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Subject: Re: Tebaldi Aida under Karajan
From: "Takis Pavl." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Takis Pavl.
Date:Wed, 28 Sep 2016 06:40:25 +0000
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Yes David, Tebaldi's high register including the C's in the early and mid 50s were unbelievably rich, full of squillo and on pitch, so for those interested in counting high C's, there are enough of those to admire (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0bTz2aHlrE) . The soft piano singing up there was unique in that it was a fully supported sound and she could even make those steady long notes float. It's no surprise the reviews in the 50s often raved about that.    

"Io quella lama" was indeed a highlight of her Toscas. In the Buenos Aires, London and the MET Toscas that phrase is particularly admirable and one can marvel at her unique seamless range. It really showcases how a voice should be from top to bottom, like a singing lesson. It's customary to rush that phrase, wobble on the top C and choke going down to the chest register with hardly any sound coming out. With Tebaldi the voice responds from the first io, blooms and keeps ringing all the way down to the end of that phrase. And of course there's that glorious pathos with it that made her such a wonderful Tosca. 

Takis

      From: David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]>
 To: [log in to unmask] 
 Sent: Tuesday, 27 September 2016, 17:54
 Subject: Re: Tebaldi Aida under Karajan
   
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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