interludes.
Consequently her otoalrygologist has reported that when he examines her he can’t tell that she’s a singer–her vocal cords look pristine.
There are hundreds–perhaps thousands–of kids Jackie’s age on stages in the UK and America and elsewhere, performing in musicals like Mathilda and of course innumerable Annie revivals, along with operas having children’s choruses. Plus all the kids trying to launch rock/hip hop careers, trying to sing like American Idol/AGT/BGT performers.
These kids are much more at risk than Jackie is. Jackie benefits from having a mother who’s a nurse, and parents with zero interest in fame themselves. Her father has said his main function is saying “no’ to requests for more performances/appearances than he thinks is good for her voice and her life. They are the antithesis of stage parents.
To people concerned about kids singing professionally and burning out their voices I’d hold up Jackie and her family as a paragon of how to do it the right way.
What the jury is still out on is which direction she’s going to take musically. Stick with classical crossover? That’s her stated intent. But of course she could change her mind if she gets tired of singing for old coots and little children. We’ll just have to see. Large numbers of older teens and young adults aren’t going to pay much attention to classical crossover because at they age they’re mostly using music to identify themselves culturally–and to differentiate themselves from their parents and their parents’ generation.
Jackie can’t help with that while she’s doing the music her grandpareents love. She has the musical ability to in the direction if the sort of goth rock Amy Lee does with Evanescence, but I see no signs yet of her showing the slightest interest in going that way.
For my part I’d like her to go more classical–not opera but the vast literature of chamber and other works.But I don’t see the slightest hint of her going that way either.
So she’ll probably remain the only classical crossover singer I pay attention to.
@Ehkzu Vocal health is not just a matter of nurses and doctors looking down a largynoscope. There have been great singers and teachers before that invention. If a voice is progressing the right way instead according to at least 400 years of tradition, it is judged by the actual SOUND.
A young adolescent should NOT have audible register changes. If there are, something is wrong.
Likewise, if there is a jaw waggle, breathiness in the lower register, muddy diction and gasping between syllables.
What you people do NOT understand is repeating BAD habits only compound them.
All the times she sang any operatic aria, it was NEVER right, and sometimes very far away.
Conscientious teachers would NEVER put a student on the stage in that condition.
What has been transpiring here is a kind of Russian Roulette with the voice.
Where are the clips from Lewiston? The only one that was put on the net was not good at all.
Jackie did not have audible register changes when she was 8, but she clearly had them by age 9, as I’ve tried to tell you multiple times before. If you don’t believe me yet, please listen to this version of River of Dreams:
The video of Jackie is from her concert with Tony Bennett in August 2012 at Ironstone, Murphys, California, plus that appears to be an old video of Horowitz (?) at the piano & IDK who else – but you can ignore that. The audio is ROD from her self-produced 2009 album Prelude to a Dream.
The change in timbre associated with a register change is obvious at ~E5, or sometimes at the more traditional F#5, or sometimes lower, at D5. Over time, these changes then became LESS audible (e.g. during AGT) until she entered adolescence. They may be getting less audible again now as she’s working her way thru this difficult transition period, improving her falsetto (loft) register.
(BTW, when I say “register change,” I’m talking about a change in the pattern of vocal fold vibration. These changes are associated with changes in timbre & volume, though the latter changes usually decrease with training.)
Her chin waggle (or jaw wobble, or whatever you want to call it) is clearly improving now, & I’m sorry but I don’t understand how you wouldn’t recognize that. It was diminished during her performance of Bridge over Troubled Water for the Cirque du Soleil benefit (which I believe Mr Lebrecht linked a few months ago), & it’s clearly diminished on the video at the start of this thread, & the Star Spangled Banner sung the same day.
Even you said, on this very thread, that her diction was very good on the SSB; why the change of heart? Her lungs are clearly larger, & she doesn’t need to breathe as often between syllables like she used to, so the “gasping” comment isn’t really fair now, is it? Breathiness in the lower register isn’t present when the recording is good. Your criticisms may have been applicable in the past, but surely you can recognize her marked improvement over time, can’t you?
@Laptop It really doesn’t make sense to dissect a voice that has not fully developed yet. And my opinion is, if that hasn’t happened yet, it shouldn’t be on the stage.
The above clip doesn’t have that murky quality which comes from sending the sound into the mask. But also, it is not YET a viable sound. LOTS of kids can float individual tones, which she is doing there. Legato is the art of linking them together. Again, listen to the young Beverly Sills or Julie Andrews. I could barely make out ONE word in the ONLY clip of the Lewiston concert allowed to be put up. Meanwhile, quite a few concerts have been cancelled until November.
The songs done in Washington have a certain charm about them but I still have reservations about the timbre. One cannot sing in two voices as one cannot serve two masters.
Good points hopefully well taken.
I’ve made careful observations regarding “gasping” and seem to notice major differences in mic design that allow for filtering out the actual sound of breathing though there’s no way to hide the visual proof that it occurred.
The most pathetic example of extreme gasping was without doubt the Houston concert at age ten where David Foster stood her up without a break or significant pause for more than thirty minutes, which I’ll never understand… and the mic picked up every breath as if she were desperately running out of oxygen … prompting my thought that was a cheap mic with NO filtering ability.
Look, I know how children & adolescents are SUPPOSED to sing, I’ve just been telling you for a long time the way Jackie DOES sing – because I hear it. She had register transitions when she was 9, as proven in the vid I linked. They became less prominent over time, as she improved, until adolescence, but I think they’re improving again now.
I hear you say one “cannot sing in 2 voices.” The thing is, Jackie has been able to sing with multiple timbres for quite a long time now. She has a “white,” child-like voice (her speaking voice & a brief bit of London Bridge Is Falling Down), a “pop” voice (e.g. Bridge over Troubled Water & the recent songs at Capitol Fourth), a slightly “darkened” voice that she uses for lots of songs, & her “darkest” voice, used most often for O Mio Babbino Caro (it’s easier to use that timbre in Italian). These things have changed over time, but she’s maintained the ability to vary her timbre when she wants to.
Skilled adult singers can often sing with multiple timbres (yes, I know you don’t like it when Renée Fleming sings in what you call her “fake” contralto – still, she has multiple timbres), but I’ve never heard a child anywhere near as good as Jackie at this. She evidently controls the shape of her vocal tract (especially the hypopharynx) in ways that usually take years of practice to perfect. Now, I admit she’s still occasionally inconsistent, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t remarkable.
When people claim her “over-darkened” timbre will cause permanent vocal damage, part of the reason I disagree is that she flips from one timbre to another depending on the song & what she wants to do with it. It’s under her control – just like in a skilled adult singer.
You mentioned the Lewiston vid, but how can you tell anything from a cell phone camera? They certainly add distortion & miss lots of subtleties. The vids from Capitol Fourth, & Cirque du Soleil, are much more indicative of where she is now.
Obviously I respect your knowledge & experience about the voice. You also know that my background is as an amateur instrumental musician, not in singing. I hear you say it’s not productive to “dissect” a voice that’s too young. I’m just telling you what I hear when I listen to Jackie sing.
Agree. Notice that she hasn’t used that head mic for quite a long time now. Her breaths were very audible when she was using it.
In any case, her lungs are clearly getting much larger, & breathing getting easier for her.
@Laptop, you really tire me out. How do you know that the frequent register changes are “under her control”? She doesn’t have the means to make a transition from the middle range to the top except by leaping up to the head voice. She has no choice but feel her way around since no one wanted experts to train her. And this is the result.
As I mentioned before but wearily will repeat again, many students come into a studio imitating their favorite stars. To get to their real timbre,such a notion must be disabused at the outset. Instead, Jackie was continually cheered on to sound like an older singer.
Yes, the recording when she was nicn has a consistent light color throughout but later on, and especially now, the difference between the two timbres is too marked.
I never said Jackie’s “register changes were under her control.” I said her changes in timbre were under her control (most of the time). This applies especially to the modal register.
I said 2 things about her register changes: (1) they were present when she was 9, & (2) they occur significantly lower than most adult sopranos. F#5 is a very typical transition point (the so-called “2nd passaggio” in opera), with the singer capable of singing it in modal or falsetto register. Jackie can only go to D#5, a minor 3rd lower, in modal register, but often uses falsetto there & lower. This is also very unusual for a child.
I’m sorry I “tire you out.” I’m just posting what I hear.
@Laptop, dear, it is hard enough to plot where exactly the passaggi lie with already grown adults as in the case of young men who might be baritone or tenor but whose voices haven’t evolved yet.
I find with women (I happen to be one) the transition from the middle to head is around E5-F5. With mezzos it can be slightly lower.
With children or young adults, we shouldn’t be hearing them in the first place. However what you call modal (I use traditional terminology “head voice” where one actually feels the resonance) can be brought down to the middle, but the opposite is not recommended. In other words, a singer can mix colors as with a palette, darker or lighter, according to the desired effect.
I don’t know how anyone can distinguish modal and falsetto in a child. I have pretty good ears but really don’t know what you are talking about here.
By now, yes, she most likely plans out a certain amount of coloring and mixing and probably knows what her limitations are. The problem as I see it, is having that manufactured sound in the mid section as being the odd man out which can’t easily be joined to the rest of the voice.
As I said before my interest was is if this phenomenon is the exception from the rules, or actually proves them.
Concerts haven’t been cancelled until November. NO concerts are scheduled until November.
@Laptop, gosh, some corrections are in order. There was a car outside with the alarm booming for almost two hours, so I got some terms mixed up. And I actually think I figured out what you are talking about. Maybe what you mean, translated to the way I perceive it, is that you hear the mid or modal voice going up to an Eb but sometimes the falsetto is brought down. OK, I’ll accept that.
But it is not unusual for a kid or for anyone to bring down the falsetto or head voice.
Did anyone say why scheduled concerts until November were cancelled? And where are the rest of the songs from the Lewiston concert? What was posted, not an operatic aria, was not good at all. The voice didn’t stand up at all in Taiwan. Time to Say Goodbye there was a rocky road. The unevolved technique is most evident in the arias and non English songs but still there in other music. Why can’t those few arias that are trotted out practically at every venue be improved? Meanwhile, tickets START at $100?!?!
“Improvement” is not enough for a professional singer. Why can’t you get it that putting a half baked cake on the menu is not restaurant fare, even if it tastes good? Real singing professionals do not sell their wares until they are finished products. If they are under age, the teachers decide when they are ready.
Where did you hear that her concerts were cancelled until November? There were no concerts scheduled to begin with. She has concerts in October all the way thru December (about 7 I think).
There are no professional recordings of Jackie’s concerts other than PBS. There are many fan recordings of different concert performances depending on the venue and if fans can record something on the fly.
Her concert tickets range anywhere from $55 to $130 depending on the venue and seating capacity. She currently has a 75-80% fill rate at her concerts with seating capacity of 1500 to 2400. From what I understand the 75-80% attendance is considered “sold out” though I could be wrong.
Not sure why those arias can’t be improved as per your standards but apparently the unwashed masses paying for her concerts seem to thoroughly enjoy the performances including the ones in Taiwan if one is to judge by the chanting and applause prior to her duet with Carerras.
A fully baked cake isn’t much good either if it doesn’t taste good …. It’s about personal taste and it doesn’t have to be rational.
Your opinions about real singing professionals is your opinion and that’s all it is :). Nothing wrong with that though. We are all entitled to our whims of fancy!
Familiarity with classical music seems to generate opinion diversity almost as effectively as politics…. reason enough to love it.
Whether one is an expert in classical music or not, one feels compelled to participate :)!
Jackie Evancho tends to stir more controversy than most particularly on this blog. It remains to be seen whether she will weather the adolescent storm and prove she is after all a Prodigy or not …. Most fans and media often refer to her as a soprano prodigy or musical prodigy anyways. Unfortunately, she is still very young and has quite a few years left before her voice settles. If she comes out of this stage with her voice intact, she will definitely leave her mark on music .
For those who might have an apoplectic fit over what I just said, please remember its only an opinion not “holy writ”!
AJ, you be a poet…does ya’ know it?
You be right …!i knows that but I also knows I not be a good one
AJ, i reckon ah’ ain’t convinced a’ that…you be a mighty fine poet. i reckon so…i reckon…
I see it every day on Twitter – little girls and boys sending tweets to Miss Evancho: “I’m singing opera like you”, etc. We know and Jackie knows that she does not sing opera. But look at all those children recording themselves singing Ombra Mai Fu and O Mio Bambino Cairo. Isn’t it a wonderful thing? Never mind the designations – classical, classical light, classical crossover. I love real opera and I love Jackie Evancho, paradoxical or not. I love the appeals to the intellect in “serious” music, and yet I am emotionally overwhelmed by that unique tone in Jackie’s voice and her humble demeanor, and don’t see any reason why there has to be all this controversy over her. Can’t we all just get along?
re: all just getting along
An interesting challenge is that Jackie’s appeal is so broad her fans represent highly divergent political and cultural worlds, and they have to constantly guard against getting into political squabbles. I doubt this is a problem for fans of, say, Tony Bennett or Anna Netrebko or Justin Bieber or Slipknot.
Ms CJ…i am acquainted with both Ms Wang and Gary Graffman. therefore, i am inclined to take exception to any uninformed(meaning ‘opinions’ of those who are yet to hear and see her perform “in the flesh”) “brickbats” hurled in either of their directions. Ms Evancho is not only immensely talented, but also a lovely and sweet young lady. on that i think we all, without exception, can agree. life awaits her and that is good for all of us…king, queen, and commoner alike. by the way, are you English? have a nice day…
@ terry baer Stuff the “nice day” swill. After throwing around nasty comments, that phrase rings hollow.
You don’t know how to engage in civil discussion except if someone agrees with you. I have met many more pianists, so what? As for the alleged Eb Minor Piano Concerto, It seems to me you just copied the first article that came up from the internet about Wang. Too bad it turned out to be mistaken.
I happen to be very good in spotting students’ copying form the net for their termpapers.
BTW, Arrau and Rubinstein were prodigies. Benjamin Grosvenor, only 21, is a match for any living pianist.
He has depth unlike many note machines his age. In that he reminds me of Kissin.
Ms CJ, please ‘note’ the ellipsis following the “swill”. your stupidity, not ignorance, is matched only by your atrocious spelling and minimal understanding of the rules of both grammar and syntax. BTW, it is regrettable that you and Evgeny are not “Kissin’ cousins”. have a nice day(ellipsis)
@terry baer When were the rules for capitalization of the first word in an English sentence suspended? “on that i think we all, without exception, can agree. life awaits her and that is good for all of us…king, queen, and commoner alike. by the way, are you English? have a nice day…”
Or a space between the beginning of a parenthesis and a dash? “Mr. Carlisle, you are …a truly intelligent human being that UNDERSTANDS music irrespective of instrument(perhaps the human voice is the greatest of all instruments, if so, i sit corrected-much less exertion required than standing), genre, or individual performer. it is rare to encounter an individual who possesses a truly genuine artistic aesthetic…you sir, are one of those rare individuals. i don’t merely reckon so…i know so, and that’s the truth. i salute you. thank you, terry deal baer”
The word “swill” doesn’t need three dots after it. Its meaning is self evident.
I’d never heard of her before this.
or, more correctly, of whom?
Jackie Evancho. I know Cabbagejuice, though; I’m a great fan.
You’re not the only one who hasn’t heard of Jackie, but almost all those who haven’t are not music aficionados. They wouldn’t know a larynx from a passaggio. What’s your excuse??
And speaking of passaggios, Jackie’s is on par with the greatest singers. Her transitions are very quick and smooth with no scoops(you hear me Sarah Brightman?) I can’t tell when she transitions she does it so effortlessly.
I’m pleased to know you understand my love for the Meyers version of my favorite bit of Bach… I like what I said about it (not because I wrote it) because it at least scratches the surface of the deep rapturous significance of the performance.
Never have I found more inspiration to fall so in love with a performance of any kind– staged drama, great oratory included… my debt is endless regarding Norman Lebrecht who also gets every credit for bringing together such a diverse group of musically bonded folks from various backgrounds in several countries– a union not possible in any other way and something not purchasable with money, all with no rigorous initiation requirement.
Through our interactions we learn more of the subject we love and with that come lessons in tolerance and respect — hard not to notice in observing some of the more rambunctious battles… life is measured; why not help one another with the fulfillment of cultural enrichment in every way we can.
Getting back to Jackie again, I feel regarding her use of hands/arms she was misled by the technique of Brightman and Westenra and should take note of the beautiful grace of movement by Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose … so remarkably stunning.
I hope she may view the Meyers performance for an inspiration to help lead her on a path to perfection that some day will bring the butterfly from a cocoon to show the world the greatest vocal performance in all of history.
A quick piano comment: Jan Lisieki, Canadian prodigy who at fifteen made a remarkable recording of the two Chopin concerti (breathing some needed vitality into the first) now has followed it with all the etudes from each opus.
What greater life nourishment than music — found in all cultures since humankind began, starting even before the wheel (which was never actually invented — it was the AXLE that allowed the wheel to provide transportation, that really made it work).
Sir, i am pleased that you are pleased. Ms E. is yet SO young. imagine who she will be in twenty years. i fervently hope i will live long enough to witness the full measure of both her and Ms Wang’s respective artistic maturity. thanks for the “heads-up” regarding the young fellow from Canada. truth be told, though, i am literally holding my breath in the hope that young Yuja has the F-minor concerto “in the works”. had never considered the “axle business”…mighty interestin’. they say that “music soothes the savage beast” and “sleep knits the raveled sleeve of care”. as i am long past nineteen going on twenty(oh, that i still were), i feel the need of eine kleine bischen of both. by the way, i be a boy…not a gurl. do have a nice day…’swill’ neither intended nor implied. terry deal baer
Extremely sorry regarding gender goof … the axle reference would be more interesting for a man so I’m glad to have mentioned it.
A piano tidbit I ran out of space to mention last time concerns the Beethoven Fifth “Emperor” concerto– one of my highest piano favorites.
There is a recording by Vladimir Horowitz where he mixed in a low note with the left hand at the beginning of the high range crystalline melody that comes in a few minutes into the first movement and again five minutes or so later– repeated exactly possibly because the composer favored it, understandably… every pianist handles it slightly differently and it depends on the piano as well to achieve a sound suggesting tapping a fine crystal goblet.
That melody had always fascinated me for its unique purity and when Vladimir elected to innovate in that way it seemed to me a muddying up of something exotically beautiful… not sure you can relate to my complaint but I’m giving it a try.
Ms Wang’s great craftsmanship is possibly best suited to a piece you consider your favorite and I wonder what that would be?
Good to share your perspectives and insights.
glad you asked…the Prokofiev third konsyert dulya pianoforte s’orkestrom(that be Rooskie lingo). google “Yuja Wang-Prokofiev 3-Moscow 2012″…at 12:13-12:15(the second movement), you will witness the most astonishing moment or three in all of classical music. the look on her face is one of pure animal lust…a wild beast about to devour it’s prey…a young woman about to have her way with her “man” that will make you sweat buckets.
@richardcarlisle Can you be more specific about the recording of Horowitz?
First, it was probably a recording in his later years… the incident involves the extreme high-range crystalline melody about 10 minutes into the first movement of the Beethoven fifth piano concerto (Emporer) and then repeated exactly (he loved it that much as I do) about five minutes later.
In the last movement some of those crystalline notes are mixed and matched with the low range robust themes originally introduced in the first movement apparently to provide counterpoint to the crystalline … (this inspires a theory of mine that it was Beethoven’s exploration of macho and ultra-feminine that really reflected his long search for an ultimate mate).
And now for the Horowitz innovation: at the very beginning of the crystalline part he mixed in a very low note with his left hand to (obviously) create his own version of counterpoint…. and for me it did not work but rather caused a muddying effect on the beautiful, extremely high range crystalline melody.
In countless recordings of the piece (my all-time favorite) no one does anything comparable to that variation and for me it was a sad error rather than an interesting innovation…like putting ketchup on ice cream or even worse –maple syrup on lobster?
Oops– Emperor (sp)
@richardcarlisle Horowitz was not known for messing around with the actual notes a composer wrote but doubling a bass line is really no big deal when the work in question is a piano concerto pitted against a full orchestra. If the lowest note on Beethoven’s pianos was an F1, then he probably would have welcomed having the slightly lower Eb as that happens to be the tonality of the piece.
I was fascinated by what you wrote, listened to the Reiner recording where this was supposed to have occured in a live performance (absolutely stunning!) and found this link that mentions it. Maybe you already read it: http://vladimirhorowitz.hostzi.com/index.php?p=1_28
Other pianists have done the same in this piece such as Kempf and I have a recording of Askenase who doubles at least one bass line in the Chopin F minor concerto.
For several reasons I think Jackie is a kind of Rohrschach Blot test for music lovers.
1. Genrewise she’s neither fish nor fowl. Shallow pop music listeners dismiss her as an “opera singer.” Shallow opera lovers dismiss her as a “pop singer–not classical at all” as we’ve read here from some. “Classical crossover” is barely a genre, not even represented in the Grammy Awards, so she has no established constituency. Also because
2. Agewise she’s so young that her success can feel like a thumb in the eye to some who’ve “paid their dues” and feel that Jackie hasn’t, and thus doesn’t “deserve” her success. Such people secretly long for her to fail. The novelist Herman Melville wrote about such people in his novella Billy Budd. Very sad, really. And it might be doubly galling since Jackie is so nice about it–no diva crappola at all. She appears (from a great distance at least) to be one of those people who are genuinely nice.
3. Classwise she’s petite bourgeoise through and through. Father ran a security camera franchise. Mom a nurse. Grew up in the suburbs of America’s 22nd city–Pittsburgh–that isn’t much talked about in word and song. For some this makes her a parvenu.
Thus far I don’t think she knows what people say about her, good, bad or indifferent. Her family insulates her from the yammering throng online. Still, since she’s performed for crowds up to 100,000 and on national television repeatedly, and for the President of the United States and the Emperor of Japan, she probably has an inkling that she’s doing pretty well…
The greatest test of character for her will come in the next two or three years when the horrendous psycho-social pollutant referred to as money comes up for discussion… itr’s been kept quietly under cover till now but threatens to become the worst thing for the family to manage peacefully.
@Ehkzu Oh more than an inkling! There must be some astute businessmen and nursing women around there with the finger on the pulse of public taste. Racking up about $2.5 million from your daughter’s performances is still better than selling cameras. http://www.getnetworth.com/jackie-evancho-net-worth/
And the tickets don’t come cheap either! The STARTING prices anywhere from $100 – $180! More than going to see your local symphony orchestra or opera!
Rorschach test indeed! Some see the “holy family” in this blot and others see dollar signs!
And why is that a crime ?
@AJ No one said it is crime. Just take off the rose-colored glasses and smell the freshly minted dollars.
And what’s wrong with the freshly minted dollars. You make it sound as if it was a demeaning thing.
@AJ What if there is a risk to the voice for the rest of her career, like what happened to other recent singing prodigies who burned out? Should that chance be taken to gather up as much as hay while the sun shines without a thought for the future?
The hype floating around is not only sappy (as another poster here mentioned) goody-goodiness but a halo embracing and confering the status of saintliness to everyone involved.
What if there isn’t any risk or minimal risk ? Should one then miss the chance to “Make hay while the sun shines” because of a risk of failure?
I’ve seen instances of over the top fan worship from Jackie being a an angel to being the second coming of Christ. But then I’ve seen the same among fans of other singers/ artists as well … I mean over the top type of hype. Is that representative of the entire fan base or just a minority ?
I like to assume that its a small minority of fans in any fanbase group. Yeah its sappy … but so is life at times…big deal ! Is that reason enough to shoot darts at the artist?
Lets face it, most of her fans acknowledge that she is far from perfect …. it would be silly to assume otherwise. I hope you’re not using fan hyperbole as a reason to strike back at the artist.
“…recent singing prodigies who burned out?”
Is that an oblique Charlotte Church reference? Because she & her voice are doing quite well, thank you. She just changed genres to pop, & sings original music now.
On Jonathan Ross’ show, she sang a bit of the Flower Duet. It seems the sound engineer was ready & added reverb, but it appears that Charlotte was genuinely surprised. This is time-stamped; her singing starts ~40 sec later.
Charlotte had some trouble with her voice (breathiness, etc) for a couple of years during & after her pregnancies, but she’s recovered nicely.
@AJ Just go to Amazon Jackie forums and witness the tens of thousands of posts which amount to hero worship. It’s not only a phenomenon of talent but reminicent of Beatle hysteria. The True Believers are not such a small minority. They are fiercely protective and frequently irrational.
They take any type of rational criticism or concern as “shooting back at the artist” or even worse.
Fan worship is not a new phenomena nor an unusual one. You referenced the Beatle hysteria. Jackie’s is less hysterical (IMO) but even if it weren’t, what’s the big deal. She’s, by several standards, considered an up and coming star or superstar who has a considerable amount of accomplishments under her belt. Lets admit, she is a rather unusual performer who has had tremendous success; whether deserved or otherwise is really irrelevant. In the “here and now” her accomplishments by industry standards are pretty remarkable even if she was croaking like a frog and gesturing like a mannequin.
By all reports, she seems to have a sweet temperament and is generally touted as being humble and well behaved. What’s not to like in that ?
By any stretch of the imagination, she is slowly but surely turning into what people ( both fans and non fans alike) refer to as an ” incomparable beauty”, much like the iconic screen beauties of the 50s or 60s etc…. I guess you get my drift.
What’s there not to like about her? Okay her music or performance may not be up to strict classical or opera standards. Does she merit such critique and criticism because she may have failed to meet those standards?
You should know in past posts CJ has expressed great admiration for JE– praising performances like Bridge Over… even more than I thought deserved at the time…. just want to fill you in.
Her concern is genuine regarding future voice damage and as a teacher considers her advice worth due consideration.
We all treasure Jackie and want all the best for her as we watch her current and anticipate her future accomplishments.
Yes, I’m aware of CJ’s compliment of BOTW though I wouldn’t characterize it as ” great admiration”. CJ has also posted one post complimenting the 4th of July performances. Those responses are understandable since most fans and the public alike can relate to.
The advice of a teacher ( a respected profession since time immemorial ) also calls for a healthy balance between praise and criticism for such advice to merit any consideration and to be of value.
If a teacher is able to maintain that balance most of the time ( teachers are after all human like all of us and can’t be infallible all the time), then the advice is not only of value but well worth following (IMHO).
I agree we all cherish Jackie but I think some (both fans and non fans alike) go way overboard. The reality is that the truth is somewhere in between the two extremes :).
The tens of thousands of posts are over a span of three years on the Amazon Forums. Most of the stuff is flame wars between the so called handful of fans about ( 20 to 30 people ). And even they can’t agree on everything about Jackie.
The most commonly used term on Jackie’s forums is ” Angel”, “Gift from God” or “God Gifted”. This comes as much from fans as it comes from anyone else who is seeing / hearing Jackie for the first time. There is a small group of people who are serious about Jackie’s “higher purpose” on earth. I won’t mock them or insult them in any way because they don’t impose their beliefs on anyone. They have the right to believe what they do as long as they don’t do violence as a result of their beliefs. Also I have never seen any subject solely dedicated to Jackie’s “Divinity” for want of a better word. So I would categorize that as “benign worship” or if you want to call it a cult !
So my belief is that most references you hear are fan hyperbole …. “She’s the greatest singer in the world” …. “She’s god’s gift to mankind” ….etc. Well what else would you expect on a fan site ?
And why would anyone expect anything different than fierce and loyal defense from fans. It’s the very nature of fandom. I don’t se it as any different from fans of other artists. JMO.
@AJ You wrote, “Okay her music or performance may not be up to strict classical or opera standards. Does she merit such critique and criticism because she may have failed to meet those standards?”
First of all , you may have guessed this is not a JE fansite, so rational criticism is allowed. You miss the point, as other fans do about her singing opera. It is simply bad for a developing voice. That is why teachers over the centuries are highly conservative in what they give to students.
So what if Nessun Dorma or O Mio Babbino (sung by others as well) brings a screaming audience to its feet in AGT or BGT? The reason they cheer for a barking tenor in these pieces is the same they do for Jackie. They are swept away emotionally but that doesn’t make it good, neither for the piece or for the performer especially if she happens to be in a state of development.
Good teachers do not thrust their students out on the public until they are a finished product. That is why the young Beverly Sills and Julie Andrews were taken off the radar until they got their voices together. Actually, it was the same with Maria Callas whose teacher in Athens when she auditioned at the age of 17. De Hidalgo said she was impressed by the waves of sound but these had to be tamed. Callas said the same thing to a coloratura in the 1970′s who also had reams of high notes coming out of her.
More specifically, Jackie’s constantly having to trot out operatic arias obviously to please the public has not been good for her. She simply has repeated and even compounded bad vocal habits.
Even if there is a rest of 3 months now, or even more, such habits are notoriously difficult to eradicate. Only professionals can be expected to see the danger as doctors are trusted to diagnose patients. It’s not that a person as myself, and I am not the only one, is smug in my opinion of self-righteousness. This is something I deal with all the time, so have plenty of instances to compare and years of experience not only with others but my own development.
When you sing without support, you get hoarse. The latter was evident with JE in the Taiwan concert. When you push the sound into the resonators, you can’t pronounce right and the jaw is uncontrollable. When you don’t have a proper teacher to join the registers together, there is an audible break. The question remains, WHY have these corrections NOT been made? It is really not that hard to properly sing Ombra Mai Fu or O Mio Babbino for a 13 year old.
The answer is, as some astute people may also be aware for a long time, that the whole schtick will unravel. She would actually sound her age without that contrived musky tone (which by the way IS a strain on the chords) and there would be no worldwide career NOW.
However, as in the case of Sills and others, not straining now would be money in the bank for LATER. A person like myself is only providing a reality check to those who might listen and say, something is not quite right here but can’t put it into words. Well, I can and did.
Notwithstanding the general point about correcting problems early, with which I agree, you simply can’t be complaining about Jackie’s chin waggle in the Capitol Fourth (or Cirque du Soleil) videos any more. If you can’t see how much better it is, PLEASE go see your ophthalmologist immediately. If you can’t hear how much better her breathing, & breath support, are, then PLEASE go see your otolaryngologist immediately. These things are obvious when you look & listen carefully.
Jackie hasn’t sung Nessun Dorma for almost 2 years; she sang it 5 (count ‘em, five) times in public. Maybe it’s time to stop complaining about it, & stop citing it as some sort of problem. Jackie sings 2 (count ‘em, TWO) operatic arias now, OMF & OMBC. If they haven’t hurt her for the past 5 years (in the case of the latter, 3 years for the former), maybe they won’t hurt her now.
Jackie is coming thru a very difficult time for singers, adolescence. She was expected to have trouble with her upper register & pitch control in general, after she was excellent in those things when she was younger.
She’s now starting to come thru that with flying colors, & the evidence is on the soundtracks of the Capitol Fourth videos: clear, well-supported, well-controlled, in-tune high notes (among other things). Even you complimented her diction earlier in the thread; good diction is impossible with lousy breath support, isn’t it? Are you changing your tune again?
Wow! That was quite a commentary but the same “schtick” that is always touted. Actually vocal decline and damage are the hallmark of the Jackie critic. Yes this isn’t a fan site but the discussion isn’t entirely rational either. Like others on this forum, I’m not a technical vocal expert but that isn’t necessarily a requirement to be on this forum.
Rational discussion loses credibility when the same thing is repeated over and over again over a period of time and there’s nothing to back it up except poor recordings of concerts. If as a teacher you’ve made the same prognosis for three years and nothing has come to pass, where do you think that credibility stands? Of course you could argue that there is considerable evidence of vocal decline!
Well, there is considerable evidence of vocal change as is to be expected at this stage in her development but I haven’t seen any other professional teacher or industry expert step forward and scream “Bloody Hell” because Jackie Evancho is going to lose her voice.
Is her voice at risk ? Absolutely! Does she need to take care of her voice and seek professional help? No question in my mind that she does. As a matter of fact most of the fans believe that training would enhance and protect her voice.
Should she stop singing and retire until she tuns 21 or whatever age the critics think she needs to be to sing …. Absolutely not ! Why deprive everyone of such a gorgeous voice ! That would be a crime :).
Correct me if I’m wrong. She sings two operatic arias from a repertoire of over 50 songs in 20 to 25 concerts over the span of a year. If that is going to damage her voice, I’d like to see that ! I haven’t. Your contention is that damage is occurring but most are too ignorant to see it. Perhaps, but only time will tell because so far, despite the dire prognosis, her voice seems to get better and better….or at least it sounds better. Does she have bad days where her voice doesn’t cooperate … Of course ! Jackie said so herself.
Your unswerving sacrifice to providing the unwashed masses with a reality check is, I’m sure well worth the note and recognition it deserves and gets. It might help if you can provide some visual evidence of how the two operatic arias that could cause irreversible damage to Jackie’s voice, should be sung.
I’ve heard several versions good and bad but like Jackie’s versions better not because she’s a cute little girl with a woman’s voice but because her voice is gorgeous to listen to regardless of her age.
I wouldn’t take the info from the getnetworth.com as being accurate (it rarely is). That number was the amount that was rumored to be her signing bonus (sic) advance, with Sony in 2010. I assume she has made some additional money over the last 2-3 years. The particulars of the contract were never announce and there was no public signing ceremony. The rumor mill says there was 2.5 mill advance and a 5 year or 5 record deal or both and possibly some options. I think only the players in this deal know for sure. Her mother stated that they were in talks with more than one record company and decided to go with Sony as they were the most committed to the long haul.
Hope this is useful.
I believe fans estimate that her net income after all expenses from her concerts alone generate over $600K a year. That’s not including CD sales, private appearances, I ternatio al appearances and any other product endorsements etc.
Once again these are only estimates and there is no conclusive or verifiable source. In any case, For a 13 year old, she’s in pretty good shape financially.
Meant to say “international appearances”
just watched this video again…again the tears be a’ wellin’ up. Ms Evancho, in all respects, is very simply…wonderful!
Ms CJ, again i alter my comment. it is simply your arrogance…you are certainly not guilty of ignorance…that is intolerable…
@terry, why don’t you paint pictures instead? Your knowledge of music and literary skills have a lot to be desired and surely not to be taken seriously.
Ms CJ, I do. If you were to google “Terry Baer draws from nature”, you will find a ‘link’ that I hope you will deem to be of interest. DO have a nice day. I am sincere. Terry Deal Baer
Once again, cabbagejuice, I ask for you to produce for the rest of us just one public appearance, news story, YouTube video, CD, iTunes or amazon audio download, or facebook page of you or any student of yours that has benefitted from your omniscient tutelage.
Terry: Cabbagejuice is merely raising a series of entirely legitimate points regarding the production of undeveloped voices which she, as an established professional in this field, is entitled to do. It’s abundantly clear from this thread that you’re so blinded by your love for what Jackie Evancho does that measured debate of her impact is impossible. This isn’t a criticism, it’s certainly not an attack, just an observation from someone who has never heard JE but is terribly familiar with the power of emotion and manipulation over objectivity.
You may want to listen to JE before you claim an impartial objectivity that is biased by a one sided approach.
Stay on this forum and you’ll learn quickly from the dialogue as to what extent the objective approach is laced with criticism beyond the pale. As a matter of fact scroll a few posts upwards and you might see the truth of the matter :).
Why do I need to listen to a thirteen-year-old singer to realise she’s not the fnished article? The debate has certainly become heated on occasions, but that’s down to everyone defending their own view. The longer the thread lasts, the more vitriolic it will become..
JE may sing fabulously well for a thirteen-year-old for all I know but circus acts, however talented, don’t interest me. I’ll wait and tune in when she’s in her twenties.
And with that, I’m signing off.
Are you saying that your fear of this discussion turning vitriolic is the reason you would rather take the position of agreeing with CJ ? Your are trying to avoid the “Long Road”.?
Not having an interest is different than denying that anyone young has any talent. You are also assuming that because Jackie is only 13 she is an unfinished product. Which adult singer is a finished product for that matter.
“I’ll wait and tune in when she’s in her twenties.” It’s too late for that, Theodore.
ok…fair enough. long ago i was a modestly skilled practitioner of the so-called “sweet science” and can still “take a punch” and not be “down for the count”…
“Tire me out”…. since exactly when in the scheme of time as we know it have you not thrived on such exchanges… in my new-product career of forty years working with patent attorneys and ordinary lawyers and getting accustomed to their thought processes and argumentative techniques I recently realized that your neurons are aligned in pretty much the same orientation– determined to look right, not to lose, taking the non-tangible and twisting it to look absolute, taking gray areas and painting them black or white… I feel like I’m still at work sparring with such mentalities rather than objectively pursuing real and meaningful substance in the search for fulfilling additions to my culture bank… why not take a break from showing off and adopt a more seeking approach to culture.
After all, if you really know everything why spend any time here as an unpaid teacher rather than a co-seeker of wondrous new truths in a culture realm that offers endlessly expanding horizons… your intelligence certainly qualifies you to be such a seeker/learner.
@Ah, richie, I was wondering when you would drop a line my way!!! Since this is my summer holiday, I would rather have a break from didactics. You must feel really wonderful that someone admires YOUR musical taste in pianism.
I prefer my Prokofiev though without “animal lust”. People make mistakes about his music, even good musicians. There is no need to gild the lily. The expression is embedded in the music. It’s a pity to lose the cool objectivity and clean lines in his music to drag it down to the jungle.
You could favor me with a response to my objection to Horowitz’s innovation of muddying up the exotic high range melody of Beethoven (made recently to Terry Baer)… seems I’m hyper tone-sensitive to a degree that no one else can relate to and perhaps you’re included — leaving me as a lone complainer?
Lust is one element that pianists radiate but then each has unique offerings and all should be viewed and considered… but how did you like the sheer power of the Lisitza clip from Norman… I’m surely knocked for a grand slam with that.
Your contributions are appreciated or even loved when offered as gifts rather than arguments … especially when kept far from the edge of cruel or demeaning.
@richardcarlisle Thanks to your suggestion, I just listened to the Reiner/Horowitz recording of the Emperor Concerto from 1952. It’s amazing that nothing is lost of the majesty and grandeur of this piece more than 60 years later, even if the recording is a little tinty. This really made my day. Is this the performance you were talking about?
If it’s the same one you’ll be able to detect that innovation readily.
PS– For me it’s the best of Beethoven and the best of all piano works by anyone– the other standouts the second movement of Mozart’s PC # 21 and the adagio from Beethoven’s first piano concerto (with richer melodic themes than the fifth but lacking the composition profundity).
PPS– I must include the lush romanticism of Chopin’s second PC.
Added thought: the Emperor is a solid approx. 40 minutes of pure mesmerization…carries one away to bliss.
Ms CJ, I again reverse field. You Are fun, whether you realize it or not. I mean this in a good way…no joke, no ‘swill’. And, you are obviously highly intelligent. May we (meaning All of us) effect a truce…a general cessation of hostilities? I, for one, would be pleased. Additionally, I am hopeful that you will take the time to look at the ‘link’, “Terry Baer draws etc.”, that i mentioned. ‘Life’ intervened for decades and this represents for me an accolade, modest though it may be. I will soon revisit the ‘main course’ with you. in the interim…enjoy…everything. I am, Terry Deal Baer (Deal was my mother’s maiden name).
@terry Your pictures are lovely, so you must be a sensitive guy. You picked up on the touch of witticism in my posts. Music and knowledge are fun for me, so I can’t help but be basically lighthearted when I engage in these subjects. Therefore, I can’t really be hostile either on the playing field. Regards from the lowly Cabbage.
Ms CJ, Mr. McGuiver has his “finger on the pulse” of this matter…certainly true on this end. As is also true of Ms Evancho, you ‘done brung’ a tear to my eye. You provide not only witticism, but even better yet, whimsy(my favorite thing). You do Dorothy Parker proud. Beaucoup thanks from the ‘Bear of very little brain’ to the highly regarded ‘Cabbage’.
oh, how i fervently hope that at no time in her career will Ms Evancho be cajoled, coerced, or in ANY way persuaded to perform with a “rapper”…
And that, dear friends, is something I thnk we can all agree on. Nice to see there’s a lotta lurv between terry and CJ, now.
“Can you feel the luvve tonight???”
for that matter, operatic or no, what about Lena Horne early on?
@ terry baer:
Terry, I found your pictures with well-crafted impressionistic style, very pleasing– but are there just two altogether… you should be doing more.
There seems to be a nucleus of new fine music lovers brought in by Jackie; if so, please try some Tchaikovsky (Swan Lake, Nutcracker, 5th symphony), then move on to Mendelssohn (Violin concerto, Third symphony, Octet), Chopin’s etudes and concertos, followed by Beethoven’s piano concertos (except for the mediocre fourth) and symphonies five through eight, second romance for violin, violin concerto, piano sonatas; look over contributions from Dvorak, Brahms, Schubert and then Vivaldi and Bach to get familiar with where it all began and if you enjoy all the above you’ll find yourself even more able to understand and appreciate Jackie as well as starting to love the other magical contributors to the amazing culture of great music.
I mentioned only some of the most prolific… there are another fifty that you will find out about if you’re interested, including of course great opera composers — Puccini, Verdi, Rossini, Donizzetti, Mozart. Wagner.
@richardcarlisle The “mediocre” 4th concerto by Beethoven, one of the most sublime works ever written for that medium?
You forgot to mention, NOT to listen to good singers of the most trotted out operatic arias. Comparisons can be odious.
Yes, certainly mediocre… only in my opinion of course… oh, I’ve met other defenders of this work and it looks like we’re stepping back in the ring over this — in a good way — especially since you may be the one to convince me there’s some merit in the notorious fourth.
My case is that in Beethoven I look for what the Fifth offers — exotic though brief significant melodic themes mixed with power punches and contemplative interludes…. what the fourth offers is a meandering emotional mishmash, a total lack of compositional content and continuity– loose ended fragments never coming together even at the very end, a melodic theme trivial in vibrancy (you can call it sublime but if I want that I go to Debussy) and what gauls me the most is that anybody including you can find anything good about it… sorry if I sound angry but my feelings on this are anything but benign … and may I now invite your rebuttal since I would actually prefer to like something in it if you can turn up something likeable.
Have to include Bizet of course … Carmen and that totally exotic Pearl Fishers — some duet — two men nobly deciding their friendship trumps fighting over a woman.
Another must is Mozart’s K 581, the Clarinet Quintet … the second movement is permanently lovable and picturesquely unforgettable.
Mr. Carlisle, thank you very kindly…much appreciated. Regarding your PPS, in the words of a fine 60′s tune, “i second that emotion”. Again, thanks. Terry (i was going to be terry even if i HAD been a girl…my father was a fraternity brother of Milt Caniff-aka Cohen, who created and drew the comic strip, “TERRY AND THE PIRATES”)
Knowing nuthin’ ’bout nuthin’ ’bout the science and art of the human voice, i reckon i simply ‘love’ young Ms Evancho for whom only one word applies…angelic. And, having fought a pitched battle with the piano for sixty-five years, while making pitifully little ‘headway’, i reckon i simply ‘love’ young Ms Wang who creates a heretofore unheard sound that is the musical equivalent of the work of Van Gogh. Forgive me all, on these two subjects i am incapable of listening to “reason”. i reckon so…
Ms CJ, an addendum, that is sort of off the subject of this overall discussion…if you look like Charles Laughton’s signature portrayal of Mr. Hugo’s signature character, it wouldn’t ‘make me no never mind’. i certainly would like to make your acquaintance in person…if that were ever to be possible. I am a ‘middle of the road’ sort of fellow and perhaps you could teach me to play something other than middle ‘c’. Just a thought…so to speak…
@terry, dear, you would have to cross the River Jordan in order to see me. Meanwhile, just listen to music and let it lead you.
I consider myself above all a listener of music. This is how I started with my grandparents’ old 78′s, through the LP’s at the local lending library, everything else in between, and still spend time almost everyday with the area’s classical music station, particularly when I take public transportation.
Making music for me is reproducing an already existing aural image spurred on by an overwhelming impulse, like maybe, “you see it, you want to paint it”.
Of course, the individual takes will be as numerous as those who attempt, personality being the filter. And the greats give us something to look up to as Horowitz in about anything he played. It’s taking me several months to try to penetrate what he did in the Happy Isle of Debussy, let alone reproduce some of it.
Mr. Carlisle, re: your reference to Ms Wang’s exotic hands, i would also include her exotic visage that is both lovely and “cute as a button”. Also, please view Ms Wang’s performance of the Gluck Melody at Verbier a few years back. She is the “girl with the red dress on(no apologies to Mitch Ryder or anyone else, for that matter)”. terry
Ms CJ, in as much as I do not intend to cross the Styx any time soon, I am a’ thinkin’ that perhaps crossin’ this here Rubicon might just be mighty interestin’ …and lots of fun…truth be told. In the meantime, I will do as you have suggested. Ms CJ, whatever I may or may not be, I AM firstname.lastname@example.org. If you were to favor me with a missive thereby, i would be most pleased. Truth be told, again, I prefer to communicate the ‘old-fashioned’ way by “taking pen in hand” ‘Tis merely a ‘modest proposal’, (quite unlike that of Mr. Swift). Do consider, ok…please… and do have a lovely day. terry
@terry baer Anything you want to ask me about music you can do it here. Best regards, CJ
Thanks for that link, good to see I’m not alone in my take regarding VH and Beethoven… but you’ve lost me on that lower note business– there’s not supposed to be ANYTHING with the left hand during that exotic high range theme… if we’re not talking about the same thing I’ll try to find it on youtube (since there’s apparently just one recording ever) and give you the exact timing.
I am totally surprised after those many words for many months spent on voice discussions that you are so familiar with this field as well.
@richardcarlisle Surprise, surprise, I have a degree in piano performance and teach that as well as voice development. I don’t know why you have a problem with the shortness of some of Beethoven’s themes. The Eroica was written around the same time as the 4th PC, the 5th Symphony and 5th PC a couple years later, all of the preceding not having exactly tune whistling themes in their 1st movements.
It’s what the composer does with the material that makes them watertight. You can be assured that every note is accounted for structurally. This is not the place for exhaustive analyses, but what one can pick up right away is the different colors of the contrasting tonalities. In the 4th the piano introduces the first theme but the orchestra goes off into a completely new tonal area that must have been astounding to the listeners of the 1st decade of the 19th century, still shaking off the last vestiges of classicism.
I don’t mean to put down the Eroica but for beginners that I addressed I wanted to simplify, that’s all … but that fourth PC — any way to sell me on that besides orchestra going off in another direction (seems to support my complaint more than counteract it).
I don’t mean to put down the Eroica but it’s not quite as appropriate for the newbies I addressed…
and back to that fourth PC again– I see an experiment concerning splitting directions just as uninspired and uninspiring as what I call a mistake regariding VH and the Emperor.
the return of the so-called…of course you all know that old Vladimir was born and raised in Ukraine and that his last name is pronounced ‘Garovietz’. and, again, young Ms E is sublime…pure and simple…no two ways about it.
Based on what you’ve heard and seen, how do you think Jackie Evancho would score using ABRSM Marking Criteria? I’m especially interested to know where you think she’s weakest.
@John Mitchell First of all, these are not the only criteria. Using the score in anything but Oratorio gets a big red X. So Placido Domingo and other singers with a stand in front of them despite their high fees would not pass. The audience is the judge of professionals and vote with their wallets. Classical Crossover STYLE is not an area which the ABRSM to my knowledge or any other music school recognizes.
The running arguments about JE singing opera in that manner (other terms for it may be “Anything Goes” or “AGT or BGT Style” ) quickly come to a dead end. So to a point, I can appreciate the fans who say “this is the way she does it, and this is the way we like it”.
Objectively, and I suppose this would apply to anyone singing opera in a CC style, it doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously. Those who say that she or anyone else shouldn’t be taken to task for not coming up to opera standards actually got my point wrong. These arias are transparent in the sense that they reveal every flaw.
So I would say not being able to do them properly (and it is not that difficult) is a SYMPTOM, not a cause, like some people misinterpreted. Of course, straining to emote Nessun Dorma doesn’t help the overall technique. The main stumbling block here is what I feel (not only me) is a contrived timbre, nevertheless appealing and marketable, when done often enough can cause damage.
Like I said, the last time Jackie sang Nessun Dorma was in September 2011, almost 2 years ago (~2/3 of her professional career). She sang it 6 times in public. Isn’t it time to stop beating that particular dead horse?
The only operatic arias she sings now are abbreviated versions of O Mio Babbino Caro & Ombra Mai Fu. She’s actually moving more toward a pop sound, at least for now. This horse is pretty much dead also, don’t you think?
Lastly, you said you thought Renée Fleming had a “contrived” contralto when she sang a pop music number (Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah). Could she, as an adult, damage her voice if she did that often enough?
@Laptop Just read what I wrote. I said that not being able to properly sing OMB, OMF, plus Ave Maria, even Time to Say Goodbye these days is a symptom not necessarily a cause but still, anyway compounding bad habits.
There is monumental difference between an already professional voice such as Fleming who sings in her range, that is soprano more than 95% of the time and who can outside occasionally. Anna Moffo, a light soprano, did Carmen in the studio but not on the stage. A professional can go a little higher or lower sometimes as the case may be.
However, a developing voice has no business singing most of the time in a contrived timbre which usually comes from imitation. This could be done occasionally for fun but not to base a premature career on it. This would be beating an alive horse.
You’re mostly still talking about the remote (for Jackie) past. Technically, she hasn’t sung Time to Say Goodbye for almost 3 years. She did sing it without the English, i.e. Con Te Partirò, in Taiwan in April, but there were complicating factors that made that performance difficult. It was outdoors in the rain, & Jackie hadn’t been there long enough to adapt to the time change. She was working with an unfamiliar conductor, Carreras’ nephew instead of her usual John-Mario di Costanzo.
Besides, most vids we have are bootlegged & not very good. With professional quality recording like the vids on this thread, after a bit of nerves at first, she settled down & gave outstanding performances.
Her problems recently have been almost entirely related to adolescence, & very recently she appears to be working thru them. The other complaints you’ve had about her (chin waggle, breathing, etc) are all much improved, & I hope you can see that.
She doesn’t even sing with her “darkest” timbre very much any more. Like I keep saying, she’s always been able to flip in & out of that at will, depending on what she wants to do with a song, so it’s hard to imagine permanent harm from that. The average student in a school musical is at MUCH higher risk, since so many tend to belt in the upper modal register, a sure harbinger of trouble. Jackie never does that. Heavy metal screaming is, of course, much worse.
Thanks for replying. I won’t belabour this, but do I understand from your answer that if Jackie stood for the grade 5 exam she would do poorly? Or did you say these criteria somehow don’t help us asses her singing? If Jackie can’t be measured by these criteria, one wonders why. To your knowledge, has comment been made about Evancho by any voice teacher with a world-wide reputation? I’m interested in other professional opinion; despite looking around I haven’t found much substantive evaluation.
@John Mitchell Let’s put it this way, is a Grade 5 singer ready to appear in public? Diction is one of the criteria for a vocal exam anywhere but it doesn’t seem important to Classical Crossover to be able to understand any of the words. I guess you can say the standards are different. Also breathing between syllables is not accepted. Legato is important, how one joins the tones, and so on.
As for opinions of teachers with worldwide reputations, why is that important? You can read “Bel Canto” by Cornelius Reid or “Singing and Imagination” by Thomas Helmsley to find out for yourself what good singing is all about. There is also an extensive article in Grove’s DIctionary that is highly informative. I found anyway that big name teachers for any instrument, are usually just that – big NAMES.
Thanks for stating the problems you find in Evancho’s singing: unclear diction, faulty breathing, poor legato. “And so on” doesn’t get me very far, but, as I say, I’m grateful you answered me at all.
Concerning my wanting to read an evaluation by another knowledgeable person, I believe I mentioned why, and in any case is it not self-evident? Most men and women I know or have known with Big Names deserve them. But maybe there are a lot frauds in the field of music evaluation?
You suggest I read up on what constitutes good singing; I’ll do so. I hope though that isn’t your way of saying buzz off. I wonder because you know as well as I that book knowledge is no substitute for experience; those years of experience you have a teacher ought to — unless clouded by bias — make your assessment worth something more than a chapter in a book.
I might have mentioned (as a teacher you know this already so I’m surprised you didn’t mention it) that the ABRSM marking and grading criteria for grades 6 through 8 are the same as for grades 1 through 5; it’s the difficulty of the material the student is examined on that differs. So, I could just as well have asked how well Jackie would score against the grades 6 through 8 criteria.
But–correct me if I’m wrong–you think that regardless of how well she’d do in an exam, her singing is fraudulent: she mimics an adult sound, she generates an unnatural timbre. Ergo, she’s a freakish novelty act and, by implication, her adoring fans are ignorant dupes. True?
@John Mitchell Most of the spade work in music is done by unsung plodders whose reward is loving what they do even if they don’t get credit. The same would apply for all the teachers who taught us to read and write. What are their names? I won’t go into students going to the more famous and better paid among us for a few sessions solely to list them on their CV’s.
Child prodigies in singing are qualitatively different from instrumentalists, although emotional crises are par for the course in the transition from adulated Wunderkind to being one of the crowd.
Instruments can be replaced if they break. Voices can’t. There have been enough examples in recent history to be cautious.
There were instances a couple years ago when Jackie sang freely in her own voice. Other times while singing for example Phantom of the Opera she was imitating other adult singers. So much of her repertoire has been based on those who have gone before like A Jones and C Church. Nothing wrong with that as long as she were encouraged to sing in her natural voice.
One revealing vid is when she sang Ombra Mai Fu in a studio at 10 and clearly put on a mask as it were that allowed her to force the sound into the resonators. When it was all done, she became herself again. There is nothing wrong with getting into a song either. However, the lack of a natural transition that can be seen with the young Beverly Sills or Julie Andrews raises suspicions.
My opinion is her natural voice is high and light. Properly grounded she could very well sing at least some of the high notes of Sills and Andrews. The problem with the murky sound these days is there is such a difference in registers that really shouldn’t be for a person that age. She might even be a coloratura. We’ll never know if the voice is forced down the road of CC. And she did say she would like to sing the Flower Duet sometime.
It could be that this voice sui generis breaks all the rules. Or that as an exception actually proves them. There is a science to all this and has been around for at least 400 years.
Thanks again for your responses.
To whom much is given, much is expected.
Jackie and her parents appear to be satisfied with a rough gem (but what a gem!) To polish that gem at some point she should be mentored.
She and her parents have said they are not in it only for fame and money. I’d like to hold them to that and have Jackie choose a career that enables her to realize her full potential. But I’m not naive; the siren call of ready wealth and fame may be irresistible.
Average taste is satisfied with mediocrity, so if you target your talent to average taste you’re not going to be motivated to achieve greatness. Would Jackie not benefit by focusing her ambitions elsewhere, to an elite audience that knows what to look for in fine music? Or if not that, I’d at least like to see her stop dumbing down her repertoire with dross such as the “love theme” from the Titanic.
By virtue of her talent, Jackie is elite whether she wants to be or not. Knowing she is a cut above ought to drive her to achieve greater excellence than what comes to her by nature. David Foster told her exactly that: good is easy, greatness is hard work.
If you wouldn’t mind, could state specifically which instances you refer to “a couple years ago when Jackie sang freely in her own voice”?
merely to clarify…”the siren song”/”the clarion call”…
Talking about greatness…I think what we see today is just the tip of the ice-berg. Jackie is taking the conservative road right now because, I think, her voice is transitioning and settling…probably one reason why she won’t attempt Nessun Dorma anytime soon. It may be another 4 to 5 years before she really lets loose and does songs that will truly define her voice and range. But if history is of any significance in predicting future events, my money would be on Jackie doing something out of the ordinary within the next two years.
She went from doing OMBC on AGT to doing DWM album within 4 to 5 months and as good as she was on AGT, she blew everyone away with DWM (Dream With Me)!
@John Mitchell Scroll up to HomoLaptopicus for a link to River of Dreams sung by her at the age of 9 that in my opinion shows her real unalloyed timbre.
David Foster is really a case in point here as the vid I mentioned: Jackie Evancho – Ombra Mai Fu live on NPR, that has exactly the unnaturalness that she has been cheered on to continue.
To begin she puckers her face into a frown, clearly a sign of distress, not the ease that one should expect from a child. Not only is her mouth quivering but the sound shakes like a leaf most of the time. I don’t know what vocal examination in any good music school would give her a free pass.
“Greatness is hard work”! And you thought that diction, breating and legato, one can pull out of a hat? Singers work for YEARS on those. Read Renee Fleming’s short autobiography about her own development.
The problem with popular culture is the film induced mythology of a “Star is Born”. Fame just happens! Well even the comic Joe E Lewis said it took him 20 years to become an overnight success.
yo, Mr. Mitchell, i do believe that thar’ word that be a’ meanin’ ‘to evaluate’ do be a’ needin’ another ‘s’ on the tail-end…so to speak…
If you are referring to “opinion”, not at all. I used it as in this construction, “range of opinion”.
He’s referring to the spelling typo. You meant to say “assess” but spelt it as “asses” .
Thanks AJ and TB. For once I don’t mind being the butt end of a joke!
touche’ JM, touche’…
CJ is trying to be “nice”. Let me say the unsaid as it has been said in the past with some hyperbole for entertainment :)!
“JE is too raw and unprepared to be allowed in public. She should be hamstrung and quartered for daring to do so. It will be years before she would be classified as average (if she’s lucky) and highly unlikely that without the money making marketing machine, she would even qualify in local competitions. Her diction is poor, she has a jaw waggle, has no support in her upper registers and breathes like a a choking hippo. ”
There are few qualified experts (big names or otherwise) who have said anything about JE and most of it is positive. Most voice experts and teachers are careful to give public opinion about a child who is becoming a world wide phenomena and who, by any stretch of the imagination is insanely gifted and talented. The opinions of recognized experts and teachers is important both to the public and the individual who is being discussed, so the opinion comes with a burden of responsibility as to how such an opinion should be meted out without adverse effects to the individual.
This will change as JE is growing up. Critics will come out of the wood works as will the defenders ! It promises to be a very lively and entertaining future.
In my opinion like all forms of music the art of opera or operatic singing is also undergoing a change or evolution. The greatest resistance to change is not the art or the artist but the fan.
Thanks for the clarification. I guess there are degrees of nice. This is why I asked to be pointed to other informed opinion; because I’d be foolish to take one person’s evaluation, CJ’s or anyone else’s, as the final word.
Ignorant though I am, I think that on some songs I detect problems with Jackie’s singing that surely are amenable to correction, with breathing and diction.
When I read the criteria against which voice students are evaluated, however, it looked to me that Jackie should be given Distinction across the board, though possibly the judge would say the good outweighs the bad; correct your problems with breathing, diction, and legato and you’ll be on your way to Carnegie Hall.
Whether Jackie should be singing at all at her age is a sticky issue, one best left to Jackie, her parents, and disinterested advisers (should they have any). But all I can say, perhaps selfishly, is thanks for taking risks, Jackie, if you are taking risks: I think you’ve laid down some mighty beautiful CD tracks, Danny Boy for example, and Moon Over Ruined Castle.
For the record, I’m not entirely ignorant when it comes to music; I spent six years in a cathedral choir and I took eight years of piano. But I I’m not great at technical evaluation of singing, so I happily consult the informed views of someone like CJ.
Great post ! Your knowledge about music is certainly light years ahead of mine :). I’m a border line ignoramus when it comes to music theory and practice :).
Pretty much agree with all you said. Jackie is far from perfect. She is growing and learning as a person and an artist. The difference I guess is that her rate of progress as it pertains to music and singing is exponential and off the scale for a normal child / teenager or adult.
Few people, if any, know more about vocal and music theory than CJ. Few people, if any can antagonize an entire fan base more than CJ. :).
I don’t think I’ve heard you or anyone anytime make an accusation tantamount to anything having anything to do with the word…..dull.
Yes! Never a dull moment. I have a feeling that Jackie will always be the subject of debate and controversy no matter what her age is. I think this will continue for most of her life unless she stops singing and goes into hiding.
Good to see how you favor Chopin’s second PC… do you know the story of Constantia Gladkowska, the student soprano whom Chopin adored somewhat unrequitedly (she eventually married a military officer)… she was apparenttly the romantic influence in that second movement of the second PC; could be he became involved with her after he finished the first movement, which is comparatively calm and quite extensive — not even close to the same level of inspiration.
And of course the first PC was devoid of any such influence and markedly lacking in like inspiration.
The background stories of great music are a profound part of the big picture.
Mr. Carlisle, yep, ah’ knows all ’bout it…hells bells, i done hep’d freddie when he got stuck…him a’ bein’ so twitterpated over that gurl and all. it is my not so humble opinion that the two chords at the beginning of the second movement of the E-minor concerto, right before the piano comes in, will ,by themselves, just all but break a person’s heart. MY heart’s desire is to sit next to young Yuja as she plays the second movement of the F-minor concerto and that she let’s me sound the final A-flat. i’ve been practicing it since college…i think i have it down pat, as they say. terry
How cool your knowledge level… OK, you gotta love the third etude of Opus 10, one of my earliest loves in music…. and if so you might check out the youtube of Valentina Egoshina performing it– she’s subtley lustful, perhaps sufficient for you… her adoration of Chopin and this piece is most fulfilling — hope you find it and love it accordingly.
Thanks for paricipating,
hey Richard, thanks for your comments…you DO “get” it. and, i don’t know, i’ve always felt that paricipatin’ be as much fun as participatin’. additionally, do you suppose that Ms CJ, her wonderfully alliterative ‘Prokofiev lust’ comment notwithstanding, understands that there is absolutely nothing more erotic to a boy than a hyper-intelligent girl, such as SHE is? terry
Ms CJ, my favorite 78′s, when i was a kid, were “Bozo at the Circus”, “Rusty in Orchestra Land”, and the 1941 recording of “Peter and the Wolf” with Basil Rathbone as narrator, which I could listen to in July and still get chills. By the way, just let me know where the shallowest place in that river is and I’ll be right over…I need your help with ‘turns’…I just can’t seem to get the ‘hang’ of it. Your pal, TDBaer
Sorry about spelling– Igoshina
Richard, re: this here…like they always say, “if it’s true, it ain’t braggin’”…haha, get it?
I’m sure a prevailing fear throughout most thread members is the distractive effect of any meeting between you two could result in a diminished interest in providing future comments and rob us of incalculable amusement…CJ in good conscience is obviously precluding such a possibility.
Keeping it light,
okey-dokey, but sure would be fun if all of us could meet up at the local Dunkin Donuts and just “shoot the breeze” over the finest coffee in this here “neck of the woods”…i reckon. i would simply sit mute as a stone whils’t all of you “mix it up”…
Your gregariousness is exceptional and admirable… but a physical gathering could hardly enhance the miracle of literacy that provides such elaborate, cherished cultural exchanges all provided by our dedicated host, Norman Lebrecht.
We have so much to be thankful for that anything further — or different — doesn’t somehow occur to us.
Actually speaking for myself, can’t really be sure how others feel.
@richardcarlisle I agree!! Hear, hear!!
ok, CJ, whatever you say…i’m with you…
well, Richard, it sure do occur to me…and that ol’ fella’ certainly would be much more than welcome to join the fray. my 50th high school reunion is this weekend…and i am looking forward to it for some perverse reason that i am yet to fathom. maybe my inordinate “herding instinct” at this juncture is a consequence thereof. although, i do hope Betsy will be there; haven’t seen her since the fall of ’64. i do appreciate your observations…all of them…thanks. terry
You may have seen Ms Fleming’s rendition of This land is your Land…. talk about mixing mustard with ice cream– I’m embarrassed for her this time… part of the performance included singing along with others in utter disharmony.
I accept her jazz forays but this was seriously way out, way off.
“Mustard with ice cream” …. LOL ! Great expression. Hadn’t heard that one before :).
Renee’s rendition of Hallelujah wasn’t all that great either. Can’t explain all the technical terms (I’m not very knowledgeable on that) but it wasn’t what I expected from someone with a voice like hers. She just seemed to be all over the place.
At least as inappropriate as Woody’s friend Pete Seeger singing in an opera.
Sure strikes me as interesting how opera experts accuse Jackie of distorting aria purity (whatever) but how about opera performers mashing traditional folk music.
Anyone for a bit of fairness in this ball park?
ah, a baseball analogy…light-years away from Chopin, nevertheless…
I think the opera experts that criticize are are few and far between. I have always thought that Those that criticize Jackie do it for self aggrandizement than for any constructive or coaching purpose. The ones who are true opera purists really have no interest in Jackie’s music and pretty much leave her alone; which I perceive as being much better than criticizing a talent based on established norms when clearly the said talent doesn’t fall within normal parameters.
Your’s could be the wisest post in the thread. It recognizes the questionable motivation which is evidenced by language clearly designed to hurt, belittle, and for, as you said, “self-aggrandizement”. There is more relevance in your closing sentence than in all the long winded pretense preceding it. Absolutely refreshing!
A quick technical question:
Why was Jackie so weak at the low notes starting the National Anthem on the fourth celebration — wrong key selection possibly or is she not using the forced lower register anymore or what do you think is happening here?
Our Anthem’s range is difficult for most singers… key selection must be critical for anyone attempting it (including you?)
@richardcarlisle The key used was Ab, a tone lower than what it usually appears in books. But really, those notes below a middle C are not, in terms of phrase shaping, the most prominent, so don’t need to be featured. This didn’t bother me at all. I happen to think she is a high soprano but that is my opinion. Physical build is also a clue. Think of Natalie Dessay, Lily Pons, Rita Streich who were all petites.
What I always find fascinating about the “Star Spangled Banner” is the poem’s unsuitability to the music. One of the creakiest joints is “at the twilight’s last gleaming” that puts the accent on “ing”. It’s not only in English that strange scansions occur. The Habanera of Bizet’s “Carmen” also has unusual pairings of musical accent and word. This would be a fascinating subject for a discussion.
With your inclination toward expressivity you might I would think, prefer a more robust beginning to our anthem….most performers start off with a “bang” and that’s what I’m accustomed to — rather than the meekness she starts with… I can barely hear those first notes.
Anthems are a vast topic … so much talk about ditching Oh say for Oh beautiful, but what a terrific story is in Oh say; why not simply a new melody and keep the words.
The Canadian Oh Canada is easy to sing but doesn’t say all that much… wonder who really does have something suitable… perhaps the English.
I don’t sense any french accent for gleaming– rather an equal emphasis on both syllables with the -ing somewhat drawn out, usually.
Thanks for your response.
The key Jackie used for this version of the SSB was G, though she’s sung it in Ab (& other keys) in the past. It’s often sung in F or G.
It’s true that Jackie is petite & will probably remain so as an adult, & you could be right that she’ll be a soprano. Personally I think she’ll end up lower, perhaps a mezzo – but time will tell.
@Laptop Oh gosh, you’re right. This SSB is in the key of G. So that is really low for any soprano to go down a 4th below middle C, unless the voice is really developed.
@richardcarlisle What happens with “twlight’s last gleaming” and its counterpart, “gallantly streaming” is a change from 1-2-3, 1-2-3 to 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, called hemiola in music but the metre is not changed in the score. Probably a good conductor would beat 2 in those measures. But the words still don’t fit with both “ing’s” faling on a main beat. Doing it in strict three is worse, as those 5 syllables seem to tacked onto the poem tiself.
In the refrain, “the bombs” is quite a mouthful as 8th note upbeats to “bursting in air”. This is uncomfortable after the first noun, “rockets” fell on a downbeat, so there is no consistency.
Actually as a kid I was always confused by the above. Now as an adult, I don’t expect perfection or even consistency.
Thanks CJ and Laptop
And now for you both and everyone having an opinion on a tidbit as follows:
In a buildup to the crashingly glorious finale of Tchaikovsky’s first PC there is a hesitation — or should be — of anywhere (depending on the artist) from zero to an amazing full THREE SECONDS as once I experienced in the past… this hesitation is the heart of the piece — a case of nothingness creating an abundance just due to the power of hesitation—- (super dash) experienced and implemented in countless ways including even sex technique (don’t think I’m a great advocate of wasting time with sex just to find the same primal pleasure earthworms derive in unions but who am I to knock something so powerfully overcommercialized… personally I’d rather indulge in exotic culture exploration– something earthworms can’t relate to and thereby are limited to primal).
Guess my question is obvious: HOW LONG A HESITATION DO YOU (ALL) PREFER?
My preference is TWO, since anything in the three realm is likely to mislead the listener into thinking in terms of electronic failure while two provides possibly the longest and most powerful hesitation in all of fine music.
But now, having touched on the S topic, allow me to offer a riddle off-topic that is mentioned in a book I’m considering regarding the many forms of flirtations that occur between strangers… here’s the riddle:
A man browsing in a record store looks up to find in his gaze the most shapely figure appreciable though conservatively attired in a simple brightly colored dress and a face beyond anything seen in his life that reflects class and beauty (dark brunette, ivory complexion, undetectable make-up) and is at the critical age of readiness for what might just be the first real romance of her young life but she wreaks selectiveness and can only make any man viewing her give up from the get-go as far as making any progress in becoming her first romantic mate.
The man, a few years older, an experienced flirt able to spar with almost everyone ever encountered in the past… and now he decides on an approach for this gem of pulchritude … so how does he proceed? Answer next time… TWO WORDS.
@richardcarlisle Well, there is a fermata on the double bar line which in itself signals a kind of transition. Piano Concertos that start out in minor usually like to end in major, so the buildup as you mentioned is a prolonged upbeat already in the key of Bb. Getting to that point is thanks to the orchestral insterlude that had been gradually shedding the flats of the minor key and preparing the dominant.
So it shouldn’t be such a shock or surprise that we’re going to end in major, but it still deserves a hush, or a grab in the throat. Two seconds seems right for what musically spreaking should be a preparatory breath (as in singing). Also, I just noticed that the last A of the piano after all those G-F’s doesn’t really lead to the final Bb, so there is a kind of prolongation of the excitement by restating what is actually the 2nd theme of the movement in a triumphal manner.
PS Why don’t you try listening to Zimerman and Bernstein in the Beethoven 4th PC? The mixture of intensity and delicacy that one doesn’t necessarily associate with Beethoven is GLORIOUS!!!
Thanks for all the definition and agreeing on tbe two seconds (do I ever feel cheated when some artists leave absolutely NO TIME whatsoever — just no hesitation — how awful is that!)
The thing about the fourth is that it’s just so out of character for Beethoven and out of sync with the other concerti; pretty hardnose am I not– maybe loosen up with age eventually… possibly it would have made a great sonata just leaving out the orchestra… could you give it a try that way?
OK, the answer to the riddle as promised: COMPLETE INDIFFERENCE… that is until she makes the first move— by inquiring whether you know something about a specific record, etc… the thing is SHE’S NEVER BEEN IGNORED BEFORE AND IT COMPLETELY DISARMS HER and establishes you as superior.
Super heads-up — several videos out there of Maria Cristina Craciun from Romania, captivating performer– singing, dancing … videos from age 6 to 10, find in google or youtube … granddaughter of who else but the great Luciano!!!!
Already a rival of his greatness!
Everyone seems surprised that Jackie has low notes. She’s had them for a long time. She sang Memory from Cats more than 3-1/2 years ago, when she was 9, & had a strong Gb3. (She also sang the same note in Tears in Heaven a few months earlier, but since the key was A, I’d call it F#3.) This video is kind of hokey with all the splices of scenes from the musical, mostly Elaine Paige in her Grizabella make-up, but the main vid seems to have been deleted. The break with the low notes begins at ~3:30 on this version.
BTW, I’d say this concert (Highmark Insurance in Pittsburgh, 17 Dec 2009) was the 1st time she consistently had her adult-sounding timbre. The whole concert, ~45 min long, is available on YouTube.
A few months later, in April or May of 2010, she sang E3 (4 times) during the chorus of Lean on Me, though it’s not as strong. The 1st one is at ~1:55:
Would it be terribly surprising if she could go significantly lower now, more than 3 years later? I think not. In fact, I’d be surprised if she couldn’t go down to C3 or so, maybe lower. G3? No problem whatsoever.
That’s only one of the reasons that I question if she’ll end up a soprano later on. She’s always had a low passaggio & low notes period, especially given her age.
Re: fermata & Tchaikovsky’s 1st PC
I’m afraid your appreciation of this piece is beyond mine. As CJ pointed out, the singer/musician can hold a fermata as long as s/he wants. If you like 2 seconds, who am I to argue?
Or I’ll defer to CJ’s opinion. She’s got me curious about the Zimerman/Bernstein Beethoven 4th PC. Here’s one version:
@Laptop, Again, I must repeat that it doesn’t make sense to dissect an undeveloped voice. But just because a female can go down to notes below middle C doesn’t mean a thing. Most of the women I work with, including myself, can easily reach D3. This doesn’t mean that we will actually sing or feature these notes in their repertoire. Occasionally as in the famous aria from the last scene of Figaro a composer will give a Susanna the opportunity to dive a little deeper as in the low A in the “Deh Vieni” aria. But MOST of the notes lie within a comfortable range.
What bothers me in the above clips as in the Ombra Mai Fu clip I mentioned is that the lower notes actually shake. A good teacher would have corrected this by moving up the tessitura.
It is strange for a soprano to have to sing the SSB in such a low key but the way things are going with her voice,if done higher there would have been too much of an obvious break between the middle and high register, noticable even to non-professionals. So she just floated a high note at the end. It was wrong to try and force that contrived low register all that time. It simply isn’t there – ergo, high soprano.
@richardcarlisle I have used indifference in the past and it does work.
Now, about the new crop of kids jumping on the prodigy train, you must be jesting about Craciun. As Howie said a couple times on AGT, it sounds (or looks) too much like a kiddie dance recital or local high school musical. I do believe that by contrast, Jackie has exceptional MUSICAL talent. With proper guidance, she should have a long career. I could see her in opera.
As for the other kid, she will have a long way to go before rivaling even 10% of her grandfather’s greatness.
@Laptop I didn’t say a performer can hold a fermata as long as he wants. The rule of thumb is 1 1/2 times the note itself. However, this fermata is on the barline! The time needed to take a good breath seems about right.
Researching this detail produced some other insights into the piece that might make you more sympathetic to it. It’s uncanny how Tschaikovsky has this 2nd theme creep in twice with the orchestra while the piano still has a few roulades to finish. Since they are in other keys the notes are different from the final oscillations of f-g-f-g in the orchestra and also the end of the piano flourish. What was the composer getting at with the f-g stuff? After all, at the beginning of this movement is was an f-gb thing. Towards the end of the movement he revs up the excitement by repeating these two notes until the solution: the triumphal closing theme starting with these very notes.
Howdy Ms CJ, just a little fun “Van Cliburn tune” fact for thee; I had the pleasure of hearing Mr. V C, hisself, play the T-1…TWICE…as in two times! Offered most humbly by TBaer…
The early recording from Van Cliburn made in the late fifties (I think) is the most vibrant of all versions I’ve ever heard– surprising vitality all the way through, nothing bland anywhere.
Fortunate for you — a live performance.TWICE.
Richard, yep, you got that right. got to meet him, too. such a nice fellow (may he rest very peacefully). he autographed the program for me…got it somewhere. have a nice day, sir. TBaer…as in ‘terry’…
@Laptop and CJ
Hey, I didn’t say I liked the first PC– but the hesitation and huge ending does thrill my heart… must add though the crescendo a few minutes into the first movement DOES suggest newlyweds going at it for the first time under the sheets, which doesn’t make it great music though a bit picturesque…or should I say on top of the sheets– wonder what the statistical preference actually is.
CJ, that little fat girl has amazing talent… appreciate your right to opinion diversity– what greater stimulus for friendly argument (usually) than fine music.
Did you actually listen to Jackie sing Memory when she was 9? That Gb3 was very strong & free of shaking. Other low notes have been similarly strong on multiple occasions. That was 3-1/2 years ago. She hasn’t lost those notes & has almost certainly gained new ones since then.
It’s true that it may not make sense to dissect young voices, because they can obviously change over time. However, I’d be willing to lay a lot of money on this: the highest place the passaggio can occur (the so-called “2nd” passaggio in opera) does not rise with age. It doesn’t rise during adulthood & it doesn’t rise during childhood (over any sort of extended period).
Sure, there can be blips here & there over shorter times, & training matters a lot, but Jackie’s “2nd” passaggio has been established for a number of years now (at least 4 years). It is toward the low end of the range for adult females (which is usually between D5 & F#5, slowly falling with age), & she’s still only 13. it has even audibly fallen further during those 4 years & is slowly continuing to do so.
Maybe you don’t notice it, but I do. When Jackie sings Music of the Night, every Eb5 is in falsetto register (i.e. above the passaggio); Db5 is more variable, but is usually in modal register. Bridge Over Troubled Water was similar. Most adult female singers, especially sopranos, don’t have to do that; they can easily sing Eb5, & even higher, in modal register. Jackie used to be able to, but can’t any more. It’s almost like her vocal cords are literally a millimeter or two longer than they “should” be. Again, I’m only telling you what I hear, not what “should” be in a child who is a singer.
As Jackie grows up, she may develop a much bigger falsetto (loft) register (AKA light mechanism), like (e.g.) Renée Fleming or Leontyne Price. Personally, I hope she works really hard on it, because training matters a lot. Time will tell. But her “2nd” passaggio won’t rise. I’ll bet you on it.
Jackie’s weakness with those low notes at the beginning of SSB on July 4 concerns me; do you write it off to nerves?
@richardcarlisle JE never had viable notes below a D above middle C. Why? Because she is a soprano in the works. (Sorry if the post was not addressed to me.)
Yes, I believe it was nerves at the beginning, which even Jackie occasionally has. She did fine with several G3′s later in the song.
Cabbagejuice is incorrect, probably by at least an octave; it’s easy to get octaves mixed up. The video proof of a strong Gb3 (that could also be called the F# below middle C) is posted earlier on this thread. Jackie sang memory on 17 Dec 2009, when she was 9. Several months after that, she sang E3 four times during Lean on Me, though that note was weaker & probably near her bottom at the time.
Those things happened more than 3 years ago. Since Jackie hasn’t had any vocal catastrophes since then, the chance that she can’t go lower now would be virtually nil. How much lower? IDK, but it’s simply impossible to imagine that she couldn’t, probably multiple notes lower. She certainly could have trouble losing high notes (at least temporarily) during adolescence (& she’s been working on keeping them), but low notes? No way.
BTW, saying that “Jackie is a soprano, therefore she can’t sing lower than D4″ (or whatever) is an entirely tautological kind of argument. We can use our ears to hear the tones & timbre Jackie actually sings, THEN make our assessment about what her fäch should be.
@Laptop you are talking like you are some kind of expert. I wrote clearly “viable” notes below C4. This means the notes may be there but they are not usable in repertoire. The highest and lowest notes of a voice can be likened to a piano’s 88 keys. Even if they are hardly played in actual pieces, they do influence the range and color of the instrument.
I can go down to a C3 when I am very relaxed, usually D3 is my limit. Does that mean I am a tenor? No. Most of the women I ever worked with can do that too. One lady was able to sing an A2. Does that make her a baritone? No, but she was a rare category, a true contralto.
Jackie’s low tones are so weak that they are not at fault so much but do point to her being a soprano. This ties up very much with my own experience. Again, compare Craciun (whom I don’t particularly care for) has those notes full and natural, most probably a mezzo in the making.
Jackie having the possibility of multiple notes lower than F#3 is plainly ridiculous. The lowest notes in a voice are for the most part, structural and should’t be tinkered with.
@ CJ and Laptop
I appreciate the extended discussion on Jackie’s low range but I’ve just carefully re-listened to SSB: the first few notes are sadly weak and the note of “see” is suddenly full power… if you call this “nerves” then why the identical weakness when she comes to the “ing” of gleaming…. seems like CJ is racking up the most points in this debate — friendly and respectful thankfully, and thank you both (seems a shame they couldn’t have moved the key up a notch– she probably would have been comfortable with the top note of the range in that key)..
Laptop, I hope you’ll weigh in on Maria Craciun.
@Laptop I just listened to a recent recording of Music of the Night. I hate to be so dismissive but just because a young singer can float medium high notes like D5, etc., doesn’t mean that the passagio has suddenly shifted. It doesn’t have a habit of moving around. I just floated a D5 right now, so what?
What is more likely – not being able to bring up that eponymous timbre anymore, or a conscious choice to float those notes instead. What bothers me is the shaking in the mid-low area, surely not a sign of mezzo or that the repertoire most of the time has been too low for her voice. I have a feeling that the keys are chosen to feature as much as that timbre as possible while it lasts.
I didn’t say the passaggio had suddenly shifted (& was actually arguing against that), I said it was gradually drifting down over time (as expected). Since there is generally a ~1-octave overlap, it wouldn’t be difficult to sing much lower notes above the passaggio, i.e. in falsetto/loft register. The lowest place the passaggio can occur (the so-called “1st” passaggio in opera) & the highest place it can occur (the “2nd” passaggio) are typically an octave apart; between them is the middle “register” (even though it isn’t a discrete pattern of vocal fold vibration). (Again, defining “register” as “pattern of vocal fold/cord vibration.”)
Jackie’s “1st” & “2nd” passaggi are toward the lower end of the normal range for an adult female, & they have slowly moved lower during the time she’s been signing publicly. Jackie’s voice is behaving as one would expect, it’s just lower than expected. That’s not based on what we expect for a soprano, a mezzo or a contralto, it’s what we can hear just listening to her.
Tears in Heaven was recorded in June 2009, when Jackie had just turned 9, & she does fine down to F#3 (same note as the Gb3 in Memory). (I tried to cue it to ~9:08, near the beginning of TIH, but the site may not be cooperating.) The low part starts at ~11:05. Obviously it is amplified, & obviously it’s toward the low end of her voice then, but they are viable notes.
I suspect the keys are being chosen now not to “feature the low end timbre,” but because of trouble she’s had at the high end, as expected during adolescence. The SSB here, though, showed she did well up to G5. I’d also say she’s fine down to G3 once she got thru the beginning, where she was a bit behind the beat coming in. (I have to disagree with richardcarlisle here.)
I’m not alone in thinking Jackie may end up with a lower tessitura eventually. This is from a blog called “Great Opera Singers”; he also has some hypotheses about how Jackie has been able to create an “older” sound by forming a cupola. A minor quibble: he’s wrong about OMBC being pitched a minor 3rd lower for AGT. It was pitched 1 full tone lower, in Gb; later, on the AGT tour, she sang it in the original key of Ab.
OK, she was off-beat on the first four notes, rather than simply not able to handle the range and came on strong on “see” but do we agree she missed the low note on the “-ing” of gleaming about twenty notes later?
Seems she couldn’t reach that note, no possible reason except just out of her range.
No, she did fine with “…gleaming,” “Whose broad stripes…” & “…streaming.” The notes are perfectly audible – though I’m using headphones.
Can she sing those low notes unamplified, filling a hall with sound? Maybe not. But they’re viable notes, sung & not missed. No resorting to vocal fry/pulse/1st register. I’ll bet she can sing down to ~C3 or lower now, though perhaps not with volume.
Have you listened to TopShotUS’ version? The vocal is clear.
All I’ve said is that she CAN sing low notes, not necessarily that she can sing them with volume. Low notes require more air, & her lungs are still small.
I also said her passaggio is low even for an adult female, despite her young age. It’s falling with time, as expected. She developed it at a younger age than expected, & it’s now pretty established. She’s struggled a bit with high notes, as expected with adolescence, but certainly didn’t struggle with them at the Capitol Fourth.
I do hope she grows more, especially her lungs, but it may not happen; she may remain petite.
just looked up the word ‘passaggio’…figur’d ah’ should know sumpin’ ’bout this here stuff…seeins’ how ah’ dun’t know nuthin’…
You offered a much stronger recording but near the beginning when she comes to “…twilight’s last gleaming” the “ing” is barely audible and much weaker than the notes preceding it.
If headphones overcome it, fine; but on ordinary speakers there’s no hiding the weakness.
Would like to know your impression of Maria Craciun’s Ave Maria.
Well, the 2nd syllable of “gleaming” is not accented, so it shouldn’t be surprising if it’s quieter. In the next line, “Whose broad stripes,” “stripes” is more emphasized. They both sound plenty strong on my system, but “stripes” is very clear, isn’t it?
I’m not sure that she could project these notes unamplified, because low notes require more air, & her lungs are still small. But they’re clearly sung notes, not grunted out via the pulse/vocal fry/1st register. And she went lower several years ago.
As far as Maria Craciun, she’s talented, but has a long, long way to go. There are several versions of Ave Maria (Schubert) on YT; I’m not sure which one you meant. In the ones I heard, there was a bit of (?)raspiness in her voice. I’m not sure what it means – could be electronic somewhere along the line rather than a flaw in her voice. Did Pavarotti, or one of his children, marry a Romanian?
She also seems to pronounce the Latin “gratia” like the Italian “grazia.” Odd.
The semi-audible notes are the first four and then about twenty notes later, “-ing” of gleaming … no other problems that I hear.
The Craciun Ave Maria is the one non-video where she is shown in a still photo profile throughout the entire piece… the only weakness is a slightly childlike aspect in her tone, but she should mature out of that in another two years … her technique regarding vibrato, range, body language, emotion– quite impressive.
This could have been recorded at age eight or even younger.
Pavarotti had four daughters: one apparently married a Romanian.
Jackie will end up as she is now, with a mysteriously positive quality that we can’t explain and which is larger and more essential than voice categories like mezzo or soprano or any number of other technical considerations. You can see it in this thread. All manner of technical criticism which misses altogether, the powerful effect and spirit of Jackie’s incredible artistry. Here, intellection meets its Waterloo. Even the almost obsessive attention given Jackie by her most strident detractors seems an effect of this mysteriously captivating quality. This is not to idealize or overstate the case for Jackie, but only say there are some things which are bigger in their ‘being’ than anything which can be ‘said’ about them.
@Laptop The more I listen to Jackie’s recordings, especially the older ones that you cite, the more I realize that the repertoire chosen for her has been consistently too low. Again, just because someone can sing low or high it doesn’t mean anything. The bulk or intensity of the voice is in the middle as shown in the SSB on July 4th. This is what defines it. I teach a baritone who can go down to a C2 and and float soprano notes. Is he all three? No, ONLY where thickest bell curve of the voice happens to be.
I’m glad you can plot her passaggi with such conviction, but I as a professional would have to see and test her in the studio. Too many factors can obscure it in performance.
As for “greatoperasingers”, you can take the opinion of a Midwest Spanish language professor writing under a pseudonym if you want. I read the “cupola” explanation which is sheer nonsense.
Ms CJ, you are a sculptress, whose chosen medium is the written word.
Yes, I have to agree when CJ is not prompted by anger in her writing it becomes undeniably exemplary.
thank you, Richard. i am convinced that Ms CJ, whoever she is, does not ever get angry, but merely justifiably impatient with those who purport to know what they are talking about, and don’t…people such as myself for instance. she is so far off the charts intellectually that i am simply in awe of her…and i ain’t no stupidy’. anyway…just a thought…
I would have to agree!
I’ve been following the discussion for quite some time and much of it is over my head! :). But I still learn a few things. What’s interesting is when CJ focuses on the technical aspect of Jackie’s singing in a detached manner she is much more credible. Her talent as a teacher and instructor shines through ! :).
yep, the girl knows what she is talking about…woe unto whomever who believes otherwise.
Certainly I agree about the “thickest bell curve” for a singer’s tessitura. Since entering adolescence, though, Jackie has sometimes struggled with her high notes, as we should expect. They’re sometimes thin & a bit flat to start, though she always corrects the pitch. In this MOTN, recorded in Feb 2013, the1st Ab5, “…soar,” is at ~2:28 here.
She does better with the 2nd one, “…be,” later on. (Yes, it’s “be”; Jackie could work on her vowels.) During the Capitol Fourth concert, she did very well with the G5′s in both the SSB & CYFTLT. Her high notes should come back after her voice stabilizes, & like you say, her tessitura may end up being high. Or not – time will tell. She may be babying her voice a bit now, which is understandable.
As far as hearing where passaggi & register changes are, I can usually tell by the change in timbre. Virtually all of Jackie’s Eb5′s in the above vid are above the passaggio; I only hear one, early on, that’s questionable.
It’s EASY to tell when singers without operatic training change registers, but I can tell most of the time even with good opera singers. Renée Fleming’s changes, e.g., are usually pretty easy to hear, & you know I love her voice, no matter what she’s singing.
I’m actually most impressed by the tenors, especially the spinto & dramatic tenors who can maintain a rich timbre above the passaggio. IYAM the best at this are (or were, since the only living one, Domingo, doesn’t sing tenor any more), in no particular order, Corelli, Caruso, Domingo & +/-del Monaco. Then there are the easy ones to hear, like Gigli & Björling. Pavarotti & Carreras are/were “in between.” All things considered, though, all good operatic tenors are very, very impressive at this (JMHO).
The women are much tougher, of course, but if I listen enough, I can usually hear the changes. Again, JMHO, but I’m sticking to it.
Yes, “Edmund St Austell” is very much an amateur. Still, Jackie’s ability to dramatically change timbre, making it “darker” or “whiter” at will, must involve changes in the shape of the vocal tract, most likely dilatation of the hypopharynx in one way or another.
@Laptop I am not going to argue with you anymore. You say it’s EASY to identify a passaggio in untrained voices. I say that this can be very well obscured by various manipulations such as “change of (contrived) timbre”. Maybe you should hang a shingle outside your house or apartment and set yourself up as a singing teacher. I hope you will not teach “dilatation of the hypopharynx” though to 13 years olds.
I’m not trying to argue, I’m just posting what I hear about register changes. Really, I can hear the changes in timbre.
Of course a recording studio can cover up lots of things, but “changing timbre in a contrived way” is the WHOLE POINT of “covering” above the passaggio. The hypopharnx dilates, breath support increases from below, & the vocal folds, while foreshortened & relaxed, are more strongly apposed. Pavarotti talked about it in his “covering” video (on YouTube), though his English was pretty fractured.
Of course I would never teach a child to do this. Jackie wasn’t taught either, she just developed it on her own. You once mentioned Jackie’s voice might be sui generis, but sounded very skeptical about it.
I’d submit that her passaggio developed very early & is already very low considering her age. She has the ability to change timbres seemingly at will, singing with a “whiter” timbre when she wants to, or a much “darker” timbre when she prefers that. Her singing & speaking voices are very different.
These things are very unusual. Yes, I’ve heard a few other children with “older” sounding voices, but their speaking voices sound that way too. Jackie simply MUST be controlling the shape of her hypopharynx (IDK exactly how) in ways other children can’t.
Yes indeed, we have significant evidence that Jackie’s voice is sui generis.
Let’s try a REALLY easy register change, OK? This is Gigli singing ND:
Starting at ~1:05, he changes registers, from falsetto to modal, between “…lo dirò” & “Quando la luce…” & it’s incredibly obvious. It’s the same note, F#4. Later on, he changes again, between the 2 repetitions of “Tramontate stelle” & he does a much better job of blending, making the registers sound similar. Still, I can hear the subtle changes in timbre that signify the shift. When someone is REALLY good, it’s very difficult to hear those things.
I’m sorry, but I can’t help my ears; I hear these things.
@Laptop Well, we must have completely different hearing or your definition of falsetto is poles apart not only from mine but from established theory. Nowhere in Gigli’s cited ND does he sing in a bonafide falsetto, even the high B. It’s all a mix constructed according to the structure and shape of phrases getting more or less emphasis where they occur in the piece or aria . So he doesn’t “do a better job of blending” later on with the F#. I don’t find anything wrong with this recording of such a great singer.
Conversely, this seems to be a déjà vu argument trying to prove the transcendentalism of Jackie’s voice. First she was supposed to have an incredible range allegedly tested by Juilliard as high as the highest coloraturas. Now and then we hear a floated high note as in the Circque de Soleil that is NOT unusual for a young adolescent girl, or in the Star Spangled Banner. Actually for me it is getting tiresome.
All what you say about her alleged passaggi are completely unfounded, I am sorry to say. Based on your own constructions, YOU say that her voice is sui generis that doesn’t follow the rules.
I say that the contrived murky timbre has been so far incredibly successful but its usefulness is panning out. That is why it seems to you to be contracting but I can also bet that there is great deliberation as to the choice of keys that will keep as much of this quality as possible while minimizing its obvious mismatch with the rest of the voice.
Evidence abounds on youtube and AGT of other kids who imitate adult voices. Just comparing them will make the above all the more apparent.
I wish that someone had named the 3rd register something other than “falsetto,” because that word means totally different things in the vocal pedagogy community. Call it “loft,” or “3rd,” or better yet, “narrow cord.” In modal register, the entire vocal folds vibrate, & higher pitches are obtained by stretching them. In falsetto register, the folds are shortened & relaxed, with only the mucosal edges of the folds vibrating. It’s a way to get higher pitches by making the cords/folds narrower, kind of like moving from a bass to a cello (for a man), or viola to a violin (for a woman) (sort of).
When I say “register,” I mean “pattern of vocal fold vibration,” NOT any of the many other things the word can mean. We have the science now to investigate these things. We can do flexible laryngoscopy, using video, strobe & slo-mo to really understand what’s going on. We know a lot more than Manuel Garcia did when he pioneered the field. Really, a lot of this is explained in the Wiki article on vocal register; it starts out with the MANY other meanings of the word “register” in the vocal pedagogy community.
Virtually all tenors change registers at F#4; occasionally lower & OCCASIONALLY higher (brief higher tones can sometimes be in modal register). In ND, they usually sing G4, A4 & B4 above the passaggio, i.e. in falsetto/loft/3rd register. Gigli did exactly this, & changed registers between “…lo dirò” & “quando la luce…” at F#4, like almost all tenors do. If you can’t hear the change in timbre there, you seriously need to see your otolaryngologist. It’s deafeningly obvious, especially when compared to the much more similar timbre for the 2 registers used for the repetition of “tramontate stelle.” Like I said, I can even hear the change in the latter, but it’s much, much more subtle. Maybe there was another car alarm going off in your neighbourhood?
These are the things that are unusual about Jackie: (1) she developed her different registers, & of course the passaggio between them, at a younger age than she “should” have; (2) her passaggio is in a lower place than it “should” be, toward the low end of the range for an adult female; (3) she changes her timbre at will, like only SOME adult singers can, after much work (e.g. Renée Fleming can, Kiri Te Kanawa cannot). (RF sings multiple genres in multiple voices; KTK sings operatically & not much else. They’re both outstanding, but RF is more flexible.) I haven’t heard any children who have anything approaching Jackie’s control of this.
The things that are normal for Jackie are (1) her passaggio is gradually dropping in pitch with age; (2) she is having some trouble with loft/falsetto/3rd register during adolescence (though it wasn’t evident at Capitol Fourth, so maybe she’s working thru it).
Lots of other singers try to sound older on YouTube & the talent shows, but NOBODY sounds like Jackie. Nobody. No child speaks with a little girl voice & sings with a completely different voice like hers. I’ve been looking for them for a number of years now.
I never said Jackie had a wide vocal range or was tested for that at Juilliard; that was another Jackie fan (who had a vivid imagination). At this point, I wouldn’t try to say her range is particularly broad, but I’ll wager that it’ll be wide when her voice settles down after adolescence, assuming she keeps working at it.
@Laptop You may be surprised that when I listen to singers, I am first concerned with the music. I really don’t give a dam about how the vocal folds are vibrating. You also may be surprised that most singers don’t consciously change registers either but are concerned about the color and shape of phrases. This is an indirect process. There are so many other things to worry about other than what cannot be controlled directly.
What you are saying about Gigli and his F# is really irrelevant. You can witness Magda Olivero talk about Gigli in Great Singers of the XX Century. She talks about his marvelous breath control. Hampson speaks about Tibbett, his “dark center” and his magnetic appeal. Not once do any of the commenters talk about vocal folds.
As for Jackie and anyone else I take the performance as a whole. If there are too many distractions that I won’t mention again here, then it mars the experience for me. You go on about Jackie’s “passaggio” that you really don’t have a clue about. Without any real training or guidance, I can imagine they are all playing by ear, making the most of a situation they created by cheering her on to sound like an adult.
Most people don’t cheer her so she’ll continue to sound like an adult. It’s just how she sings no matter what kind of technical term you assign to it or the methodology used to produce the sound that she does. Most people like me love the sound of her voice (I think you’d call it timbre). She also shows a remarkable sense of control for phrasing, and pitch for her age. Most people like me that listen to all her recordings very often, still marvel at how good she sounds and not necessarily that she sounds like an adult. In three years, her voice only seems to sound better and more mature. Her voice hasn’t lost that indefinable touch and magic that most of us fell for! Technically she may be headed for disaster as per some vocal experts but for fans, it ain’t happened in three years and we hope it doesn’t happen for another 30.
Financially, she may already be set for life before she turns 18. Who knows, she may stop singing and become a marine biologist or a housewife! Shes already established a premium network of the who’s who in the entertainment industry. She could decide to go for movies or modelling. The thrill is in watching a child realize their hopes and dreams before they become an adult and grow up to be successful as adults. So far we are looking at only one part of the equation …. realizing and fulfilling dreams as a child. No guarantees that she will have a happy and fulfilling adulthood. That remains to be seen though the possibility of that going awry seems pretty remote for now.
Of course most of these things are unconscious processes for the singer. But I’d wager that many, if not most, professional singers who use loft register will know whether they’re singing above or below the passaggio (though they might use different language), & that’s all this is about.
Obviously you know a lot about music & the voice from the pedagogical perspective, & there are hundreds of years of experience & knowledge to draw from. The scientific way of looking at it is different, but no less valid. Fiberoptic scopes have revolutionised the study of, & practice of medicine on, the human body over the past 20-30 years. Video flexible laryngoscopy wasn’t even developed commercially till this century, & the science continues to advance.
You might learn something from the Wiki articles on vocal registers. They are generally scientifically accurate. Wiki on falsetto register has a nice little GIF of vocal fold vibration pattern in that register (where the ligaments are not moving).
Well…hanging by a ‘thread’, the ‘baer of very little brain (with apologies to Pooh)’ wishes ye all a day of whimsy…to a fare(thee)well…
@cabbagejuice it is obvious that you idolize classical music and are especially well versed in classical piano. But as an anonymous poster online, there is nothing to support your claims of being classical trained and educated. Any moderately intelligent individual using the limitless resources on the internet could make the same claims. This fact does not matters to me because I actually believe you are whom you purport yourself to be. My point is that it is equally obvious that your extreme personal biases negate every comment you make.
@knightlyonce My qualifications have been enough for employers to hire me to teach music. So I don’t know what you are going on about. If I am biased, at least I back up what I say with facts and am open to change my opinions given new evidence. This is different from being moticated by one’s gut feelings, the way most fans of popular singers behave. Not everything is available on the net either. Several of the books I mentioned are not. Nice try to discredit me, but no cigar.
Good for you, Ms CJ…bloody good. Your pal, (I hope), TBaer
@terry baer Where did you see Van Cliburn? My LP recordings of the Tschaikovsky 1st PC and Rachmaninoff 3rd eventually wore out with so much use. (Now listening to Barbara Bonney in “Solveig’s Song” and “Come unto Him” by Handel – Wow!)
Ms CJ, i was hopeful that this would elicit a reply from you…thank you very kindly. Both times were in 1971. The first in Virginia in the spring while i was still in the navy…paid a grand total of one buck (military discount price). The second that fall (soon after i was once again a civilian after four years) in my hometown, Munster, Indiana, at the local high school (huge auditorium and excellent acoustics). Will ‘check out’ out Ms Bonney…i reckon i can “Handel” it. ‘Tis a lovely day here. i hope it is also for you, there. terry
No one needs me to tell them your opinions and remarks about Jackie are bull. Everyone knows they are. I was trying to make you aware of that Fact. Despite your training and vast knowledge, all the time and effort you are expending to discredit Jackie’s natural talents,vocal skills and musical genius is a complete waste.
There is No Question about your obvious blinding Biases when it comes to Ms. Evancho. And NO you Do Not admit the Truth about Ms Evancho No Matter how much evidence smacks you in the face!
You can repeat your tired arguments endlessly, and will not convert anyone. Believe it or not, you are not the only employed music teacher in the world, nor are you the best educated most knowledgeable. And for everyone of you, there are many more who directly contradict every false claim you make.
PLEASE google Maria Craciun– Pavarotti’s granddaughter– extremely interesting!
I had trouble copying her youtubes but google has them… just try a couple.
Little Maria has great expressiveness like granddad and wonderful tone (I’m extremely critical in that department)– never bogging down even slightly during a performance — by far the best under-age-eight performer ever… a second Shirley Temple but with real voice power.
@ richardcarlisle I’m not blown away by Craciun who seems to be belting much of the time. But at least you and others can see already the difference between an emerging mezzo, Maria, with full low notes and Jackie who by now it should be clear is a soprano.
I really had enough of moppets appearing prematurely on the stage with adult repertoire. But it seems like they are coming out of the woodwork these days.
Ms CJ, how i do so enjoy your wonderful alliteration…yep. tbaer
It’s the attention-getter of the Pavarotti line continuing — gene-wise if not in name — that brings her extra attention and she seems to me to deserve it considering her love of performing and her clearly pleasant timbre already at this age… the combination of ingredients here is for me rather fascinating.
Yes, one song IS belted but amazingly not shrill or coarse … very surprised it didn’t offend me– some real potential in this girl… just think what’s next with grandchildren of Milnes, Domingo, etc etc… and you think you’re tired of them now, time will bring more soon enough.
Ms CJ, i wish for you to have my Mother’s copy (RCA) of VC T1 . It’s okey-dokey…okey-dokey? Cordially, t(he)baer…
@terry baser Thank you for the offer. The problem is the logistics of sending such a parcel. I also may be travelling in the next month so I won’t be around to receive it.. I think I may have even bought a replacement LP for the one that was used out but is probably in a box somewhere. Let me think about it.
Meanwhile you can witness on youtube Martha Argerich’s dynamite in this piece.
Ms CJ, ok…the offer stands, should you desire…(too many ellipses, i know). Will check out ol’ Martha’s rendition, (oh, she was so lovely as a kid…a smile that would melt ice). She has never visited Chicago. In the fall of 1963, my first semester at college, i got to hear (and see) Emil Gilels do the T1….mighty fine, (especially for the one-dollar student rate). On the subject of the T1, i would only suggest a viewing of Ms Wang’s recent Helsinki performance of same. Oh, yes, she and M. Pressler (who is the elder statesman/pedagogue at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University) are teaming up on a Mozart tune this Saturday at Verbier. Back to Martha, Ms Wang’s first US pro performance, while still a student at Curtis studying with Gary Graffman, was as a ‘pinch-hitter’ for her, playing the T1 in Boston. I guess she must have done ok. Ms CJ, as you travel, please be safe. terry baer
Ms CJ, i sit corrected. The recording is not VC (thought it was the 1958 Moscow performance)…but merely the RCA (1959) reissue of the the April 25, 1943 Gareviets/Toscanini (NBC Symphony Orchestra) T1 performance at the Hall of Carnegie…just need a mailing address (you have my e-mail) and it will be on it’s way…ok?
@terry Do you mean the Horowitz/Toscanini recording? This must be one of the most gut gripping performances ever when the two of them race one another at the end. Seems like it is on youtube. I actually bought the 78 original many years ago. Again, it is in a box “somewhere”.
Ms CJ, wow…the original, that’s super! Sure beats “Bozo at the Circus”. Yep, ’tis the aforementioned…Garevietz is merely my poor attempt at transcribing ‘Horowitz’ from Cyrillic. Well…seeing as how your copy is in a box “somewhere”, i reckon i better get this on it’s way to you. Surely someone can sign for it for you when it arrives. Mom prized it and would be pleased for you to have it. Just let me know. tbaer
Maria Craciun’s Ave Maria— pitch perfect, delicate use of exquisite vibrato, tone like Grandfather — piercing clarity smoothed with thin layer of resonance (unique to Luciano and now she possesses it).. can you find a negative in this? Any fault in her training?
When you take a flawless diamond (in every practical sense) and reduce it to the sub-micron level you will surely find flaws.
Putting a flawless diamond like Jackie through a Cabbage patch of petty and specious examinations to satisfy a base need for self-aggrandizement is just embarrassing. I just cannot understand why some here feel the need to not only reduce the special talent and presence of Jackie Evancho to pointless imperfections, but to go so far as to judge her on it. Jackie brings a magic to her performances, and her voice, imperfections and all, make her the unique person she is and nothing could be insulting than declaring her “defective” for not being someone you feel is not up to the standards you assigned her to. Why can’t you just enjoy what Jackie gives to us?
The worst disservice for anyone in entertainment is to be told they’ve reached perfection at a young age and have no room for improvement.
Though Jackie’s singing technique and range are not perfect they are likely to improve if she accepts criticisms from her audience that are well-intended rather than mean… she and her family WANT to know if there is anything that might deserve attention.
What is perfect about Jackie is her persona — her attitude and her gracious appreciation for all the success she’s had in her young career.
That brief and extremely endearing smile after every performance is the power that ensures her place in all hearts viewing and hearing her– .with or without future improvement.
This youtube is an update concerning our discussion months ago on feminine cycles… a hilarious ground-breaker compiling four milllion views in four days, leading to commercial success for its producer and cheerful surprise for viewers.
Wow– what next!!
“the female homo sapien and the male homo sapien are the same species, however the female homo sapien is an entirely different animal”…’the meaning of life according to the epistle (whatever that means) of tbaer’…
I prefer Jackie’s innocence to this tripe. Furthermore, one can get life-threatening toxemia from what the girl was giving out. Another shock word informercial beloved of the infamous Planned Parenthood?
The point of this video — a commercial for “Hello Flo” mail order feminine supplies company — is that no one has to rely on supplies from an opportunistic (power polluted) child but simply click on the Hello Flo link for safe, reliable and timely supply of monthly requirements.
You may have overlooked the point here and maybe it’s not clearly presented… but a howling success as the owner in an interview said she gets more orders per hour than she got per day prior to the video
Oh, the power of youtube… you know it’s possible that Jackie cleared about $300,000 from her youtube views (the advertising pays about one cent per view).
More child exploitation I’d say, also peer pressure to openly talk about things that should be private, cheapening of childhood and society as a whole.
Well, that was the heart of the discussion I referred to and may I re-assert the question: why something so natural a part of healthy feminine existence has to be treated like leprosy… the “curse” as it is so commonly referred to is a blessing of good health, after all… maybe this new approach will bring on a more pleasant acceptance of a totally natural phenomenon.
I believe that the Hello Flo lady said she now gets as many orders per hour as she used to get per MONTH.
Agree that regular menstruation has traditionally been denigrated & considered a “curse” when it is, in fact, a sign of good health.
Thanks for the correction… more power in youtube than all the water going over Niagara Falls.
Interesting detail here– not only WHY should this healthy process be denigrated but was it always this way and what caused the initial denigration.
Could be modern means of coping have made it less unpleasant while opinion has yet to catch up with the improvement.
A bit amazing how we can discuss mastectomies and terminal cancer but a perfectly healthy process is taboo.
Well thought out and brought out with the written word.
at least in my experience…perhaps you, too…
Far as I can see, everything in life surrounding us is part mystery, part miracle, part understood (1%?) … none of it ever to be figured completely in accordance with the laws of reason.
If we lived to 500 rather than 100 we still wouldn’t be able to understand all of it, is my guess.
In a state of ongoing wonder,
@richardcarlisle- Can’t imagine why you posted this.
@AJ- since correcting one another’s English seems to have been declared OK for the time being here, let me call attention to one which has always bugged me for some reason. “Phenomena” is plural for “phenomenon”.
@everybody- thanks for laying down the weapons and having some “nice” discussion.
It relates directly to a discussion a while back; if you want I’ll try to relocate it (or are you a taboo-er on the topic?)
Perfectly fine to correct the English….it’s my second language:)
I like to use phenomena when talking about Jackie because there are several aspects to her singing which taken seperately would be considered “phenomenon”. Her voice, her control over her vibrato”, her stage presence, etc. Each of those are “phenomenon”. Hence the use of the word Phenomena !
“I like to use phenomena when talking about Jackie because there are several aspects to her singing… ” Nice dodge; I’ll give you credit.
@CJ- For all I know, everything else you say about JE’s dark timbre may be right, but I can see you are wrong about one thing. She requires no “mask” to produce it. Reviewing the DVD “Music of the Movies”, during which period she was making considerable use of it, her facial expression varies in unrelated manner to the timbre she is producing, often being quite unlined and mild. She IS expressive with her face, but I don’t see why you associate it with strain. I speak as one who is glad she is trending towards a more moderate use of the dark timbre, but am willing that she experiment with all the considerable expressive tools at her disposal.
“Singing in the mask” in vocal parlance is placing the sound in the resonators. In free singing, it will go there anyway. From the David Foster vid to her latest renderings of Ombra Mai Fu, JE’s face is not relaxed at all, the jaw even veers to the right in an attempt to control it, when it should be instead, suspended. This must be terribly uncomfortable.
To test the theory of kids imitating adult voices, all one needs is to search up on youtube plenty of young wannabe singers (who for the most part drop their larynxes) and compare. It becomes blinding obvious that the much beloved murky sound is contrived. If it weren’t unhealthy, it might be OK. But this wrong technique can wreak havoc on the voice if done long enough. There was one kid tenor who sounded years beyond his age, encouraged and feted by many but whose voice has been used out past the point of repair.
The earlier discussion related to a female vocalist being asked whether her monthy period was affecting her singing quality… this youtube is a step toward bringing the “undiscussible” to a more forthright position in public consciousness.
The nature of this discussion suggests a similar dilemna regarding our ignoring traffic fatalities where one hundred years of accepting the highway as a high-risk feature in our existence has amounted to the elimination of four million of our citizens in the US.
Highway travel should be a way of moving from point A to point B safely — with speed of travel falling in line with safety — regardless of how slow the pace happens to be… but stupidity reigns and high wpeed wins out — as if civilization would crumble if we don’t reach destinations at a speed of greater than fifty miles per hour.
Well, great civilizations have flourished for centuries at less than fifty miles per hour — including our own country at the time before the original “rattletrap” arrived … why is it we can’t discover something as elemental as lower speed limits that would avoid needless carnage… I’ve been driving experimentally at 40 – 45 and find it much more relaxing, quieter (better to listen to music), and a feeling of safety rivaling sitting at home on my favorite chair.
Whenever a car comes close behind, signaling a need to pass I simply pull over on the shoulder and think “so long sucker” as the car speeds past.
Our distaste for reality and unacceptance thereof leaves a bad taste in my mouth, a taste apparently destined to never change.
Personally, I appreciate the image of Jackie as a modest, unassuming young lady and believe she sets a good example for her peers. I don’t think either her public persona is fake as what happens many times behind the scenes. Having said that, if some mature woman wants to discuss her cycles in places other than a doctor’s office or the girls’ night out, that is HER business but personally I think it inappropriate.
The vid you posted here was offensive on so many levels. Appearing on a Jackie thread, the contrast could not have been more marked. A sneering, snotty brat talking as though she is an expert in things she really has no idea about but nevertheless being used out by commercial interests. The horror of toxic shock is enough of a caveat not to use those products at all, even if the risk may be low. ONLY a real doctor can advise and not an ignorant kid. It’s amazing how unhealthy practices (you can include your speeding on the highway) are promoted and forced down our collective throats like smoking used to be.
I’m reminded of a saying that I heard on TV from a Black preacher: “Doesn’t this slop taste good?” That’s the ONLY way pig’s innards can be sold, telling everyone how great they are – yum, yum!!!
I did say earlier the video was designed to discredit the “sneering, snotty brat” in favor of a supplier of safe, reliable products… for you not to realize that is to suggest the video was improperly produced.
Closeting of the feminine process — the process itself a profound indication of good health AND a continuance of the wondrous power to create new life — might be inspired by a historical hope of hiding anything possibly construable as unpleasant in the realm of female attractiveness: a wishing away of something undeniable just as in an opposite case we wish Santa Claus to appear without soot on costume in spite of chimney entry… and if that is the motivation it is thus vain and even somewhat dishonest.
That said, dishonesty is preferable and understandable in contrast to the handling of highway safety — a case of unfathomable stupidity — notwithstanding possible influence of an undertaker lobby — threatening our very existence anytime we sit behind a steering wheel.
The speed limit of 55 mph on two-lane highways without center barriers is an open invitation to suicide as was proven once again last year with 34,000 lives eliminated forever… all the while spending 50 billion dollars yearly to prevent another Sep 11 while we stage our own event eleven times per year with the same sacrifice of lives, all adding up to such idiocy that potential terrorists are busy laughing themselves sick and thanking us for doing their work.
Why not drop our Homeland Security budget to the same trivial amount we spend on highway safety and use the forty billion leftover for highway safety barriers and other improvements that would provide a net saving of at least 15,000 lives yearly.
Oh well, the best ideas are the ones that usually get ignored… either for politics or in this case, probably a mental set of long standing — far too long.
iffen’ this here is going to ‘morph’ into a political forum completely unrelated to Ms E., i would only suggest that the only way to “support the troops(USA types)” is to get them the ‘hell’ out of hell holes and bring them all home…NOW! that ‘being said’, i gotta’ go with Ms CJ on this one.
I’m not about to beat dead horses here, even if they happen to be road kill… I stated what I feel is horrific mismanagement of our funds and our lives…once stated horrifically boring to be redundant… ’nuff said, next topic.
Thanks for positive thought– don’t get me started on how appropriate was the Iraq war…
Richard, did you perhaps mean to say, ‘inappropriate’…i hope. terry PS…’nuff said’ be my line, but you have my permission to use it. tb
Wishful thinking indeed that like Santa, a voice just comes through the sky exempt from the rules of normal physiology (just trying to get back on topic).
There are other natural processes considered inappropriate to talk about in polite society even if the concept of politeness has become a dinosaur.
Ms CJ, would that there dinosaur be a T-Rex or perhaps a Brontosaurus or maybe even a Stegosaurus (my favorite)? tbaer
…or perhaps the best of all, Triceratops?
Anyone who remembers who Emily Post is, or ever consulted her books, is probably a dinosaur.
yes, Richard, do forgive…i am oft’ times a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool stupidy…i don’t just merely reckon so, i KNOW so. You have a mighty fine day, ‘up north’…as in ‘Sgt. Preston-type north’, perhaps?
Not that far; to Sgt Preston this would be Miami.
Totally sorry about the mixup– I was expecting a correction from CJ regarding sending me a comment actually intended for Laptop (still haven’t heard from her) and when your correction came I hurriedly mis-assumed it was her and ended up mis-addressing my comment about Sgt Preston then ran out to cut the last acre of lawn…hurrying makes me irresponsible for sure.
Richard, the ‘Sgt Preston’ business was me (terry) and i am trying to figure out just where the hell you are…truth be told…
Yes, getting back to topic: Jackie’s facial expressions– what I’m going to try is a youtube with the sound turned off just to see if she should be considering production of a silent flick.. a new thought on an old topic.– instant cure for those enunciation flaws.
The “appropriate” was sarcastic.
Keeping it light on a gorgeous day up north.
@richardcarlisle No one can actually see pushing the sound into the resonators or dropping the larynx, except for the latter one is really close. It is better to listen unedited tracks without watching, thus being undistracted by the visuals. (Also correction: the jaw veers to the left.)
Aren’t you responding to Laptop?
@richardcarlisle You wrote that you were going to watch Jackie without the sound, so I suggested doing the opposite. The shaking of the tone is really disturbing in so many of the live performances.
Meaning what– fatigue, straining to hit the lower range, sign of adolescence, etc…
Jackie’s jaw has always deviated to the left, which is evident from her very 1st videos at age 7 (Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again at the Kean Idol talent contest). Her palate is higher on the left. Her fans know when photos of her have been reversed, given this mild asymmetry. She’s been doing it for 5-1/2 years so far.
Certainly there are children who try to sound like adults when they sing. But sorry, nobody sounds like Jackie, & only a tiny handful are even remotely close. Also, their speaking voices, when they’re recorded, typically sound like their singing voices. Jackie has different voices, as we’ve discussed. Given how successful she has become, she has imitators; if other children could sound like her, at least some of them would. They don’t.
Just read in Wiki the SSB range is an octave and a half (12 notes)… Jackie’s weakness in the bottom two notes indicates a possible range of only10 strong notes… it seems she’s had all this success with only an octave plus two — obviously much better to have her gem tone quality than a wider range with mediocre tone.
When Jackie & other sopranos sing the high note near the end of the SSB, “free-EE,” it makes the range 2 octaves. As written it’s one octave plus a 5th.
I still disagree about the low notes. They were perfectly strong & clear at the Capitol Fourth event after she got thru her initial nerves. Again, IDK how they’d sound unamplified, but she has sung G3 & lower in the past.
Jackie has never recorded particularly high notes. Her “favourite high note” has been Ab5/G#5, on too many songs to count: TTSGB, PJ & AM on the AGT show, OMBC & PJ on the AGT tour, ND, Believe, MOTN & many others. On other songs, the highest note is G5; many of her songs are between G3 & G5. For whatever reason, she’s always sung mostly in the mezzo range.
@Laptop I am sorry but there is no, and can be no contradiction between the speaking and singing voice. That is yet another reason I feel Jackie is a natural soprano. So much of the repertoire she had been given to sing had been too low for her. Maybe someone though they would improve the lower notes but again sorry, a violin cannot become a viola.
In fact, I tend to think that she may even be a coloratura because of her physical build. I found with the rare coloraturas I worked with is they have difficulty going lower than a middle C. Other women like myself can reach almost an octave below but they are are not really usable notes in repertoire.
The jaw business should have been solved a long time ago and the problem eradicated instead of complounded.
I didn’t say there is a “contradiction” between singing & speaking voices, but certainly some adults have significantly different timbres when singing & speaking. Some adult singers can produce multiple different timbres at will depending on what they’re singing.
It’s obvious that Jackie’s singing & speaking voices are completely different, something rare in children. She also is capable of singing with multiple different timbres. I’m just saying that this is what we hear when we listen to her, whatever the reason(s).
When Jackie visited the Wall St Journal 2 years ago, Christopher John Farley said that “When she speaks, she sounds like a little girl, & talks about little girl things, like doing chores, & kittens. But when she sings, she sounds like she’s channeling a past life, a future self, or possibly an actual angel.”
Clearly, he heard the difference too. He’s not alone. Again, this is what we hear when we listen to her, not what she’s “supposed” to sound like. Jackie breaks SOME “normal” rules, but not all of them.
It’s true that she is small of stature, & whether that makes coloratura more likely later, time will tell. Her ultimate fäch may be soprano – or not.
@Laptop I can imagine Jackie singing Beverly Sills or Julie Andrews’ repertoire when they were adolescents. iIstead of forcing her to sing lower than what is comfortable to do or hear, she could have been singing much higher and stronger by now. One can cite the line: “road not taken”, what would have or could have been. Again budding opera or classical singers can’t hope to make a lot of money right away as in CC.
Just compare that Romanian girl to see the difference between mezzo and soprano even at such a young age. Jackie’s talent is her musicality and knack for phrasing. She is not channeling anyone or anything but a good imitator that quite a few kids are, moreover in lieu of having any real training.
“That Romanian girl”? Do you have a link, or at least a hint?
Actually, Jackie requested (of David Foster), in one of the versions of her EPK for DWM, that they make the key lower (the song wasn’t mentioned in the vid) because she wasn’t as comfortable up high. So I really don’t think anyone is “forcing” her to sing lower; it’s much more likely that she’s requesting it.
We’ll see where she ends up after her transition thru adolescence.
All the dissecting, diversions, and oblique disrespect for Jackie on this thread shows that “catching up with Jackie Evancho” obviously has a contrary meaning for some people.
I think what you see is the difference from being a Jackie Fan, such as myself, who loves her voice, and an Opera Aficionado, who reveres the Opera format and all that goes with it.
I come here and read to get smarter, not as much as to read “happy thoughts” about Jackie. I am impressed that this site has progressed steadily in their acceptance of Jackie, but aficionados will almost always see areas for improvement, and then comment on them because of their desire to improve the singing art form. (No matter WHO is doing the singing.)
With over 50 years of experience with classical music and the vocal talents that have accompanied such music I admit to a special bias when it comes to someone like Jackie Evancho. I have had the extreme honor and fortune to not only meet Jackie, but to experience a Jackie Evancho performance front and center. I doubt many here on Norman’s site who critique this young girl have had a similar experience. The way Jackie takes control of her audience from the moment she walks on stage to her final wave goodnight is almost beyond comprehension for someone her age. The voice is only part of the gift she brings to her music. So, what I see here is a contrast of those of us who follow the topic of this thread in catching up with Jackie Evancho and her progress, and those who are simply catching up with their self-aggrandizing, static perceptions of a singer that will never live up to their expectations. Injecting menstruation videos (really?) and other irrelevant tangents to this particular thread is also far from respectful to Jackie or her singing, and certainly not in evaluating the technical aspects of her vocal abilities. Pouring cabbage juice repeatedly onto the head of an extraordinarily gifted young girl is neither constructive nor beneficial to Jackie or to those like you who wish to learn the technical nuances regarding her voice. It is only a jaundiced perspective solely intended to demean and depreciate a singer and voice that is worthy of much more respect.
there is cabbage juice, and then there is “CABBAGEJUICE”…and ‘never the main shall tweet’.
you are correct, cabbage juice has some actually uses and value. Where as the obsessed individual posting the same false claims over and over again here has no use or value. Accept being the butt of insider jokes.
And you can continue to beg her to message or email you her address using whatever pretext you can come up with but it is not going to happen.
I threw in that punch line at the last moment before hitting the post button, of course it is meant to be Except being the butt of insider jokes, not Accept, at 4:30 in the morning I really need to re-read my comments before posting.
All critics here enjoy and fully respect Jackie and in an attempt to understand how her technique works there is abundant “dissecting” just as critics in all other art forms proceed to attempt an understanding of the artist… it is the highest form of flattery for an artist to receive this level of attention.
Cabbage Juice has stated often how much she enjoys Jackie while expressing concern that her technique may be threatening her future.
For Jackie there is the benefit of feedback and possible tips on improvement.
Just as you would not marry a woman without a reasonable attempt to know and understand her in advance, all we are doing with Jackie is attempting a fuller understanding– a natural urge that applies to all interesting phenomena.
If you want to simply adore her without understanding her fine points, technique and areas for growth then why waste time reading what others with deeper interest have to say?.
Can you please direct me to these numerous posts that CJ has made expressing her utter enjoyment of Jackie’s music. I haven’t see very many …. If any!
@AJ I can do that myself. I enjoyed Bridge Over Troubled Water at the Cirque, the SSB and Can You Feel the Love Tonight, plus a few other songs that were probably sound edited. I still retain my reservations about her timbre. Actually I think if she gets rid of it, her range will become much larger and she might be able to sing eventually operatic and classical repertoire for a light soprano. What I do appreciate very much is her inborn musicality and committment to the songs she sings. If she gets over this vocal hump, the transition into adolescence, who knows where she can go? Pretty far, I believe.
Thanks for saving me time and effort… your writing is approaching a poetry level– something you must have tried along the way?
No greater pleasure than reading artful prose, including you and Friday Bridge as well.
Richard, i reckon we both agree, that Ms CJ has “struck a chord” within all of us here participants and that we are definitely “in tune” with her…whoever, she may be…
Life is rewarding when compatible spririts meet through the air by a conduit as only the internet and Norman Lebrecht can provide.
Thanks be to those making it possible.
@AJ Uh, brother! “I’ve never heard of a singer die from improper vocal training … Have you.”
They don’t die but lost their voices prematurely like C Church, Aled Jones, Sarah Brightman and a few others including a tenor prodigy whose precocious belting I believe is still on youtube.
Like the rest of her selfish fans, you’re ONLY defending your OWN prejudices, not what is in Jackie’s best interests. Even if YOU and your pals enjoy her struggling though operatic arias, it doesn’t make them good nor helps her technique which in turn will determine her career.
If she ever goes to music school or gets a proper teacher, I believe she will wince at all that stumbling, gulping and shakiness in those arias and wonder why she was allowed, nay, cheered on to continue without being corrected.
Charlotte Church lost her voice? Where? The only time she had trouble was during & after her pregnancies; her children were born in Sept 2007 & Jan 2009. Her voice is FINE now. She just changed genres, singing pop instead of classical.
On a previous thread, we already posted her brief fragment of the Flower Duet on one of your talk shows, & there was nothing wrong with her voice. She hasn’t been as successful in pop as she was in classical, perhaps because she doesn’t have enough “flash,” or perhaps because she’s no longer a child, or perhaps because she doesn’t want to starve herself to become “fashionably thin” (Adele notwithstanding). Her voice remains very beautiful.
I’m no expert on Aled Jones, but he’s had a successful adult career. Not every boy soprano can make a successful transition to adult singer. In fact, very different things are prized in young vs mature male voices. The purity of timbre that makes a treble appealing may not develop into the richer timbre prized in mature men. How many successful trebles have made the transition to successful adult singers?
Sarah Brightman’s voice is certainly imperfect now, but she obviously has had a long, successful career, & practically invented (with the 3 Tenors & Bocelli) the “modern” classical crossover genre. Lots of singers have trouble after 50, regardless of the quality of their technique. She’s respected because of the breadth of her contributions to music in general.
I would never dispute that belting, & certainly roaring & screaming, can be very hard on the young voice (or even the mature voice). But your 3 named examples simply aren’t the best of poor technique ruining voices.
Of course, I’d hardly say that Jackie’s technique is perfect either. I would argue that it’s been improving with time, however. And as always, I try to listen to what she says & what she sings before offering my opinion.
Correction on the keys Jackie has sung OMBC in: the chronological order is F, Ab, Gb, Ab, alternating G & Ab, & G. Again, based on what she’s said, I don’t believe she’s “forced” to sing lower (or otherwise differently, FTM) than what she feels is comfortable for her.
Ya could have knocked me over with a feather and then some !
Is it possible that the “little upstart” who “can’t learn to sing an aria properly” and “how dare she sing like this at her age”… might have done what most thought was impossible …. tear down the bastion of cynicism and skepticism of her severest critic and beguile her with her voice? Stranger things have been known to happen so who knows.
Lest I be labelled as Mr. Sarcasm himself, I must say that this new phase is intriguing and encouraging. Your most recent comments on Jackie are probably the most objective and balanced I’ve seen in a long time so I’ll take them at face value …. I dare not look a gift horse in the mouth :).
It is to be hoped that you will continue to enrich us with your knowledge (no sarcasm intended here) because you shine most when you balance technical critique with artistic appreciation !
@AJ About kids singing opera, I don’t blame them if they fail but those who put them into such compromising situations. There should have been better guidance all along the way.
First of all, I believe the keys she had to sing in were too low for her, already bad to have to force in that range. I am not beguiled by any of her aria singing and feel it is a shame and even disgrace not to have confronted the problems that would have enabled her to sing them properly. It is not that hard for her kind of voice to sing O Mio Babbino and she has been doing it in a lower key for the most part. The problem with doing it in the higher key is having to jump back and forth between timbres. Again, it seems that proper vocal tuition was neither wanted nor sought out. This is not hard to come by either. The reason is not too hard to figure out. The Team did not want to dispense with that adult sound which would have invariably happened with a good teacher.
Last but not least, the idolization and crassness of some of her fans has been too much to bear.
‘atta boy’, AJ…you be a’ catchin’ on. Too, it is mighty refreshin’ to encounter someone, now and then, who understands that ‘hopefully’ don’t ‘cut’ it…nine times outta’ ten.
It appears I spoke to soon. Darn! I’ve never seen a teacher that can flip flop so quickly….go from praise to criticism in the blink of an eye and in the same sentence and breath. Oh well, I should have looked that gift horse in the mouth after all :).
For the public, the plebeian public, the unwashed masses, the ones who are clueless about opera and don’t care if they weren’t , Jackie’s music is entertainment and leisure , not a matter of life and death. I’ve never heard of a singer die from improper vocal training … Have you!
If there is any disgrace or shame in not confronting a vocal problem, it’s entirely on your part. I doubt anyone on Jackie’s team or the public feels any such sentiment … Thank god for sanity !
Whatever key Jackie sings any aria or song in, is only important to folks such as yourself but wrong key or right, her voice is exquisite. There are many singers out there who are technically better, including yourself, but will never make their mark on music. In my opinion, Jackie is one of those rare individuals, who at the age of 13 has already putting her stamp on music!
Why is the fan idolization so hard to bear? Why would you take that personally since you don’t even think Jackie is a marginal singer and you are not a fan. I don’t think much of Tupac Shakoor or his music but millions adore and idolize him even though he’s dead. Doesn’t bother me !
I realize you believe that Jackie is singing in keys that are too low for her, or that she “has” to, or is “forced” to, sing in keys that are too low for her. (I must say, though, that singing OMBC in G instead of Ab is only a half-tone lower. There are YouTube recordings of her singing it in F, Gb, G & Ab, the lower keys early on.)
I’m not disparaging your opinions, just posting what Jackie has said & what it sounds like when she sings. I’m sorry I haven’t found the EPK, but please believe me, it was Jackie who asked Foster for a lower key for a song (they didn’t way which one), not Foster, or anyone else, recommending a lower key for Jackie. Jackie evidently felt more comfortable in a lower key, & it was her idea to switch, no one else’s.
Richard Carlisle said you meant Maria Craciun when you said “that Romanian girl.” I’m truly puzzled if you’re holding her up as a natural mezzo & Jackie as a natural soprano. Maria’s timbre is the same, speaking & singing. She’s a “normal” child singer in that way. We’ll have to wait for her to go thru adolescence to assess her best fäch. Jackie, OTOH, has a completely different timbre when singing as opposed to speaking. Jackie is not a “normal” child singer in that way. Her timbre is much richer than those of other children.
If you think there are hordes of other children singing like Jackie, by all means, please post the vids.
I wasn’t aware that Jackie is an opera singer and has actually sung in an opera! Your comment about kids singing opera is relevant to Jackie …… How ?
@AJ Uh, brother! “I’ve never heard of a singer die from improper vocal training … Have you.”
They don’t die but lost their voices prematurely like C Church, Aled Jones, Sarah Brightman and a few others including a tenor prodigy whose precocious belting I believe is still on youtube.
Like the rest of her selfish fans, you’re ONLY defending your OWN prejudices, not what is in Jackie’s best interests. Even if YOU and your pals enjoy her struggling though operatic arias, it doesn’t make them good nor helps her technique which in turn will determine her career.
If she ever goes to music school or gets a proper teacher, I believe she will wince at all that stumbling, gulping and shakiness in those arias and wonder why she was allowed, nay, cheered on to continue without being corrected.
I have not flipflopped at all. I have been consistent and fair in what I wrote. I am not an emotional fan for whom everything has to be coming up roses or nothing.
“They don’t die but lost their voices prematurely like C Church, Aled Jones, Sarah Brightman and a few others including a tenor prodigy whose precocious belting I believe is still on youtube.” dire
I don’t know about Aled Jones much but C Church and Sarah Brightman seem to be very wealthy and happy doing what they do despite your dire prognosis.
I’m not prejudiced to the degree you think everyone else is and none of them may be either. Everyone in general, understands that Jackie is not an opera singer, her technique has risks, she is not perfect, she is well cared for by parents and professionals…..she sings only two operatic arias in 20 concerts a year (how that’s going to ruin her voice for life I still can’t understand).
Everything doesn’t have to be roses but neither does it have to be all doom and gloom. By the way me and my pals (whoever they may be) don’t see the gulping, stumbling and shakiness. All we hear is a beyond belief, beautiful voice that stirs the emotions; coming out of a beautiful child (now turning into a beautiful young lady) with the poise, presence and charm that belies her years.
If you read most of the comments on her you tube videos or any articles in any of the published magazines most of them say the same thing over and over and over again :
1. What a beautiful voice !
2. What a beautiful girl / young lady / child
3. What a mature young lady .
To date there has not been one celebrity, professional opera singer or singer from any genre, producer, musician who has anything negative (of note) to say ! (as far as I know)
When I say professional singer or opera singer I’m talking about those in the public eye and media who are recognized as experts …
@AJ Opera singers either have a vested interest in keeping their mouths shut or don’t care about a 13 year old because they are so busy with their own careers. Mine is teaching so I have something to say and what to compare. The bad technique in the opera arias is a symptom not a cause as I said before. These show like a magnifying glass the health of anyone’s voice. Singing should be free and untrammeled. She never looks comfortable in the arias she sings plus the Time to Say Goodbye and Ave Maria. There is strain that should NOT BE AT ALL.
I don’t think those who lost their ability to sing are not really compensated with money. One can repair or buy a new instrument but you can’t do that with the voice. As Maria Callas said “A beaufiful voice is not enough”. That is where one STARTS, the rest is technique. If you don’t have the latter for ANY type of expression, be it music, dance or althletics, it is self-defeating and a very short career, even if it pleased some people and made money.
An obvious variation on the ‘Callas theme’, (and i don’t mean to be callous), succinctly explains why Yuja Wang is the greatest. By the way, Ms CJ, how U B? I ‘M’, TB…
“Those who lose are not compensated with money”.
Well Charlotte Church and Sarah Brightman certainly haven’t lost the ability to sing and they’ll probably tell you better than anybody else whether the millions in their accounts are enough to compensate them or not if they lose their voice.
And I personally, like many avid listeners of music, wouldn’t give a hoot about technique if the voice didn’t sound appealing to me….one reason why I can listen to Jackie from morning till night but can’t stand more than 30 minutes of Caballe, Bartoli, Fleming or Gheorghiu !
You have your own opinions of what and how a song / aria should be sung. What is your goal in repeating the same critique for over two years and not having convinced a single fan of your point of view … Assuming that your vociferous critique is aimed at educating the avid Jackie Fan … Unless of course you are doing it out of spite. Which is it? Because whether it is for the Jackie Fan or out of spite, it doesn’t appear to be working!
@AJ Well, this says everything about your discriminating taste: “Charlotte Church and Sarah Brightman certainly haven’t lost the ability to sing..can’t stand more than 30 minutes of Caballe, Bartoli, Fleming or Gheorghiu!”
I feel sorry for CC whose few lines of the Flower Duet were pathetic, but Sarah is an embarassingly garish caricature of a singer.
AJ, I am aware I will not convince you or any other smitten Jackie fan, however, I do have a right to my opinion and to provide a coming down to earth reality check for anyone who feels correctly, that something is not quite right but can’t put it into words.
I just want to sum up for Laptop and Richie that the structure of vocal cords will not be changed because someone wants a higher or lower voice. I had a Korean mezzo who for 8 years her teacher in Korea was trying to turn her into another Sumi Jo. Well, it didn’t happen. When I transposed her repertoire a third lower it was putting on shoes that fit for the first time. She had a hard time believing me even with the evidence in front of her.
Whoever says that Jackie has a usable octave and a 4th is talking nonsense “less is more”, as though this is some kind of freak voice. Laptop pointed out that this actual timbre is shrinking in saying that her passaggio is lowering, also nonsense. What this says to me that even fans have become aware of the anomaly of the middle voice which does not jive with the rest and does not sound like her speaking voice. Ergo, the only possible explanation that they still won’t accept is, that it is a manufactured tone made by forcing into the resonators and dropping the larynx, not a good or healthy technique no matter how much y’all luve it.
I am really done with trying to talk sense. Go on and enjoy yourselves but I think you are selfish nevertheless.
Dear teacher — could this be the end of the semester? Did anyone do better than a D minus?
Oh well, a few good grins and belly laughs– better than good grades any old day!
“I feel sorry for CC whose few lines of the Flower Duet were pathetic, but Sarah is an embarassingly garish caricature of a singer.”
Actually that says more about your discriminating taste than anyone else’s. Apparently neither CC nor Sarah are aware of their shortcomings and nor do they care, I would think. The fans don’t either for that matter!
You also fail to realize that not only will not convince any “smitten” Jackie fan but you won’t be able to convince any non fan either. Even those who are not fans are blown away by her voice whether thy like her music or not !
You do have a right to your opinion but giving everyone a reality check for two years that no one wants or cares about is a redundant self imposed responsibility that caters more to your ego than to the needs of the public!
“I am really done with trying to talk sense.”
@AJ Aren’t we angry now? I have had plenty of support and agreement. People asked me questions and I have answered them as a professional to the best of my ability. Otherwise I would not have continued in any discussion. You are wrong about CC and Sarah also. They are painfully aware of how the voices were in the past and the shreds they are in now. This has also happened to a few opera singers in living memory. You say it can’t happen to Jackie and if it does, no one will care. Again, this is a really selfish attitude, not only yours but anyone who is profiting from her career.
Whose angry ? Me or you :)!
I didn’t ask you questions as one would a professional ! I simply stated my opinions! You are free to disengage and discontinue the discussion at any time. I had no expectations of a response from you
I assume that Charlotte and Sarah called you up and personally shared their fears with you
You have a tendency to jump to conclusions without thinking things thru. When and where did I say that nothing will happen to Jackie’s voice ? As a matter of fact I’ve said on several occasions that no one can predict what will happen to Jackie’s voice and there are no guarantees that she will have a stellar career. It seems likely that she will but no guarantees.
That being said, what exactly did you have support and agreement on and when ?
@richardcarlisle You and a few others would get an F in anything technical that had to do with singing. You all can like what you like but please don’t try to give explanations that you don’t have a clue about. This is not just something that one gleans from books or the internet. One needs to do it over a long period of time to start to understand what it is all about, plus have good ears and musical training. Apart from exceptional musicality there is nothing mystical or unusual about the structure of JE’s voice, any more than any other aspect of her physiology.
You continue to miss the point.
The public at large is not versed in Music technique etc. … Nor does it want to be. Music is a form of entertainment for the public and the public needs to like what it hears or there won’t be very many artists making a living.
Do I care whether a singer is floating a note or shaky in her upper register or whatever it is that critics want to call it. I don’t. It needs to sound good and move me in some way for me to enjoy it.
There may be nothing mystical about JE’s voice …. when someone else can sound as good :)! Until then, for many of us she is unique ! And that won’t change even if she stops singing!
Please allow me to intercede: it’s Maria Craciun, Pavarotti’s granddaughter.
I haven’t seen any comparison by CJ concerning speaking and singing voice differentials; she says Jackie’s contrived low range is artificial, not practiced by others AND likely to cause harm… my theory is that’s Jackie’s way of strengthening and adding richness to her low range to avoid the weakness heard in her recent SSB.
Maria Craciun has a stronger natural low range that makes her more of a potential mezzo but not necessarily a standout like Jackie overall.
For me, most interesting about Jackie on a technical level is she works really with just a strong octave and a fourth and does magnificently– undoubtedly more with less range than ever has happened in history; a range that will likely increase with time but who cares when she can produce tones of diamond quality… LESS IS MORE WHEN IT COMES TO THIS WONDER STAR.
There are those with three octaves plus, but not a note anywhere comparable to one of Jackie’s… and then we get to her gracious personality-character wealth and never before such a treasure gracing any stage anywhere ever.
I am a huge Jackie fan and believe that she is one of, if not the most, gifted singer likely to come along in my lifetime. Beyond a brilliant musician, she also has an extraordinary talent for expressing herself in a way that touches a great many people very deeply and very strongly. The sheer scale and scope of her natural gifts alone are both thrilling and intimidating. Admiration for her, and reaction to her, is seldom tepid or in short supply – - witness the length of this single comment thread about her (and many others like it, not to mention her many accomplishments in albums, concerts, endorsements, charitable contributions, accolades, awards, movies, etc. – - all by the tender age of 13) as proof positive of her enormous impact as a young and rising artist.
That said, CJ is right that Jackie would benefit (possibly greatly) from top notch musical training and coaching. As good as she is, guidance from an experienced professional, should be an essential part of her growth and progress as an artist and performer. I believe Jackie is bright enough to recognize this on her own, and I don’t believe that she is destroying her voice, but for the lifetime career she has made clear that she wants, taking time along the way to slow down and focus on learning and growing out of the spotlight will greatly enhance the likelihood that she will have the kind of sustained (and truly legendary) career that we all want for her.
fun at the ol’ ‘bawl park’…”let’s play two” (Ernest ‘Ernie’ Banks, number 14…”Mr Cub”, HOF…Medal of Freedom honoree).. Mr Banks goes to Washington (with no apology to Gen. James Maitlin Stewart). “Attention, Attention please”, (Pat Piper)…BATTER UP!
If anyone is ready for a brief break from exhaustive vocal technicalities and at least somewhat fascinated with the wonders of the Flora Kingdom I feel compelled to share the antics of my green guest…
i reiterate, Ms Jackie Evancho is a ‘national treasure’. Hell’s bells, let’s just SAY it! She is a ‘world treasure’.
You won’t get any argument from me on that !
i reckon not…or, i reckon so, whichever the case may be…
Whatever reasons anyone might offer could never explain a fraction of Jackie’s magic that in time may make her the greatest entertainer of all time — bringing more joy of boundless quality than has ever been known since memories began.
Great honor sharing it all with all of you!
MY TURN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My initial comment that young Ms Evancho “gives me the creeps” simply was, in small measure, my belief that she MUST BE from another galaxy out there somewhere. There are precocious kids and there are child prodigies. This kid at eight and now at thirteen doesn’t fit either of those categories. Perhaps she and young Emily Bear will team up one of these days. I sure as hell hope so. Three signal events took place in May, 1965…”My name is Barbra”, the “phantom” punch, and my college girlfriend and i “did it” for the first time…each in it’s own way, iconic moments in history…perhaps other stories for other days. ‘Til then, i bid all of you “insufferable idiots”, a fine and whimsical day.
Anyone with compassion would have made it a D minus…. THANKS ANYWAY!
Some kind of report card… might have to look for a new teacher.
Recently a friend told me that little Jackie Evancho has a lot of really nasty fans who go ballistic if anyone dares to say the slightest negative thing about her singing. He said that even if a person agrees that Jackie has a lot of talent, that this person will get beaten to a pulp by Ms. Evancho’s fans and will be accused of attacking Ms. Evancho personally. I told my friend that this sounded crazy and that I found it very difficult to believe that a little girl singer could have such nasty fans. My friend told me to check blog posts and forums and I would see that what he was saying was true. Reluctantly, I started doing the research, and was very surprised to discover that what my friend had said was true. Anyone who says anything other than that Ms. Evancho is wonderful, the best singer in the world, and is positively magical, is hit with the most horrid personal attacks. They’re called terrible names, are accused of being haters, opera snobs (whatever those are), and slugs who pick on a little child. The insults that are flung at these people even go so far as to call the person “fat”, “ugly”, and “a person with no life”. These fans of Ms. Evancho have never even met the people they insult, yet they make determinations like “fat”, “ugly”, and so on. In all of the blogs and forums that I’ve visited, I have never seen anyone at all make a personal attack on Ms. Evancho. The only negative things that I have ever seen on these blogs and forums are comments that while Ms. Evancho is a good singer, she needs to be trained by a teacher. I don’t pretend to be an expert on music and singing, but it seems to me that suggesting that a singer needs training isn’t a personal attack or even a bad thing to say. A personal attack would be if someone said that she was a bad person, or dishonest, or devious, or something like that. Yet, the attacks that Ms. Evancho’s fans make on other people are very definitely personal attacks, and very nasty ones. These attacks are usually irrational, and some of them are downright scary. Several people who dared to say only that Ms. Evancho needs training were labeled as mentally ill and as child molesters. Could someone on this forum please enlighten me as to why a sweet little girl would have such rude and irrational fans? I would think that her parents would be horrified by what some of her fans are saying to other people in public forums.
You certainly haven’t been on enough forums or read enough I can tell. You have an extremely one sided view of the situation.
The people you refer to that show bizarre behavior in defending Ms Evancho are the same people going from forum to forum just as the critics who go over the edge are pretty much the same going from forum to forum.
The comments you refer to from Jackie fans are taken out of context. Most of them are in response to over the top comments from critics….equally bizarre and critical.
What would you say about the bizarre over the top critics. There’s very few of them left since the fans ate the rest for lunch …. So you may not have encountered them yet :).
I’ve scoured forums that are recent and then going back over several years. I haven’t seen any personal attacks on Ms. Evancho, only people who are concerned that she could damage her voice and people who say she needs a teacher. There are some who are apparently music professionals (and I can’t substantiate their claims because I know nothing about singing) who do state that she sings incorrectly and then list how she is singing incorrectly, but I still don’t see these comments as personal attacks. I do see the responses by some of Ms. Evancho’s fans as personal attacks, and pretty nasty ones. They attack not only a person’s opinions, but also his looks (and how they can do this to someone they’ve never even met is a mystery to me), his lifestyle, and his integrity. These attacks seem all out of proportion to what has been said. Please post some links to “bizarre over the top” comments by people on forums dealing with Ms. Evancho. Maybe I have missed something. I am always willing to listen to both sides of an argument.
I’ve scoured forums for the past two and a half years ( I’m a fan like many other and have plenty of reason and interest to do it) and I don’t find any credence in what you say.
Please re read the above posts by me and others that address OTT fans and OTT critics. Hate to keep repeating what I’ve already said several times before.
I have no idea who you’re referring to about integrity and looks.
I would suggest you scour the forums a little bit more. You’ll find what I’m referring to pretty quickly.
I forgot to ask another question. You say:
“The comments you refer to from Jackie fans are taken out of context. Most of them are in response to over the top comments from critics….equally bizarre and critical.”
How can the nasty comments be taken out of context when the comment that prompted the nasty response is right there on the page with the response?
@Bewildered Apparently her father, Mike, did come out at least once and tell the more extreme fans to put on the brakes. But as you can see from AJ, rational comments are depicted as “bizarre and critical”. Because they see red anytime there is the slightest criticism they believe it gives them the right to “eat them for lunch”.
I don’t take any of their comments seriously so I am not hurt by them but I have a few friends I correspond with who have been victims of their nasty attacks. How sweetness and light (not anymore a “little girl”) has spawned such ugliness is an interesting phenomenon. Most, if not all, of the fanatics are middle to elderly men. There was poll taken about this on Amazon.com: “How Old are Jackie’s Fans?”
Demographics AGE 65 or above 6% of these 80% male 20% female
AGE 55-64 37% of these 70% male 30% female
AGE 45-54 31% of these 70% male 30% female
AGE 35-44 11% of these 65% male 35% female
In her last concert in Lewiston one listener said that about only 35% were under 50.
Another Jackie blogger admits her music is not geared for kids who like upbeat stuff.
I characterize these fanatics as having arrested development, imagining themselves as Dudley Do Rights rescuing a damsel in distress who actually doesn’t need it nor want it.
Cabbagejuice I was wondering were you had been? Busy creating a new pal, Bewildered. How original, if not convincing.
And Mike Evancho has more than once stated very strongly that they did not want any fan to respond to any attack on Jackie or them.
I had posted this on Aug. 6 in reply to your reply to a comment I had made earlier. To be clear both of my comments were directed to you, not about you.
I can see that even my asking my question prompted responses just like those I’ve seen on many forums. Maybe not as vicious, but in the same vein. Thank you for answering my question. Just the fact that some of Ms. Evancho’s fans think it’s okay to “eat for lunch” people who have posted perfectly rational and concerned comments about Ms. Evancho’s singing tells me what I need to know. I’ve looked at a lot of forums with both recent postings and postings going back several years. I went through more yesterday. I still haven’t seen a single personal attack on Ms. Evancho, just concern about her voice and suggesting that she needs a teacher. Some of Ms. Evancho’s fans seem to think that saying these things constitutes a personal attack and are “bizarre and critical”. I just don’t see it. From your postings here, you seem to know quite a bit about singing. Could you explain to me why people are concerned about Ms. Evancho’s voice? I have no musical training, but I’d like to know why there is concern about her voice and why some of her fans feel threatened by the idea of a singer having training.
“I can see that even my asking my question prompted responses just like those I’ve seen on many forums. Maybe not as vicious, but in the same vein.”
I suppose you mean that the responses are in defense of Ms Evancho. Well, you do realize that you are in a discussion with fans. What did you expect….everyone should agree with you on everything ???
“Just the fact that some of Ms. Evancho’s fans think it’s okay to “eat for lunch” people who have posted perfectly rational and concerned comments about Ms. Evancho’s singing tells me what I need to know.”
Seriously, if that is the extent of your understanding then I can understand the futility of trying to explain an opposing point of view.
You obviously have either not researched enough or chose to ignore the obvious …. The concern about Ms Evancho’s vocal health has been beaten to death a few thousand times on all the forums.
What is your suggestion about alleviating the gnawing concern among the well meaning critics?
I too am truly bewildered by your comments. Perhaps you haven’t seen some of the trollish comments on YouTube, or perhaps many of them have been deleted. Maybe the 500 character limit doesn’t allow people to be measured, but the criticism has occasionally been vicious. On YouTube & elsewhere, Jackie has been called a fraud, a lip-syncher, a “falsettoist” [sic] (odd, since “falsettist” is another term for “countertenor,” an adult male who sings in falsetto register), a pretender, a freak & all kinds of vulgar names I won’t repeat here (& I do mean vulgar in the worst 4-letter kind of way).
Many have expressed concern about long-term damage to her voice from singing with the rich timbre she intermittently uses, or from singing the classical repertoire she’s chosen. She has moved away from the latter, BTW. The people she’s worked with, especially Simon Cowell & David Foster, have been described in the worst ways, accused of greedily taking advantage of Jackie. Of course, many of those comments may be deserved, especially given Simon’s record.
Others have accused her parents of being money-grubbing fame-seekers, pushy stage parents & a whole lot worse. People have REPEATEDLY said Jackie has been “told” to sing certain songs in a certain manner, or been “forced” to sing in a particular way. On this very thread, cj has expressed concern that she was being “told” (or at least encouraged) to sing songs in lower keys so her timbre would be richer.
I read a recent interview of Jackie where the last question was something like “what’s the one thing you would like people to know about you?”
Jackie answered that she’s “NEVER forced to sing,” then elaborated a bit. I’m paraphrasing, but she’s not forced to sing when she doesn’t want to, or in a different way than she wants to, or different material than she wants to. Jackie is the motivation behind her singing.
When I post my opinions, they’re based firstly on what I hear in Jackie’s singing – & what she says about it. My ears are functional. The scientific & medical knowledge I have of the anatomy & physiology of the voice is also important. Especially given the above, I don’t necessarily believe what others say about her.
@Bewildered Have you ever tried to talk sense to cult members? They put up a stone wall immediately to defend against the smallest criticism. When you try to reason with irrational people, they can’t separate fact from feelings, which in this case is their own. They feel threatened when their own emotional response which is so overwhelming to them might not have the same effect on others. In this case, they do not want to hear of any artifice in constructing and marketing this particular product, instead want to believe that it descends from the angels.
You wrote you wanted to know why there is concern about her voice and why the fans feel threatened. This is a double whammy since 1) she is supposed to be perfect and 2) there may be some guilt about enjoying something that is potentially dangerous to her. So the attitude is “don’t bother us with facts”.
In recent history, a couple opera singers ruined their voices by misuse. But not only that, child prodigies in singing didn’t even reach their 20′s before their voices were out of commission. There are technical flaws that are compounded by every performance. You ask why the fans feel threatened by her having training. But the bigger question is WHY her team has repeatedly ignored this need. The answer may surprise you. The whole basis of her appeal, the murky timbre would most probably disappear with a teacher. She would actually sound her age and not like a 30 year old! Kids are amazing at imitation and there are plenty who mime adult voices on youtube and AGT. The means used to do that are not hard to figure out by professionals,which includes myself. Dropping the larynx is one and pushing the sound into the resonators is another. She stumbled upon that at the age of 8 when imitating a song from the Phantom of the Opera. Factually, JE’s jaw never seems free, even waggles a bit and veers to the left when she is singing anything. These flaws are magnified in operatic arias where she keeps repeating this faulty technique.
Just read the above KnightlyOnce:”your opinions and remarks about Jackie are bull…all the time and effort you are expending to discredit Jackie’s natural talents,vocal skills and musical genius is a complete waste…there are many more who directly contradict every false claim you make.”
You see, he doesn’t come with any factual information about what those allegedly false claims are. The degree of emotional defensiveness in these more than a few fans has more than a whiff of cultishness.
Not stated in my previous comment, but I hope implied, is that given the vitriol at YouTube & some other sites directed against Jackie, can you understand some of the vehemence of her defenders? Keep in mind that Jackie is still a child, & a remarkably polite & good-natured one at that. She received a commendation in 2011 from the National League of Junior Cotillions as one of the ten most polite celebrities.
So combine a talented, polite & lovely child with vicious & vitriolic attacks against her, & I think that some irrationality among her defenders is at least understandable. “Fan” is short for “fanatic,” & lots of performers have very enthusiastic fans. Admittedly, some Jackie fans can be OTT, but it’s somewhat comprehensible when seen in context.
Same old rhetoric, just a different day :)! You’re fighting opposition that doesn’t exist. Bringing up issues that are 2 Years old … Clinging to the past and hoping it’ll stay in the present even though its ancient history.
For the umpteenth time
1. Jackie is not perfect.
2. Jackie is not an angel and will certainly NOT sprout wings and fly away.
3. Her technique is in development which means its far from perfect.
4. She may or may not have a dedicated vocal coach. Fans understand the importance of vocal training and have heard enough about risks etc.
Did I miss anything?
It’s a fair point that some Jackie fans can be OTT in defending her. As I tried to explain, Jackie is still a child, & a very sweet & polite one at that. As you pointed out (though your information should be viewed in the light that it was from an Amazon blog & was ~2 yrs old), many of her fans are older. Isn’t it understandable that some of them might be a bit over-enthusiastic in defending her?
I hope I’m paraphrasing you correctly: you say that Jackie is very talented, but you have concerns about several aspects of her technique. When you explain yourself in a measured way, this is a fair criticism (even though many disagree with you). I just think that you have some of the details wrong. You can’t possibly have followed her career as closely as many of her fans have.
You say “You ask why the fans feel threatened by her having training. But the bigger question is WHY her team has [or "have" in the UK] repeatedly ignored this need.” I don’t believe this is true. If Jackie’s team really didn’t think they needed help, they wouldn’t have tried to consult Lorraine Nubar privately like they did.
An interview with Jackie recently turned up, recorded in Oct 2009, before the “Ponsellification” (“Jackie hasn’t had any training!”) of her career. She named the voice teacher she’d had for the previous ~18 months, since she started singing publicly in Mar-Apr 2008.
They’ve also been looking for a voice teacher more recently, & the rumor is that she’s been seeing someone in Pittsburgh for several months. They just (understandably) haven’t named the new teacher publicly.
In the past you’ve pointed out how she has breathed inappropriately, e.g. in the middle of words. During her performances of OMBC this year, she doesn’t do that any more. Her lungs are larger. Her chin waggle is less pronounced. You just can’t examine her work closely & say “she’s getting worse & worse.” In fact, she’s getting better.
I already pointed out that it was Jackie who requested (of David Foster) a lower key for one of the songs on Dream With Me. (The song wasn’t identified.) David said he’d do it. It’s evidently from the long version of the EPK, but another search for it today on YouTube was fruitless. The point is that it was Jackie, not anyone around her, who requested the lower key.
Lots of singers, opera & otherwise, have ruined their voices. In pop music, Mariah Carey comes to mind. Whatever she did in the care & maintenance of her voice, I hope Jackie does something very different. You also say child prodigies in singing have ruined their voices before age 20, but that simply isn’t true for the ones you’ve named, Aled Jones & Charlotte Church.
Lastly, you said the fragment of the Flower Duet that Ms Church sang recently was “terrible,” but you didn’t explain why. Of course it was off the cuff, sung without warm-up, with lousy posture. You were the one who posted a song of hers from 2009, when she actually was having trouble with breathiness & poor support for a time during & after her pregnancies. IIRC, you said then that you hadn’t followed her career closely. Yet her voice is clearly better now; I just don’t think you can objectively say anything otherwise.
Everything you’ve said has little or no relevance because the information is 2years old. I’ve already said what I had to say in a previous post about crazed fans. They exist in all fan bases of any artist. Maybe you or Bewildered can explain what’s so uniquely different about Jackie’s fan base when it comes to OTT comments / behaviors. BTW, if you really want to see crazed fans, try saying something to Charice’s fans or Gaga’s “Little Monsters”.
I understand you have a particular interest in Jackie’s middle aged male fan base which you find creepy.
Actually most of Jackie’s fan base is decades older than her age group. Do you find that odd? You should if you are not a music enthusiast and have never heard of Jackie! Jackie has a voice (incredibly beautiful) and a repertoire that is unique in that it has little or no interest with younger audiences. You already know that! So does everyone who listens to Jackie even if they have a tin ear and no music interest!
You’re right, Jackie doesn’t need the Dudley Do Rights to come to her rescue …. But they do!
Critics don’t need to repeat the same thing over and over and over and over again …. But they do !
Fanaticism is as much a hallmark of the fan as it is of the critic.
Since you’re fanatic about middle aged men in Jackie’s fan base, can you please provide some updated stats on Jackie’s fan base other than the stats from the Amazon forum postings.
The stats you posted are close to two years old.
Lewiston was this past June. You just admtted her fan base is older than her. Why don’t you put a sock in it already?
“Her fan base is older than her ”
You make it sound as if that was a dark sinister secret that I just admitted to. It’s a well known fact, in case.you didn’t know. There is nothing to admit unless one is in denial !
I don’t remember any fan denying that most of her fan base is older …. What’s your point ? ….
I could ask you to follow your own advise and “put a sock in it already” but then I just might miss the pleasure of getting a response from you
Bewildered is certainly going to be disappointed with your “sock reference” …. Not proper decorum
Right now the vast majority of Jackie’s fans are 50+. I will be 70 years old next month and have been a Jackie fan for two years. I also like Patricia Janeckova, Sarah Brightman and Charlotte Church. I’m also a fan of Elina Garanca, Anna Netrebko, Jennifer Larmore, Jamie Barton, Shirley Verrett(RIP) and Renee Fleming.
Is there a point your are trying to make? If you are what is it? And try to support your point with known facts. Things are not always what they appear when dealing with anything on the internet.
How many fans do you think Ms Evancho has?
How many anonymous posters in total are making these “nasty” comments?
How many of them are actual fans of Ms Evancho, and how many are actually anti-fans stirring the pot?
There are of course some over the top fans of Ms Evancho. There are always a few over the top fans of any popular entertainer. There are nasty people in the world.
Chris is right. You are still taking comments out of context unless you see the conversation in its entirety.
I’ve been reading these blogs and forums for weeks, and I read the entire conversation thread. I still don’t understand the intense personal attacks by some of Ms. Evancho’s fans. I still haven’t seen any vicious personal attacks against Ms. Evancho. I just see suggestions that she needs a teacher and that she could sing with better vocal technique…though I still don’t understand either what “good” vocal technique means exactly.
Unfortunately I don’t have a cure for a myopic viewpoint !
I’m afraid you are alone on this one but I would encourage you to keep seeking the answers that stare glaringly at you but you can’t see them! Look hard enough and long enough and “ye shall see them” !
That’s some yarn you spin Bewildered. If you, indeed, did the extensive research you mention, it is not possible for you to have missed the rude and crude criticisms from some bloggers (including some purported opera singers and music teachers) that resulted in sharp comments back from Jackie fans. It appears that you may have engaged in some very selective research.
@ChrisT If you’re talking about Tim Page’s article, I did read it (and just reread it again after seeing your comment) and I thought that it came across as genuine concern for a little girl he thinks is being exploited. He was a prodigy himself, so he knows about the pitfalls of being one. I thought the comments from some of Ms. Evancho’s fans to the effect that Page is jealous of her were way out of line. I think his mention of how becoming adults sometimes is very difficult for prodigies makes a lot of sense. He says that when prodigies become adults, they’re no longer unique the way they were when they were children and that they’re suddenly competing with a lot of other people who are just as good if not better than they are. Sometimes, Page says, they can’t make the adjustment to adult performer. He gave some pretty good examples of this. This sounds like a pretty truthful statement. Of course the Evancho forums were all talking about Page’s article. I thought the way some of Ms. Evancho’s fans went after Page was really terrible. Some of them even brought up the fact that he has Aspergers Syndrome, which is a pretty low blow and is irrelevant to his article. I remember that one of Ms. Evancho’s fans even called Page “mentally defective.” That was a cheap shot, completely untrue, and needlessly cruel. I also read the blog titled “Why I Don’t like Jackie Evancho” written by an opera singer named Maren. That was a pretty nasty title and I can see that the title would offend Ms. Evancho’s fans. I don’t blame them for being mad about the title of the article. The actual article though was not mean at all. I thought that this opera singer’s concerns came across as very genuine. I don’t know much about singing, but what this Maren said made sense to me. I think that the nasty comments that she got from Ms. Evancho’s fans were unwarranted (except for the comments about the title of the article), just as the comments that Tim Page received were unwarranted also. If you could provide me with some links to rude and crude criticisms from bloggers, I would be happy to read them. My mind is open.
You realize that the Tim Page and Maren Montalban articles are 2 years old, right !
@Bewildered I forgot to mention that you can’t reason with these people since the terms one uses has different meanings for them. “Vicious, vitriolic attacks” are pointing out flaws that can upset the whole apple cart. Usually a performer is not permitted onstage by one’s coach or teacher unless the technical problems are worked out and solved. There is a very good reason for this that should be blindingly obvious.
“Defending a nice girl” (please note that a freshman in high school is not “little” anymore) can bring out all the big guns and more with no epithet deemed too insulting.
It’s interesting to read here that NOW the “vast majority of Jackie’s fans are over 50″. So the data I provided was modest in estimation. Two years old information or articles is not two decades old – big deal! The defensiveness exhibited here and other places is really a phenomenon besides the singing.
For the record the original title of that blog article was “Why I Hate Jackie Evancho”.
The article has a nasty tone which matches the title. If you do not sense that then you are not the neutral observer you claim to be.
Make up your own mind as to whether Evancho’s voice is worth all the fuzz-buzz yourself. It is, or it isn’t, according to YOUR tastes, not mine or any one else’s.
Much of the issue stems from the initial claims of “Youngest/Greatest Opera singer ever”. She is not an Opera Singer, she’s just a singer of exceptional skills in some people’s minds, but not in others. But certainly, she is not an opera singer. At the time things started, she was 10 YO, and it seemed to many of her fans that it was wrong to hold her to the highest standards just yet. Despite she is not opera, her clips keep showing up here anyway, and then, “Here we go again”. Well, old habits die hard.
This is an Opera Aficionado’s blog, not the Evancho Fan Club. Evancho fans (I am one) like her voice, like her promise, and also know we have no real input into what she does with it. An Opera Blog will talk about anyone who walks out on the stage and sings in an opera, and since their interest is primarily the operatic art form, individual artists are fair game for analysis. Evancho fans don’t appreciate that. a brawl usually ensues, and it is quite silly, really, some like the voice, others decry the technique and the potential for her future. The potential for her future is an unknown I am ready to let unfold as it happens, since no one in charge has asked my opinion.
Like the old beer commercial, “Less filling”, “No, Tastes Great.” Being right or wrong is a matter of what you care about. Ultimately, real life will overtake speculation, and like everyone here, I’m not anywhere near the driver’s seat.
As I started out, listen to her and decide for yourself if she is good. You don’t need opera aficionados, or professional golfers, or steamfitters, or anyone else to tell you how you FEEL.
Is that you cabbagejuice? Or is it Janey?
You are too kind to Ms Montelbano Bewildered, or just not a good reader. Read her blog again and you will see that she calls Jackie a “fraud” and accuses her parents of being interested only in money. Those are not helpful, concerned comments as you suggest.
Mr. Jeff to “Cabbage juice”
I am not an expert on the human voice nor how it is produced but my father(God rest his soul) was. After a distinguished career as the featured male vocalist with several orchestras during what has since become remembered as “The big band era” he went on to a second successful career as a classical voice coach. One thing I do Know is that he would have considered some of your previous assertions( on a previous thread on this blog) that only professionals had any right to express opinions about the vocal talent, or lack thereof, of Miss Evancho.to be the height of snobbishness. Unfortunately this thread, not unlike the prior one about JE, has deteriorated into several unknown persons trying to impress each other with their alleged knowledge of the adolescent female anatomy.
This brings me to my main point, which is, why should we place any credence in the statements of someone who hides behind an alias, expresses as “fact backed by personal expertise and experience” which can be gleaned by reading various publications, and sidesteps any attempts to discover their true identity? My father had to constantly demonstrate with his own voice what he was trying to impart to his students. Maybe if CJ would share with us some of her own performances she would become more credible in her assertions to us non-experts.
I am obviously a big fan of JE and like most of the MILLIONS of her fans around the world couldn’t care less how her instrument produces it’s sound. That’s not to say I am not concerned that her voice continues to develop properly, or that she wouldn’t benefit from proper coaching
I think that what really bothers CJ about Jackie is the millions of devoted fans and the extraordinary success Jackie has achieved at a very young age. Somehow, in CJ’s mind, this is just fundamentally unfair. You never see more gusto in her comments than when she is bashing Jackie fans for being too dumb, too old, too biased, or whatever other cudgel she wishes to take to us (hoping. perhaps, to diminish our numbers). Of course she criticizes Jackie as well (at least regarding her technique), but we have all heard the same few observations scores of time, ad nauseum – - but her devotion to repeatedly and incessantly commenting on Jackie (some of which is positive commentary – and all of which is fair game to the extent it is offered constructively) also makes clear just how much she is in awe of Jackie and the obvious and prodigious gifts Jackie is blessed with.
@ Everyone (thought nutrition)
An issue I mentioned two years ago bears repeating: just imagine what it would be like in CJ’s shoes when a mother with darling daughter in hand comes imploring for that sweet thing to be taught the “Jackie technique” and the coach is forced to explain: You cannot teach “Magic” — it is born, not taught.
The opera community can hardly expect to be happy either with Jackie outselling their performances without those years of training and experience… and using the cream off the top of their repertoire.
It’s also interesting to note that all tenors are in some ways similar just as sopranos are hard to tell apart in some instances…. but Jackie once heard is quite distinguishable due to a unique combination of talent, style, personality and vocal tone— from anyone even close to her status among young “upstarts”.
It is rare indeed for anyone to be an outstanding success in any field without someone getting hurt or at least feeling threatened.
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