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Renee Fleming: I’ve been healed by my voice

February 17, 2018 by norman lebrecht

9 comments.


The soprano, who has taken a lively interest in neuroscience, has been speaking on a Stanford Medicine podcast.

During our conversation we talked about the healing power of music, and I asked whether her voice ever heals her. “That’s an interesting question,” she responded. “I think singing, definitely, and music in general has a huge power over me. When I sing the four last songs of Richard Strauss – which I’ve sung more than anything in my repertoire – in the last piece, I am in a meditative state. My breathing slows down. I can suddenly lift of out of my daily life, and that happens every time. I would say ‘yes’ is the answer to that.”

Listen to the full podcast here.


Comments (9)

  1. Peter Owen says:

    Another compelling bit of evidence of the positive impact music has on the brain. That’s why, of course, the Department of Education puts music at the core of every state school’s curriculum.

    1. Rodney Friend says:

      LOL

    2. Michael Comins says:

      Yes – a DeVos favorite….

  2. urania says:

    Well this is well known, nothing new. 1931 in the Commercial Tribune:

    AS WAVES PASSING OVER AN UNCLEAN AERA WASHING AWAY ITS IMPURITIES, SO THE VIBRATIONS OF MUSIC ARE MOVING THROUGH THE SENSITIVE HUMAN BODY CELLS WASHING AWAY THE DISEASE LOGED THEREIN.

    RECENTLY WE READ IN THE NEW YORK TIMES THAT AN EXPERIMENT WAS CONDUCTED IN WHICH A CERTAIN VIBRATION OF THE VIOLIN EXTINGUISED THE LIGHT OF A CANDLE. VIBRATIONS ACT LIKE WAVES. AS WAVES PASSING OVER AN UNCLEAN AREA CAN WASH IT OF ALL IMPURITIES, SO ALSO STRONG TREMORS OF VIBRATION MOVING THROUGH THE FINE TISSUES OF ULTRASENITIVE HUMAN BODY CELLS, WASH AWAY THE DISEASES LOGED THEREIN. THAT IS WHY GOOD SONGS – WHEN PROPERLY LISTENED TO – OFTEN DISPEL DARK SORROW FROM THE BRAIN.

    Karajan knew this, all great musicians expierence this in one way or another regulary.
    I myself trust music with a certain intensity/frequency for healing.

    1. ElizaX says:

      I wonder if you could suggest a piece of music to help with constipation?

      1. norman lebrecht says:

        Anything by Scheidt

        1. Carl Grapentine says:

          Or Schütz.

          1. Neil Booth says:

            ….or the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss..!

          2. Anon E. Mous says:

            Or Poos


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