The first time I saw Vanessa-Mae was …

First impressions certainly last a lifetime ..

Just recently, I ran across a video on Youtube of Vanessa-Mae performing on the Rosie O’Donnell show back in 1996.  It certainly brings back some very pleasant memory, as I see the violin performed in such a way that is attractive, hip, and relevant.  The very next week, her first pop CD (The Violin Player) was mine!

She performs Mike Batt’s modern interpretation of Bach’s Toccata & Fugue.  This also is the first of her pop singles and the title track on the Violin Player album.  Even now, it still gives me shivers.  It’s quite a treat to see how beautiful she portrays just not of herself, but the violin as well.

Live in the flesh ..

She plays this piece quite often on various shows at the time, but this particular performance has two major distinctions.  First, she plays this live.  Unfortunately, due to technical or time constraints, she often mimes if she is just appearing on a TV show.  In this case, she plays 100% live.  Secondly, she often has a few members of her band accompany her during performances.  In this case, there are none and is solely assisted by Rosie’s Band.  I am particularly impressed because I imagine that they only had a few hours of practice at the most before the show aired.

So what do you think?  Do you agree that this is a particularly engaging performance by Vanessa-Mae?  Are there better ones??  Please let me know!

~Ben

Personal favorite performance of Toccata & Fugue by Vanessa-Mae …

Will this performance become your personal favorite?

If you were to ask me my personal favorite Vanessa-Mae song, I’d have to say Red Hot.  However, she’s best known for Mike Batt’s arrangement for Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in D Minor.  After all, this song was released as her very first single, and the title track on her first pop album.  In fact, it reached #24 on the Billboard charts.  To my knowledge, no other violinist has ever reached that high where the solo instrument is the violin.

My Personal Favorite Performance of Toccata & Fugue
Vanessa-Mae performs Toccata & Fugue in front a huge crowd in Germany. (Picture taken in 1996)

She still performs it to this day!  However, this particular video performance of this classic tune is especially .. well .. special.  The reason?  She performs in front of a huge crowd who gives her HUGE cheers at the end.  Secondly, she looks absolutely beautiful and her technique was on point as usual.  Lastly, she performs this piece on her acoustic violin where she normally uses her electric violin.  This makes a huge difference and sounds so much better in my opinion

Enjoy!!!

P.S. Believe it or not, this was recorded over 20 years ago!