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Subject: Re: Tebaldi Aida under Karajan
From: David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:54:38 -0400
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I think Tebaldi's difficulties in the Karajan recording are pretty well
known by now, including the electronically produced C in 'O patria mia'.  I
would prefer to remember her in the part as heard in the early 50's, where
the piano top notes in the Tomb Scene are quite incredibly beautiful.

Conrad Osborne wrote once that the only three sopranos he had heard who
could dominate the triumphal scene concertato were Tebaldi, Nilsson, and
Rysanek.  From the earliest recordings Tebaldi always seemed to me to have a
huge voice -- if anything her Mimi was too massive and her 'Butterfly'
ending an Italian Immolation Scene.  This extraordinary natural gift is what
eventually got her into trouble, of course.  She talked herself about the
voice becoming heavier and heavier 'until there was no voice' in '63.  

One final point about the sagging top.  While she struggles in '59 with
'Aida', she was still capable of producing huge C's in 'Tosca' at 'io quella
lama' in '60 and '61. For some reason that particular C was a good one for
her -- there are tapes where the performance stops at this point because of
a prolonged ovation.  

David Kubiak

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