Ever seen someone play a theremin? This video will astound you
Watch Grégoire Blanc play music by Glière at the University of Montreal
French theremin virtuoso Grégoire Blanc spent some time in Montreal recently and while there, he met local clarinetist Jenny Maclay and pianist Julien LeBlanc and enlisted them to play an arrangement of Reinhold Glière's Concerto for Coloratura and Orchestra, Op. 82, at l'Université de Montréal's Salle Serge-Garant.
The piece is a successor to Rachmaninoff's famous Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14, in which a soprano's wordless lines intertwine with, and soar over, the orchestra. Because the theremin is so good at replicating the human voice, Glière's Concerto is a perfect fit for this unusual instrument whose inventor, Léon Theremin, was the protagonist of Sean Michael's Giller Prize-winning novel, Us Conductors.
Patented in 1928, the theremin has a small but devoted following of enthusiasts, but it remains a marginal instrument. With 25,000 YouTube subscribers, Blanc is determined to change that. If you've never seen someone play a theremin — an electronic instrument that's controlled without any physical contact by the performer — then Blanc's video will astound you. Watch above.