Voice of an Angel, Vocalise : Rachmaninoff
Timothy Chooi, violin/violon
Janelle Fung, piano
"Vocalise" is a song by Sergei Rachmaninoff, composed and published in 1915 as the last of his 14 Songs or 14 Romances, Op. 34. Written for high voice (soprano or tenor) with piano accompaniment, it contains no words, but is sung using any one vowel of the singer's choosing.
This recording is exemplified on the violin and piano. The violin cannot produce any words, and therefore performs this work very well. There are emotions of loneliness, sadness, and confusion, but despite these intense feelings, the piece maintains a meditative overarching character.
It starts with the piano playing a repetitive vamp, and the violin enters with a lonely but distinctive voice. The voice of the violin paints the image of the voice in a grave yard. As the piece develops the violin changes its facade, and becomes intensely emotional with flavors of sorrow, crying and mourning before resolving in a ghostly voice at the end.
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Sheet music here:
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Anne Kostalas, videographer
Benoît Chamontin, creative producer
Drew Schlegel, recording engineer
With thanks to St. George's Anglican Church in Montreal, Canada.