Posted by Jay Livingston
(Not sociology but, to borrow Chris Uggen’s term, “self-indulgery.”)
Ward Swingle died last week. A few weeks earlier, I had been listening to this video of Andras Schiff playing the Bach C-minor partita, and I heard him play a wrong note in the Sinfonia. Maybe not wrong, but not what Bach wrote – a C instead of a B♭.* Ward Swingle was the reason I knew.
Here are the Swingle Singers lip-synching to that record. Funny, but what sounded so cool then, now sounds thin, even cheesy, especially with the drums, and I think it would be better a capella.
Because the Swingle Singers were based in Paris (many of them had been in the Double Six de Paris), I was surprised to learn from the obits that Swingle himself was not French (he grew up in Mobile, Alabama) and that Swingle really was his name rather than a nom-de-disque he invented because of its jazzy overtones.
* It comes at about the 2:00 mark.
** I am entirely self-taught (i.e., untaught) at the piano, and my left hand is pretty much useless for anything but chords.