Vocalise

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Painting by Alex Katsenelson

Sergey Rachmaninoff wrote Vocalise in 1912 for soprano and piano. The soprano part has no words, just a single vowel continuously sung throughout this short, six-minute piece. This masterpiece has been transcribed into different arrangements in which piano, violin, or cello replace the voice solo. But I have to admit, Vocalise makes you appreciate the best musical instrument of all, the human voice.

Rachmaninoff’s genius is that only one vowel, in combination with music, can tell so many stories. It does not just make you feel; like all great art, it sends your imagination on an incredible journey (if you allow it). Though you and I will hear the same music, it will draw very different images in our minds.

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  • Jonathan says:

    Vitaliy….. I would appreciate a good starting list of opera pieces for a beginner to sink his teeth into the wonderful music/voice that opera provides. I hope this isn’t an imposition but I could use some direction. Thanks

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