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Subject: Re: Late Leontyne Price
From: daaaac <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:daaaac <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 13 Mar 2017 14:28:02 -0400
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Hers was a voice of great generosity throughout her career and no matter what direction it went.  I remember her singing the Rorem  Alleluia and sliding up to a perfectly pitched high E natural.  I also remember her release of the final note in Di tale amor as she walked offstage, sliding up into the stratosphere.  This also happened in in Pace in Forza.  In complete performances, the arias were perfection; the rest of the opera less so.

> On Mar 13, 2017, at 2:16 PM, John Rahbeck <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> I think nit picking and second guessing the motives behind every  scoop a 
> great singer does in their decline does a diservice unless you  also bring up 
> what she did well and that a total picture ensues. I guess  I have gotten 
> tired of people focusing on only the negative, and I  see  the enevitable 
> "race " issue emerging. She was a great singer who had  to piss in a dixie cup 
> because she wasn't allowed to use whites only bathrooms,  and had to say in 
> raunchy hotels over state lines where people of color weren't  allowed to 
> stay at certain hotels in certain states, when she performed so  if she was a 
> little sensitive, doesn't that deserve  measure of mercy as  well, and while 
> it is true that some singers of color over used the race card, I  think we 
> have to keep some perspective. Recent political events have indicated  that 
> racism still abounds.
> John Rahbeck
> 
> 
> In a message dated 3/13/2017 10:52:00 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
> [log in to unmask] writes:
> 
> 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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