Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The voices of virtuosi

So nice of Virtuoso Voices yesterday to mention what I wrote about Orli Shaham to all their followers, or whatever you want to call them, on Twitter! Every day I find myself thinking how small the world is getting.

Yesterday I had not quite grasped what Virtuoso Voices is. I thought it was someone like me sitting around in his or her pajamas finding quotes from musicians and zinging them around the Internet. But it turns out Virtuoso Voices is a kind of interesting business. They interview musicians and make the interviews available by subscription to classical music radio stations.

They also do promo spots.

That must explain when I tune in to WNED-FM and hear, "This is Thomas Hampson and you are listening to WNED-FM in Buffalo!"

And I am thinking: Wait, Thomas Hampson ...

... has not been here since I was 18!

It is fun to browse the Virtuoso Voices Web site. One thing they have is an extensive document on the do's and don'ts of interviewing musicians, which, I printed it out so I can keep it and refer to it. I am in print and they are in radio but it is nice to be able to learn from others' experiences.

They also have a long list of performers you can scroll down, and you will find little clips of them talking. It is fun just to hear their voices. You can occupy yourself for hours this way!

You can hear Leif Ove Andsnes, for instance, talking about Mozart: "There are so many voices, there is such energy."

And the site suggests: "Use this clip to enhance your introduction to Leif Ove Andsnes playing Mozart." That is a picture up above supposedly of Leif Ove Andsnes that I grabbed from some British singer's Web log because I could not resist it. This is a cute Web log! It is called Intermezzo.

Back to Virtuoso Voices. Here is Vladimir Ashkenazy sounding like quite the smoothie talking about Beethoven: "I am overwhelmed." That is what he says at the end, his voice trailing off.

Now if you hear that on your classical station you will know where it came from.

I love finding out how the radio business works.

And reflecting on how, every day, the world is getting smaller.

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