Extraordinary Voices With Nora Fischer

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01Blend And Decoration20201206In a series of three shows, Nora Fischer celebrates what the voice can do with a fabulously diverse playlist of tracks from around the world and across the centuries.

She listens to raw and passionate Bulgarian and Scandinavian singing alongside the profound warmth of Russian basses. She compares the ethereal angst of the voice of the last castrato to the effect of the longest high tenor C in classical music. And she sets the twisting ornamental lines of an 18th-century Handel opera aria next to the runs perfected by Whitney Houston and Beyoncé.

In this first episode, Nora listens to the way singers blend their voices, from an unearthly mystic unison in a piece by medieval composer Hildegarde of Bingen to the multi-track digital mixing of singer-songwriter James Blake. She also listens to the way singers and composers can add twists, turns, trills and runs to a vocal line for maximum effect - whether it’s in an Indian rag, an ornate aria from Italian baroque master Barbara Strozzi, or a powerful RnB ballad.

A Tandem Production for BBC Radio 3

Singer Nora Fischer celebrates the huge variety of sounds the human larynx can produce.

02Amazing Sounds20201213In a series of three shows, Nora celebrates what the voice can do with a fabulously diverse playlist of tracks from around the world and across the centuries.

She listens to raw and passionate Bulgarian and Scandinavian singing alongside the profound warmth of Russian basses. She compares the ethereal angst of the voice of the last castrato to the effect of the longest high tenor C in classical music. And she sets the twisting ornamental lines of an 18th-century Handel opera aria next to the runs perfected by Whitney Houston and Beyoncé.

The growls and fluty noises of Tuvan throat-singing, the acrobatics necessary to perform Rossini’s opera arias, and the purity of the countertenor voice are all celebrated in this second episode of Nora Fischer’s series. There are stratospheric sounds created by Jeff Buckley and Cleo Laine as well as the rumbling of a deep Rachmaninov bass line. Nora also finds how the voice box can imitate instruments like the Indian tabla and how a group of singers can even recreate the complexities of a Charlie Parker jazz classic.

A Tandem Production for BBC Radio 3

Singer Nora Fischer celebrates the huge variety of sounds the human larynx can produce.

03 LASTStorytelling20201220In a series of three shows, Nora celebrates what the voice can do with a fabulously diverse playlist of tracks from around the world and across the centuries.

She listens to raw and passionate Bulgarian and Scandinavian singing alongside the profound warmth of Russian basses. She compares the ethereal angst of the voice of the last castrato to the effect of the longest high tenor C in classical music. And she sets the twisting ornamental lines of an 18th-century Handel opera aria next to the runs perfected by Whitney Houston and Beyoncé.

In the final episode of her series, Nora Fischer finds out how a vocalist can tell a tale - not just in the words they’re singing, but in the very character of their voice. She showcases the unique styles of Lotte Lenya, Nina Simone and Frank Sinatra - artists who seem to embody the very meaning of each song they perform. And she finds composers like Gesualdo, Handel and Schoenberg creating emotion and tension through their manipulation of vocal lines as stories unfold before our ears.

A Tandem Production for BBC Radio 3

Singer Nora Fischer celebrates the huge variety of sounds the human larynx can produce.

In a series of three shows, Nora celebrates what the voice can do with a fabulously diverse playlist of tracks from around the world and across the centuries.

She listens to raw and passionate Bulgarian and Scandinavian singing alongside the profound warmth of Russian basses. She compares the ethereal angst of the voice of the last castrato to the effect of the longest high tenor C in classical music. And she sets the twisting ornamental lines of an 18th-century Handel opera aria next to the runs perfected by Whitney Houston and Beyoncé.

In the final episode of her series, Nora Fischer finds out how a vocalist can tell a tale - not just in the words they’re singing, but in the very character of their voice. She showcases the unique styles of Lotte Lenya, Nina Simone and Frank Sinatra - artists who seem to embody the very meaning of each song they perform. And she finds composers like Gesualdo, Handel and Schoenberg creating emotion and tension through their manipulation of vocal lines as stories unfold before our ears.

A Tandem Production for BBC Radio 3

Singer Nora Fischer celebrates the huge variety of sounds the human larynx can produce.