Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Top 10 Incredible Recordings

This is just nutty. The list includes an exorcism, a ridiculous soprano who hits a note that sounds more like whistling than signing, the last 30 minutes of the Jonestown Massacre and the only recording of a castrato (admittedly I didn’t listen to most on the list as I didn’t think I had the stomach for it).

A bit more on the castrato recording: Apparently it was recorded in 1902 when Alessandro Moreschi was 44 years old. According to the BBC, “In 17th and 18th Century Italy, about 4,000 boys were castrated each year, from the age of eight upwards, with the aim of making a fortune as opera singers and soloists with choirs in churches and royal palaces . . . By 1870, the Italian government had banned such castration in the cause of art.”

December 12, 2007