Monday, May 16, 2005


Fantasia sings “Summertime” by George Gershwin. In my head it exists in a performance by Leontyne Price, full and operatic. Fantasia is reported to have never heard the song before.

Fantasia’s use of the tools is awesome. She starts off with a little flourish to establish her individuality, singing very stylishly behind the beat at crucial spots. She starts ornamenting discreetly with some upper neighbors at first. (Forgive me. If you know the terms, they just slip out.) The density of ornamentation increases gradually as the piece progresses. There’s an interpolated high note in just the right spot. She ends with the now required major riff, in about the same spot and for the same purpose as a cadenza. She does all this as though she personally invented it.

This is a great performance in the style of today.

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