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As I was getting ready to leave the gym this morning, the TV news had a story that made me stay to watch it. Jackie Evancho, the 11-year-old soprano who captured the nation’s imagination on “America’s God Talent” last year, has a record out and it has outsold Lady GaGa.
Since the record came out only yesterday, who knows how long it will continue to outsell Lady GaGa? And yet Evancho’s success a year after the buzz over her success on America’s Got Talent is great news for real music. Lady GaGa makes her reputation on outrageous costumes, outrageous public behavior, outrageous videos, and some occasional signs of musical talent and imagination. Jackie Evancho makes hers as a young child with a lovely, well-trained and disciplined voice who likes to sing good music that has stood the test of time.
I have no idea where Jackie Evancho’s career will take her, but I do know that at any moment in time for more than two hundred years, classical music has had a much smaller audience than the popular music of the day. But fashions change. The appeal of popular music only exceptionally outlasts the generation that first made it popular. In 50 years or so, this album will appeal to a larger audience than all but a handful of the currently popular music videos.
Pinocchio: When you wish upon a star by Leigh Harline
Nella Fantasia by Ennio Morricone
A Mother’s Prayer, song by David Foster
Turandot: Nessun dorma! by Giacomo Puccini
Angel, song by Sarah McLachlan
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro by Giacomo Puccini
West Side Story: Somewhere by Leonard Bernstein
Phantom of the Opera: All I Ask of You by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Xerxes: Ombra Mai Fu by George Frideric Handel
Lovers, song by Shigeru Umebayashi
Imaginer, song by Lara Fabian
The Lord’s Prayer by Albert Hay Malotte
To Believe, song by Matthew Evancho
Dream With Me, song by Jackie Evancho