Sunday, January 20, 2019

Sunday morning music

The Swingle Singers were founded in Paris in 1962, and have been through several incarnations since then.

Until 2011, the group consisted of eight voices: two sopranos, two altos, two tenors and two basses. The French group performed and recorded typically with only a double bass and drums as accompaniment. In 1973, the original French group disbanded and Ward Swingle moved to London and hired members who debuted as Swingle II. The current group performs primarily a cappella.

The group later performed and recorded under the name The Swingles, then The New Swingle Singers and The Swingle Singers before settling on The Swingles. The group has never disbanded. As individual members have left the group, remaining members have held auditions for replacements.

The Swingles, under their prior and current names, have a vast output, so large it's impossible to list here.  I've selected just a few of their works to give you a taste of their range.

To start with, here's Johann Sebastian Bach's Fugue in G Minor, BVW 578.

Next, Pachelbel's famous Canon.

Here's Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee.

Moving on to something much more modern, the Swingles are joined by the Ayoub Sisters in this performance of Astor Piazzolla's Libertango.

Finally, here's an amalgamation of two songs by the BeatlesBlackbird and I Will.

YouTube has many more of the Swingles' songs in their various incarnations.



DiGi377 said...

I remember watching the Swingle singers perform in British comedy shows like The Two Ronnies. This was the 70s on Australian TV. It seemed odd to me as a child that a skit comedy show had a musical interlude, but now I realise that was probably a vestige of the old variety shows with roots in the even older music hall theatre.

Check out the singer Dimash Kudaibergenov. Start with his 1st performance on a Chinese vocal competition show. Song is called S.O.S. There's a bunch more from the Chinese show. You'll not be disappointed.

Ben Yalow said...

And they always had incredible abilities to work with really complex musical lines.

The ability to deal with a Bach organ work -- even one as straightforward as the fugue in G minor -- needed incredible skill, since they only have a limited number of voices that can be singing, and the works sometimes seemed to need more voices than that.

But, if you compare it to an organ version (the one at is a good one), it's impressive how much of the original they maintain.

Old NFO said...

Interesting presentation... :-) Bumblebee was cute...