Ave Maria is the latest release from tenor Glenn Fernandez. Trained under Patrizia Zanardi, the singer works as an emergency room doctor and continues to find ways of helping people by performing and studying music. His previous work has been a hit with the LA Times and LA Weekly while also performing in classical music hubs such as Germany and Austria. The lead single from the album, Ave Maria Clouds, is his own version of the famous piece.
In Ave Maria Clouds it was clear that Fernandez felt more comfortable going from a low note to a high note, rather than the reverse, but still gave an excellent performance. Ave Maria Aurora was the version that I, as well as many others, was familiar with. The vocal ornaments were clear and clean except one around the 1:20 mark. His pronunciation of words, especially the consonances, in Ave Maria Moon was amazing. I could hear each individual word clearly without having to strain my ears. Ave Maria Galaxy used a pop-ballad drum pattern which I found to be an interesting choice. However, I wasn’t sold on the backing track. I thought it might have been prudent to place Panis Angelicus in between some of the Ave Maria tracks to break up the album and keep the listener on their toes.
Comfort Ye was probably the best on the track on the album. It suited his vocal tone and brought out his strengths through the long, held notes. The next track, Ev’ry Valley, had a different feel from the others. I thought he may have rushed some of the more complex, fast phrases in the beginning of the piece, but he improved as the piece progressed. Ye People brought yet another feel to the album, with more of an opera-style drama. Fernandez then switched to a narrative performance with If With All Your Hearts. The last track, Forward Into the Light, began with a playful piano part and had an intriguing harmonic structure.
Although I am no expert in classical voice (or any genre of singing) I thought Fernandez faired quite well. He chose familiar melodies and put much thought into the pronunciation and clearness of the lyrics. I give the album 8/10.
You can listen to the lead single from Ave Maria here
To listen to his music, check out his YouTube Channel