This week’s selections are coming to us from frequent NYFOS collaborator, Andrew Garland, a baritone of “commanding intensity” (The New York Times). Be sure to catch him in our December 8th program Schubert/Beatles, alongside soprano Sari Gruber and tenor Paul Appleby. Get your tickets today!
“Burden in My Hand” Soundgarden
Listen to this song, even just the first 30 seconds and answer one question: is this legato singing? (I recommend you ignore the video; the video will not help you detect the legato.)
Yes, this is a grunge band that peaked in popularity in the ’90s, yes the songwriting could be seen as trite, having no message and even inane. But there is at least one quality in Chris Cornell’s singing that we all value: legato. Don’t believe me? Listen to the first 30 seconds again. There are two long phrases of uninterrupted vowel.
In the age of auto-tune, American Idol, and airbrushing many of us feel that the most popular singers today aren’t really singers at all. Some of our past songs of the day have been great examples of pop singers with a strong fundamental technique. I just want to open the discussion amongst the NYFOS audience: who are the great singers of rock worthy of an opera goer’s attention?
Thank you for your indulgence. For the rest of the week we will be playing classical singers. Now, to cleanse your palate, something soft and sophisticated: