Music

A Ranking Of Laudate Dominums (Domini?)

When I was a teenager, Mozart’s Laudate Dominum was the only piece I could play on the piano that wasn’t something I’d made up. It had the dual advantage of being fun to play and also good to sing, and although I’ve long forgotten how to play it (something I intend to rectify), I do sometimes like to belt it out in my living room.

The other day I was supposed to be doing something boring, so instead I decided to look up Laudate Dominum on YouTube and listen to some people singing it. I heard several versions before stumbling across the two that became my favourites, so I thought I’d rank them all here, in case other people also want to distract themselves with classical music instead of getting work done.

So here we go. A ranking of Laudate Dominums (actually, I’ve just looked it up and the plural is dominōs, but with my inferior Latin that distracts me into thinking it means “Praise the dominos” (or perhaps “Praise the Domino’s”. I’m sure Mozart would appreciate a stuffed crust pizza.))

I didn’t rank every single one on YouTube because that would have taken me several more hours, but I went through the first few I could find before resigning myself to going back to work.

In order of least to most favourite:

Katherine Jenkins

To be fair, she didn’t do a terrible job of it. But my first thought was “Why are they rushing it? You can’t rush Laudate Dominum!” and I never quite got over it.

Emma Kirkby

Just didn’t really do anything for me. Maybe because I couldn’t see her singing it though.

Hibla Gerzmava

Lots of people raving about this version on YouTube. I get it, she’s masterful, but it didn’t move me.

Cecilia Bartoli

Her vocal control is brilliant, and I expect that if the video quality were higher, she might have been further up my list. As it is, I think this is a wonderful version. Just enough restraint, just enough passion.

Nicoletta Panni

I thought the tempo on this one was perfect. And I love the occasional flash of an Italian accent.

Barbara Hendricks

Such a rich voice, with so much control. Sent shivers down my spine. And she’s a master of the “Amen” immediately after the choir’s verse, which is my favourite bit.

Lucia Popp

I think this is the version I listened to as a teenager when I was learning to sing it, so in my mind it’ll always be the “definitive” one. And the control! She’s wonderful.

Agree? Disagree? Who’s your favourite? Any other versions I should listen to?

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