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Subject: Re: Late Leontyne Price
From: William Fiorelli <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:William Fiorelli <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 13 Mar 2017 18:08:20 +0000
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Price never had a very strong middle and low register. In the later years her top was still in great shape, but the lower voice became weaker and the register breaks more apparent.  In order to compensate and to be heard Price used a raw chest sound on the bottom. I remember a late concert where she sang MY MAN'S GONE NOW from Porgy and Bess- the middle and bottom were in raw chest and the top in a glorious soprano sound.  It sounded as if two different people were singing!


      From: David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]>
 To: [log in to unmask] 
 Sent: Monday, March 13, 2017 1:51 PM
 Subject: Late Leontyne Price
   
I was listening yesterday to a Sirius Met. Verdi 'Requiem' from 1982 with
Price as the soprano, and was trying to analyze what we think of as her late
style.  The whoop/swoop is the thing most cited, but there was also a
virtual shriek when releasing notes, weirdly exaggerated emphases, and a
raucous almost parlando use of chest voice.  What struck me is that when
important singers who are aging either do or don't do things they used to,
it is because of some kind of technical deterioration.  But I had the sense
that all these things were conscious stylistic choices for her and by no
means necessary.  In the really tough places like that endless floated note
in the 'Sed signifer sanctus' she was impeccable, and she produced a
magnificent C in the 'Libera me', only to compromise it by a wild swoop
downward that would have embarrassed even Zinka. 

I have read that during the civil rights movement she came to feel her
singing was too European and began doing things that she thought more
authentically African-American, but this seems far-fetched to me.  Any thoughts?

David Kubiak

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