Saturday, February 23, 2013

Choral Clarity - Idina Menzel "Live"

I've just sat down to listen to a CD - Idina Menzel's "Live" album (subtitled "Barefoot at the Symphony").

I got it for Christmas, and have listened to it a couple of times, but usually as background while I'm doing other things. After all, that's what I do with a lot of my music these days. I put the CD on, then clean the house... or make dinner... or eat dinner...

But, today, I have laundry in the dryer and had some time to fill, so I sat down to listen to it.

It's weird, because I saw her performance of all of this same music with the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra. And the concert was incredible. There are some theater performers who can't really do anything without a character. She is not one of them. She is an amazing performer with craploads of stage presence all on her own. And the CD, I have to admit, is very much like sitting in the audience for her show.

Oh... Sorry... I seem to have misplaced my point...

I listen to the radio all the time on my drives to and from work. And they constantly talk about whoever is on "American Idol" and all of those other so-called talent shows. And the DJs get so excited about the voices on some of these singers. And I listen to them and think "They aren't actually hitting any notes."

The singers on so many of the reality shows do this weird thing where they slide into and out of notes, and wobble above and below the notes. And it's the "style" these days. (There was one they played on the radio last week who was singing a Broadway tune and completely missed the final note, but eventually slid into it. It was AWful - but they raved, anyway.) And it bugs me.

I'll take a classically-trained Broadway star any day. She can nail notes. She can sustain them. She can add vibrato to them without losing them. She can... well... sing.

Amazing how much of a game changer that can be.

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