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Subject: Re: Piotr Beczala visits Met Archives; interesting interview
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Tue, 13 Dec 2016 19:25:40 -0500

text/plain (32 lines)

Vesna wrote:

"I think [Bezcala's] desire to do a recording with the technology available ca. 1910 would
be a marvelous service to all of us, so that, as Beczala generously offers,
we can compare a tenor sound we hear today with modern technology or live
with that from the Caruso times."

I have wanted opera singers to do this for years.  It would be so instructive to compare a 
voice recorded using authentic acoustic apparatus with the voice we know live.  We could hear 
what was lost (or retained) in the old process, which would perhaps help us to "fill in the 
gaps" when we listen to those old recordings.  At the very least, it would inspire a great deal 
of caution in judging singers whose only recordings are acoustic.  I also think we might be 
surprised at how much of a singer's voice could be captured by the old process.

I seem to recall that Birgit Nilsson made such a recording (acoustic) to play for a "singer 
identification" question on an opera quiz in the '60s.  None of the panelists could identify the 
singer and I believe one said that it could not be any singer of great repute!


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