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25 May 2021, 11:24
When Eden Alene asked for Eurovision to ‘Set Me Free’, she also set a new musical record for the international song competition.
The highly perceptive musos among you may have noticed that Israel’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 featured a new musical record.
In her performance of ‘Set Me Free’, contestant Eden Alene sang a Mariah Carey-style B6 whistle tone. For context, that’s the B above a high soprano C, and half an octave above the high F in Mozart’s ‘Queen of the Night’ aria.
Hear it just here (it’s really something).
It was the highest note ever recorded in the competition – a stat spotted by the bat-eared team at BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus (bravo).
The world’s highest note was a record once held by pop virtuoso Mariah Carey, of whom Classic FM presenter Catherine Bott so memorably said: “Dolphins would hail her as a kindred spirit. And she could nail that Queen of the Night aria from Mozart’s Magic Flute.”
Carey set the record when she sang a G7 whistle tone on her song ‘Emotions’.
But Carey’s thunder was stolen in 2004 by Brazilian singer Georgia Brown, who on record sang a G10 at Aqui Jazz Atelier Music School in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The tone Brown produced was so high that technically it doesn’t even count as a musical note, but a frequency.
Have a listen below as Brown gives a flavour of her phenomenal range (and be sure to turn your volume right down if your ears are sensitive to high frequencies).
You might think it’s the famous F6 above high C from the Queen of the Night aria, ‘Der Hölle Rache’, in Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute.
But that note was blown out of the water in 2017 by British composer Thomas Adès, who included a dolphin-summoning A6 above high C in his opera The Exterminating Angel.
The stratospheric note was heard by coloratura soprano Audrey Luna, and is believed to be the highest note ever hit on the New York Metropolitan Opera stage.