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Subject: Re: Pol Plancon sings Cantique de Noel
From: Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 15 Dec 2016 15:24:00 -0500
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James,

I too love the sound of Plancon's voice and agree with your comments on
Edouard De Reszke.  What Plancon has in spades is elegance and his recorded
voice was certainly in better shape than De Reszke's.  Is there a more
beautiful recording of "Vi Ravviso" from Sonnambula than Plancon's? His
florid technique is simply beyond the compass of any bass I've heard either
recorded or live.

Steve

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDi4qrhY2rc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8C_eUUHxGA



On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 1:22 PM, James Camner <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> The Price album is a treasure. What a voice!
>
> I love the sound of Plancon's voice. I also like the sound of Edouard De
> Reszke's voice though likely it's just a shadow of what it must have been
> twenty years earlier, the same probably for Plancon. For instance if we
> listen to late Pinza he doesn't have the same richness in the 50s that he
> had in the 1920s.
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iAd85gz8YM
>
> It's hard to reconcile the De Reszke recording with the idea that he was
> probably the biggest star bass of the last quarter of the 19th Century, he
> surely sounded different when he sang the King in Aida under Verdi in 1876.
> But the antiquarian in me loves the sound of these old records. There is
> also a lot to hear and more to imagine in the tantalizing Huguenots
> snippets by Mapleson from 1903:
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj1OESxtbNs
>
> Best,
> James
>
>
>
> On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 4:52 AM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > James
> >
> > I think this is a classic case of the conflict between voice
> > and vocalism. Plancon is widely regarded as a superb
> > technician who was never defeated by notes on a page,
> > nut many people have trouble with the "sound", myself
> > included. He never really sounds like a true bass, and he
> > often comes off as affected, in the worst sense.
> >
> > My three favorites are Thill, whose vocalism is a
> > barrage of tonal and textual thrills, Leontyne, whose
> > repose is beyond jaw dropping, and Bjorling, whose
> > performance is a little like "the three bears" - one was
> > too hot, one too cold, and one was just right. Having
> > said that, it is the Thill that most knocks my socks off.
> >
> > On a related note, listen to "We Three Kings" on the
> > Price/Von Karajan Christmas Album. The final phrase
> > is just about the most hauntingly beautiful vocal effect
> > I've ever heard. The whole album is extraordinary!
> >
> > Bob
> >
> > On Wed, 14 Dec 2016 22:02:53 -0800, James Camner <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > >Well taste is taste and there's no arguing about it. We all like what we
> > >like and no defense is necessary.
> > >
> > >I was disappointed with Florez's Cantique de Noel. I played it for my
> wife
> > >and we both, being Florez fans, were surprised at how unsteady it is,
> > there
> > >is a beat in his voice, but also he lacks the rock solid control the
> aria
> > >demands. If not Plancon, then listen to Caruso
> > >
> > >https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XPZRI4L5H8
> > >
> > >Or Thill:
> > >
> > >https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS8G_LyYlso
> > >
> > >I don't think Florez is in the league of either.  Historically Plancon
> was
> > >a giant, Caruso supposedly complained that he was 'too perfect" but I
> once
> > >speculated on the list that if he were on the stage today, he wouldn't
> > >appeal to a modern audience. He's far too cultivated, elegant, light
> > >voiced, he is from a period before Verismo (which is ingrained in all
> > >singing today, even when those singers are doing stuff like Bellini or
> > even
> > >Handel) and I'm positive that Plancon along with his colleagues
> including
> > >both De Reszkes, Battistini, Melba, Patti, Calve, etc etc would flop
> today
> > >if they were magically transported in their prime to stand and sing at
> the
> > >Met today. I daresay that someone like Patricia Racette would probably
> be
> > >preferred to Emma Eames.
> > >
> > >But it's all guessing. Kind of like wondering if Babe Ruth could get a
> hit
> > >today off of Clayton Kershaw. Fun stuff.
> > >
> > >Happy Holidays to all!
> > >
> > >James Camner
> > >
> > >On Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 6:04 PM, tom ponti <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > >
> > >> Sorry, but to my ears this performance is dreadful, in every way. Try
> > >> Elina Granca or Juan Diego Florez on You Tube.  There is also a
> > Christmas
> > >> in Vienna, 2008, concert where they sing it together. This concert has
> > two
> > >> other wonderful singers, a boy's choir and adult choir. My favorite O
> > Holy
> > >> Night has always been that of Leontyne Price on her first Christmas
> > Album,
> > >> with Von K.
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> ------------------------------
> > >> *From:* Discussion of opera and related issues <
> > [log in to unmask]>
> > >> on behalf of James Camner <[log in to unmask]>
> > >> *Sent:* Tuesday, December 13, 2016 4:06 AM
> > >> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> > >> *Subject:* [OPERA-L] Pol Plancon sings Cantique de Noel
> > >>
> > >> Many good recordings to choose of Cantique de Noel including superb
> > >> readings by Caruso, Bjoerling, Thill, Fischer-Dieskau and Pavarotti,
> but
> > >> this is the one I hear in my head as the definitive one:
> > >>
> > >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_ULgI3Q2w0
> > >> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_ULgI3Q2w0>
> > >> Pol Plançon, Cantique de Noël (Adolphe Adam) (Victor, 1903)
> > >> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_ULgI3Q2w0>
> > >> www.youtube.com
> > >> Happy holidays & best wishes for the New Year! The great French Basse
> > >> Chantante and one of the giants of the "Golden Age of Opera", Pol
> > Plançon
> > >> (1851-1914) in ...
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> Enjoy!
> > >>
> > >> James Camner
> > >>
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