It took nearly a day to come up with something intriguing to post for number 200 and it came to me while I was a church going over music that I will be singing at mass Sunday morning. The organist and I were trying to decide on a communion song. While going through our list of possibilities, my focus was drawn to the beautiful “Panis Angelicus.” I have always found it quite challenging yet fun to sing in a language other than English. Our church choir attempts to fumble through Latin pieces a few times a year with varied results. I would love to find a great arrangement of “Pie Jesu” (perhaps from the Andrew Lloyd-Webber “Requiem” that I have found to be my favorite version of the several I have heard). Call me a romantic in the classical sense.
One of my favorite performers is no stranger to singing in different languages. In fact, Josh Groban’s professional debut happened at the spur of the moment and was part of an English-Italian duet.. While employed as a rehearsal singer for the 1999 Grammy Awards, Josh (age 18) was asked to fill in for an ailing Andrea Bocelli on the live broadcast. He performed “The Prayer” with Celine Dion in front of a large audience while millions watched on television. A little luck never hurt anyone.
Almost overnight, the baritone/tenor (critics are still not sure what to classify him; Josh considers himself a “tenor in training”) appeared all over media. He made appearances on the television series Ally McBeal and on several talk shows. Oprah Winfrey named his holiday album, Noel, one of her Favorite Things. He has released a total of 4 solo albums all of which have been certified multi-platinum (selling at least 2 million units) and been featured on other recordings (the soundtracks to A.I. – Artificial Intelligence and The Polar Express). Mr. Groban has also recorded duets with the likes of Charlotte Church and Barbra Streisand. In March 2008, Josh performed the role of Anatoly Sergievsky in a concert version of the brilliant yet little known musical Chess. People may remember the cult 80s song “One Night in Bangkok” that originated in the show.
An excellent performer who is not afraid to challenge himself by going against the norm.
|Closer By Josh Groban. Songbook for voice, piano and guitar (chords only). Text language English and Italian. 96 pages. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.306860)
See more info…