July 02, 2007

An observation... and an apology

So tonight I have been watching Sunday's Concert for Diana, which we Tivoed, and I have seen about half of it. I was just watching Andrea Bocelli's performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Music of the Night, and I had a strange feeling about it. I mean on one hand, my goodness, the man's voice is amazing, and every note was a treasure.

On the other hand, it was a bit disconcerting to hear the words sung with an Italian-influenced accent. This is the third time I've seen this particular bit of the concert, and something had bothered me about it from the first few notes each time. Now I realize that it was the pronunciation of the words.

In that sense, I'd like to apologize to the gods of classical music everywhere for my pitiful American attempts at French, German, Latin, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and any other language I have attempted to sing in in my brief choral career. Considering the difference between Bocelli's amazing talent, and my pitiful voice, I can only imagine how awful my American-accented words must be in other languages, no matter how hard I try....

Here's Bocelli's Music of the Night:

and here is Sarah Brightman and Josh Groban, with All I Ask of You, for comparison:

Posted by caltechgirl at July 2, 2007 09:05 PM | TrackBack

I was reading the obituary of Beverly Sills. I saw that she didn't perform at the Met until very late in her career because the guy who ran it didn't like American singers - so he would never book them. She didn't get to sing there until after he retired!

I wonder now if that man (can't remember his name) could hear the "flaws" of pronunciation in an American singing, but maybe wasn't able to catch it if say... a French singer was singing Italian... The article didn't say. Only that he liked European singers.

Posted by: Teresa at July 3, 2007 11:49 AM

I love Sarah Brightman; I have her on my Pod.

I think you bring up an important point; we have the ability to butcher a fine piece of work without realizing it. That is why I would never play Beethoven's 3rd movement of Moonlight Sonata with anyone else in the room. In my head it sounds lovely, in reality; ugh.

Posted by: Stacy at July 3, 2007 05:00 PM