Rachmaninov's 'Vocalise' for cello ensemble is beautifully lyrical

31 May 2017, 12:14

Rachmaninoff Vocalise for cello ensemble

Performed at the Galvin Hall, Northwestern University by Brannon Cho, Yaebon Go, Drake Driscoll, Andrew Byun, Myrtil Mitanga, Grant Zempolich, Josiah Yoo & Sihao He.


By Amy MacKenzie

This cello ensemble's performance of Rachmaninov's 'Vocalise' is so dreamy.

Vocalise, the last of the fourteen songs composed and published in 1915 by the great Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov, was originally written for soprano voice and piano. However, unusually for a vocal piece, it contains no words. Instead, the vocalist may sing the melody to a vowel of their choosing.

There have been countless instrumental arrangements of this heavenly piece, but if you are going to imitate a beautifully lyrical melody for voice, it's hard to beat the cello, arguably the closest-sounding instrument to the human voice.

But just one cello will not do. How about an ensemble of cellos? EIGHT, to be precise?

This blissful arrangement of Vocalise was performed by cellist Brannon Cho, who recently performed in the final round of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, and his wonderful cello ensemble. You can view more of Brannon's videos on his YouTube channel.

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