This week’s Song of the Day curator is Russian soprano and international star Dina Kuznetsova. You can hear Dina in NYFOS’s upcoming show From Russia to Riverside Drive on November 8 (Boston) and November 10 (New York), performing songs by Rachmaninoff, alongside some of the Jazz Age music that Rachmaninoff heard during his time living in New York.
From Dina Kuznetsova:
Some of my happiest musical hours were spent in college, listening to the jazz greats in the wee hours of the morning. They were giants, and I love them all: Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, each one with her own unique vocal delivery and a genius for the interplay between words and rhythm, for making love to a melody anew every time, and for making listeners feel. There is so much any singer can learn by listening, particularly when it comes to absorbing that interplay between improvisation and precision.
And Oh, the voices, their expressive powers; I can sing the praises of them all.
But when I think of Sarah Vaughan, I think she could have been (had she wanted) one of the greatest operatic stars, with that mezzo-soprano of hers. The color, the range, the top, the bottom, the middle :))). The vocal technique! It is all magic.
Here is one of Sarah Vaughan’s early TV appearances, in 1951, singing “The Nearness of You” by Hoagy Carmichael, and “You’re Mine, You”, by Chet Baker. The magnificence of her voice is on full display: