Another Blogging from A to Z April Challenge has come to an end. Some of you are sad to see it end while others are breathing a sigh of relief. With the end of one month and the arrival of the first of another it's time for another Battle of the Bands, the blogging event first introduced by our friends at Far Away Series and StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th. The premise is simple: Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it. Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.
After this past frantic month of daily blogging I thought it might be nice to relax with a piece of slow classical music. Since this work is in French and by the French composer Georges Bizet I dedicate this Battle to some A to Z'ers who had themes about France this past year or in the previous year. Some of those bloggers are D.G. Hudson at Rainforest Writing, Forty c'est Fantasique, Evelyne Holingue, and A to Z Co-host Lisa Buie-Collard. And a special tribute to our Paris loving Battle of the Bands founder Far Away Eyes. Also I might add that this song is a favorite of mine and my wife.
"Je Crois Entendre Encore"
Georges Bizet is mostly known for his opera Carmen, but he wrote a few other operas including Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers). The opera itself was not highly regarded in Bizet's lifetime but has gained more critical acclaim since then. The beautiful aria featured in my Battle today has been recorded by numerous opera singers and in more recent years has found its way into the repertoires of pop style artists. I present two of these today. If you wish you can first listen to the traditional operatic version or you can scroll down to the two contestants of this Battle.
Beniamino Gigli "Je Crois Entendre Encore" (1925)
Please don't vote on this one! I merely offer this version so you can get an idea of how this piece would traditionally sound as performed by an opera singer. In fact you don't even have to listen to this unless you want to put the other versions in perspective.
Here's Another traditional take:
Salvatore Licitra (from the movie soundtrack The Man Who Cried)
"Je Crois Entendre Encore" (2000) DON'T VOTE ON THIS ONE EITHER!
Keep scrolling past if you don't wish to hear operatic singing.
The Anglo-French film production The Man Who Cried was released in 2000 to relatively tepid reviews. "Je Crois Entendre Encore" appears a number of times throughout the course of the film in essence becoming the film's theme song. This tearjerker film has a cast which includes Christina Ricci, Johnny Depp, Cate Blanchett, and Harry Dean Stanton. My wife and I both like this film a great deal, mostly because of the song being used throughout as well as the subject matter of Jewish oppression by the Nazis. This version of the aria is sung in Yiddish.
And now for the real contest: Vote on these two only please!
And as an introductory comment, these versions may seem much the same and they are in over all delivery. For some of you it might be a matter of a male voice versus a female voice. However if you listen closely you will hear a very distinct difference in the back up musicians. I'm taking this into account in making my decision.
David Gilmour "Je Crois Entendre Encore" (2002)
After I first heard a version of "Je Crois Entendre Encore" on the local public radio station I was so enthralled that I went to Amazon to seek out a recording of the song. What I'd heard on radio was an operatic singer with piano accompaniment. I was surprised when the first version I came across on Amazon was by David Gilmour, guitarist and vocalist of Pink Floyd. The song appears on his DVD David Gilmour In Concert. If you're a fan of Gilmour or Pink Floyd this is well worth seeking out. It's an outstanding release. My wife absolutely loves the way he performs the Bizet aria. She's never watched the complete concert, but we've watched this one song dozens of times. See what you think.
Alison Moyet "Je Crois Entendre Encore" (2004)
This marks the second appearance on Tossing It Out by Alison Moyet who previously was featured with her version of Almost Blue. That was probably my least visited Battle with only 12 total votes and Alison only received one of those votes and that came from me, but that's no indication of how I'll vote in this current Battle. Since I have this one on CD I always bring it along on lengthy road trips and my wife has me play this one repeatedly. Actually since she likes just about every song on this album we usually listen to the entire album at least a few times with some extra listens of "Je Crois Entendre Encore." Take a listen and you be the judge as to how Moyet compares with Gilmour.
Time to Vote!
Which do you prefer? David Gilmour? Alison Moyet? It's up to you to determine the winner. Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the one you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.
Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:
‘FAR AWAY SERIES’
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’
DC Relief Battle of the Bands
Shady Dell Music and Memories (a new participant!)
Results on May 8th