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Subject: Fwd: Re: Tanglewood Salome with Voigt - Who was there?
From: Andrew Moravcsik <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Andrew Moravcsik <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 6 Aug 2001 14:03:03 -0400

text/plain (57 lines)

>Date:         Mon, 6 Aug 2001 13:48:19 -0400
>From: Jeremiah Zetterstrand <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject:      Re: Tanglewood Salome with Voigt - Who was there?
>To: Andrew Moravcsik <[log in to unmask]>
>Hi.  I was there and here is my overall impression.  Feel free to send back
>my review to the List.
>Most cordially, Jeremiah
>A triumph?  Must have been for the many Voigt fans who made the trip to
>Tanglewood Saturday night.  Let's face it, Voigt was too often off pitch on
>the flat side, and hoarse.  Clearly a great deal of Salome's music lies in
>the passaggio (and above it), an uncomfortable area for most sopranos of our
>time let alone Voigt.  The end result is that she sounded like a blur w/o
>pitch centers and w/o discernible phrases.  There was hardly any beautiful
>singing to be heard from her.  What's worse, she lacks a unique sound world
>AND a unique world of expression, the stuff that separates the truly great
>from the rest.  In other words, she is a dutiful and competent but generic
>vocalist.  Nothing more but much less.  My companion and I did not think
>she would make it to the end, for she sounded tired and breathy already
>less than halfway through the piece.  That she somehow finished was a
>miracle.  Nothing about the character was conveyed.  Perhaps b/c the woman
>lacks the "required?" silvery voice (remember that Strauss himself wanted
>Elisabeth Schumann to sing the part)?  Also, she can't float her top and
>simply lacks a piano, never mind pianissimi.  No subleties.  No artistry.
>It was all park and deliver, Florida-room-temperature-condo style.  Unlike
>the other principals, nothing from her projected life and spontaneity,
>something so necessary in music-making especially in our age of tip-toeing
>through egg-shells.  That she was the ONLY ONE singing WITH A SCORE speaks
>volumes.  Couldn't she memorize it like the other professionals around
>her?  The mind reels at the mere thought of future Isoldes and
>Marschallins.  How will she get through the first?
>The best and more vivid vocalism and characterisations came from the other
>principals: Albert Dohmen (a wonderful Jochanaan replacing an indisposed
>Falk Struckmann), Kenneth Riegel (an equally wonderful Herod replacing an
>indisposed and long past his prime Siegfried Jerusalem [why is he hired by
>Ozawa?]), and Jane Henschel (a hammy but wild Herodias).  Up and coming EMI
>artiste Katarina Karneus was simply inaudible so nothing can be written
>about her.
>Ozawa disappointed much.  He is NO opera conductor.  Maybe this will
>change, as a necessity, once he faces the Viennese.  But at his age it is
>rather unlikely.  The man erased all the rough-edges and yet the orchestra
>was too loud too often.  Other than Karneus (whose voice is the size of a
>dime) Voigt in particular could not be heard at times towards and during
>the finale.  No one is to blame for this but Ozawa.  About 1/3 through the
>piece there was a veritable trainwreck when orchestra and soloists went
>their separate ways.  That the orchestra was capable of regaining its track
>says much about its professionalism.
>The night was neither disaster nor triumph.  And although the audience
>erupted in predictable ovations and bravos my companion and I heard some
>boos directed at Voigt, drowned by her fans' own triumphant trip, of

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