Some are in Awe of Jackie Evancho’s Singing — Others Hear Only Flaws


An online writer who goes by the name Ehkzu has published on his blog Ehkzu Artzu an excellent article, ‘Listening to Musical Experts Tell Me What’s Wrong with Jackie Evancho‘.

Ehkzu considers two categorical responses to Jackie’s singing, awe and indifference.

The musician who plays flawlessly but without ‘heart’, or the music expert interested only in technical competence, are apt to find Jackie’s music uninteresting.

Critics who say Jackie is technically flawless give her a back-handed compliment. They overlook her artistry, her genius for interpretation, those elements of beauty in her singing that have nothing to do with technical perfection.

We agree with Ehkzu that those who listen with both heart and head find Jackie’s singing overwhelmingly beautiful.

Read Ehkzu’s essay; it will get you thinking.

Ehkzu 1

17 thoughts on “Some are in Awe of Jackie Evancho’s Singing — Others Hear Only Flaws

  1. Who cares what a few so called experts say about hearing flaws in Jackie Evancho’s singing! It just so happens that millions of people just enjoy her singing ability, and the emotion she puts into every song she sings. I have never heard her just sing a song, she lives it!! And that’s why people tear up when she sings. Very few singers in the world have that ability.That’s all there is to it.

    • It is so funny to read some wannabe experts that try to be ‘benevolent’ and write things like: Oh! Jackie was very well on the concert last night. She hit almost all the notes!…… Damn it!!!! I wish some of them could show me what note Jackie sang out of tune. I have collected more than 700 videos in almost 3 years and I never heard Jackie failing one note. When she was 9 and 10 she missed the lyrics a couple of times (at Debra Crosby and Chefs for Seals, as I remember now) – Just that! But not hitting the notes? Those ‘experts’ are really laughable. As they do not speak Italian, they never noticed the lyrics. If they did, they would stone Jackie, I believe.
      Despite all of this, Jacqueline Marie goes ahead, for my total delight. Listening “Please rise for the National Anthem to be performed by Jackie Evancho” caused me goosebumps, even living in Brazil and being Chilean.

  2. Many people love Mozart. Many don’t.
    Many people love Jackie Evancho’s voice. Many don’t.
    There are psychological reasons for these facts but it may be best just to listen to what we love and leave the critics to
    their own devices. ;)

    Oh, and thanks for the blog by Ehkzu. His love for writing is evident. :)

  3. Jackie has the most powerful voice on earth? No… Jackie has the widest range? No… Jackie is an opera singer? No… So, what Jackie has? Simply the most wonderful voice, the most wonderful art to use it, the most wonderful sweetness (a very subjective quality), and an outstanding beauty. I’ve felt moved by many artists in my life (62) but Jackie has been the only one that put me on my knees, crying like a baby (not the least shamed to admit it)
    . And I used to think I was a tough guy. What did I know!

  4. Reading the article I had to smile a bit, it brought back some conversations from around the dinner table in my youth. I grew up with a classical pianist for a Mother and a Father that considered Sousa as the epitome of music. He also passed his musical talents to me in that I cannot carry a tune in a ten ton truck. I was taught from an early age to play piano. I can hit the notes on the page as they are written, a listener can identify the music I am playing, but I cannot make it the glorious sounds that Chopin or Bach intended. I like to call myself a musical mechanic.

    If one listens to Richard Clayderman play on some songs you are carried to the heavens, on others you can identify the song as all the notes are there, but… I like to think I can tell which pieces he likes and those he plays to fill out the album. Ehkzu calls it “heart;” I like to think it is a connection from the instrument directly to the “heart” of the player or singer.

    Miss Evancho can evoke that connection on everything she sings. There is a saying that a singer “sells the song.” She does this in spades. Barbra Streisand can do this, as well as a lot of professional singers that do not really have a singing voice; it is the art of pleasing, communicating with the audience.

  5. Further to his comments in that particular article he also writes in an article entitled,
    “Why don’t I watch Glee any more?”

    “Lastly, one thing that could really shake things up would be to do a ballad week and bring in (for just one or two episodes) 13 year old singer Jackie Evancho, who has a voice so beautiful–regardless of age–that many grown people weep when she sings.”

    Perhaps they could tie that story into her Catholic upbringing?

    Yeah, right.

    We all know that SOME things are just NOT acceptable on television!

  6. I have long argued with critics of Jackie who judge her talent purely on technical perfection or technique … most opera fanatics being quite judgmental on her lack of operatic technical perfection as if that is a serious flaw and that Jackie is derelict in ignoring more intensive technical training. The problem I have with that view is that they continually discount or outright overlook her ability to evoke passion and emotion in her listeners .. or at least most. Those who listen for technical flaws for “aha!” notes are similar to those who prefer precise figures to artistry on ice. Jackie has an uncanny way of wringing emotion from a song and doing the same for her many listeners who never had such an experience from other singers.

    It is inexplicable but real, plain as that, and not every singer has it, even those with “technical perfection.” It maddens technophiles that Jackie is heralded above such singers as if art can be distilled into quantifiable numbers that completely ignore audience response. I have always submitted that the goal of an artist is to first express oneself and then evoke a response from a viewer or listener that expands their appreciation for that art. If an artist can do that, then I believe technique has to take a back seat. Others vehemently object to that point of view.

    Other forums are clogged with the back and forth debate of Jackie’s merits and Ehkzu not only is clearly in Jackie’s corner but is reasoned, learned, and relevant. He often skewers detractors with their own rapier and we respond and think very similarly. He can be “guilty” of showing off his broad expanse of knowledge but I enjoy his commentary very much.

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