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How to Sing Classical -Vibrato!

Good vibrations or horrible wobbling? Why do singers use vibrato?
The stereotypical classical singer has a big vibrato-laden voice. But how true is that stereotype?

Good vibrations or horrible wobbling? Why do singers use vibrato?
Tom Service goes to the wobbling heart of the matter of vibrato in singing. Why does it induce such visceral reactions - love and hate? Is it a matter of classical-singing artifice or is it a welcome and naturally occurring phenomenon in the healthy workings of our vocal chords, in the way our bodies make the sounds we call singing?

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58 minutes

Music Played

  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Pace, pace, mio Dio (La Forza del Destino)

    Performer: Gwynneth Jones. Performer: Vienna State Opera. Performer: Argeo Quadri.
    • Belart.
  • Giusppe Verdi

    Questa O Quella (Rigoletto)

    Performer: Luciano Pavarotti. Performer: LSO. Performer: Richard Bonynge.
    • Decca.
  • Vincenzo Bellini

    Casta Diva (Norma)

    Performer: Maria Callas. Performer: Orchestra of La Scala, Milan. Performer: Tullio Serafin.
    • EMI.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Dirge (Serenade for tenor, horn and strings)

    Performer: Peter Pears. Performer: LSO. Performer: Benjamin Britten.
    • Decca.
  • John Williams

    Presenting Bianca Castafiore (The Adventures of Tintin)

    Performer: Renée Fleming. Performer: Studio Orchestra. Performer: John Williams.
    • Sony.
  • Ambroise Thomas

    Oui, pour ce soir (Mignon)

    Performer: Sumi Jo. Performer: English Chamber Orchestra. Performer: Giuliano Carella.
    • Erato.
  • Steve Harris

    Aces High

    Performer: Iron Maiden.
    • EMI.
  • Dolly Parton

    I Will Always Love You

    Performer: Whitney Houston.
    • Arista.
  • Krasimir Kyurkdjiyski

    Stani Mi, Maytcho

    Performer: Nadejda Chwoineva. Performer: The Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Choir.
    • Elektra Nonesuch.
  • Nadeem-Shravan

    Kitna Haseen Chehra (Dilwale)

    Performer: Kumar Sanu.
    • Venus Records.
  • Traditional

    Teaching the Daughter (Qin Xumei)

    Performer: Yan Lipin.
    • Marco Polo.
  • Irving Berlin

    There's No Business Like Show Business

    Performer: Ethel Merman.
    • Universal.
  • Charles Villiers Stanford

    Magnificat (Morning, communion and evening services in G major Op.81)

    Performer: Alastair Hussain. Performer: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Performer: James Vivian. Performer: Stephen Cleobury.
    • EMI.
  • Orlando Gibbons

    Come kiss me with those lips of thine (Song 9) "The First canticle"...

    Performer: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Performer: Philip Ledger.
    • ASV.
  • Thomas Tallis

    Spem in Alium

    Performer: The Sixteen. Performer: Harry Christophers.
    • CORO.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Kommt, ihr Tochter (Matthew Passion)

    Performer: Soloists. Performer: Gabrieli Players. Performer: Paul McCreesh.
    • Archiv.
  • Sammy Fain

    I'll Be Seeing You

    Performer: Billie Holiday.
    • Commodore Classics.
  • John Dowland

    In darkness let me dwell

    Singer: Iestyn Davies. Performer: Thomas Dunford.
    • Hyperion.
  • Joey Tempest

    The Final Countdown

    Performer: Europe.
    • Epic.
  • Christophe Claude MacDaniel

    Si Tu

    Performer: Studio Choir and Orchestra.
    • Olivi Music.
  • Richard Carpenter

    Top Of The World

    Performer: Carpenters.
    • A&M.
  • Traditional

    The Lincolnshire Poacher

    Performer: Peter Pears. Performer: Benjamin Britten.
    • London.
  • Richard Wagner

    In festen Schlaf… (Die Walkure)

    Performer: Birgit Nilsson. Performer: Vienna Philharmonic. Performer: Georg Solti.
    • Decca.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Nulla in mundo pax, R.630

    Performer: Emma Kirkby. Performer: Academy of Ancient Music. Performer: Christopher Hogwood.
    • L’Oiseau Lyre.
  • Paul Michael Barry

    Believe

    Performer: Cher.
    • Warner Bros..

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