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Subject: Re: RIP Nicolai Gedda
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Thu, 9 Feb 2017 14:22:40 -0500

text/plain (41 lines)

Very sad news.  Gedda was one of the great tenors of the 20th century, 
without question.  He was the Duke on my first recording of Rigoletto, and 
I first got to know his voice from that.

Gedda had impeccable technique and musicianship, a wide vocal range, 
and facility in many different styles and languages.

"De mortuis nil nisi bonum," I know.  But I nevertheless have to say that, 
much as I admired him, Gedda was never one of my favorite singers, and 
although I was always happy to hear him and never questioned his fine 
qualities, I would never have bought a recording just on the basis that he 
was singing on it.  This is one of those completely subjective things.  I just 
never found the timbre of his voice particularly appealing or exciting.  And 
when I make a mental list of my favorite tenors, he is never on it.  Just to 
take one example: a comparison of the 1955 and 1959 Met broadcasts 
of "Les contes d'Hoffmann," the former with Tucker, the latter with Gedda.  
While Tucker is certainly excellent, Gedda is IMO better stylistically and 
musically and sings better French.  And yet...I much prefer to listen to 
Tucker because I just like his voice better.  He excites me, Gedda does 
not.  Same with the Carmen recordings with Corelli (RCA/Decca) and 
Gedda (EMI, with Callas).  Gedda sings rings around Corelli in terms of 
style, musicianship and linguistic facility.  And yet, I prefer Corelli because 
his voice "grabs" me whereas Gedda's does not.  Like I said, completely 
subjective.  But I suspect that there are a lot of people on this List who 
have the same response to Gedda that I do: I admired and esteemed him 
as a singer, but I did not love him.


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