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Subject: Re: Leontyne Price - Another perspective
From: "Takis Pavl." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Takis Pavl.
Date:Thu, 16 Mar 2017 21:43:13 +0000
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If Sutherland's diction is classified as a mannerism that affected the "vocalism", we cannot deny that Callas' diction became quite problematic too, especially when the vocal technique started showing its fundamental flaws. Hence the Italian jokes about her "Sulce sulce!" in the Willow song recording and "tesuru" and "risturu" in the recording of Porgi Amor (I'll never understand how she allowed this recording to be released, she's wobbly, flat, and can't hold the sustained notes). Healthy vocalism includes clean vowels and that is not the case with late Callas. Her A and O vowels were severely affected as the technique was starting to fall apart. I'd say her musicality remained intact but so did Sutherland's. In the case of Price I agree with Bob that it sounds like she sort of made a decision to start messing with the music. But I still hear a dramatic deterioration of the middle and lower registers. Maybe it was her way of compensating. Gruberova did the same after the late 90s. She invented her own way of singing the lows and getting through the dramatic bel canto roles. 

Takis

      From: Sergio da Silva <[log in to unmask]>
 To: [log in to unmask] 
 Sent: Thursday, 16 March 2017, 15:47
 Subject: Re: Leontyne Price - Another perspective
   
Bob,
    Right on, not all but a lot of singers acquire mannerism as they age, Sutherland’s diction come to mind and yes it is maddening. You did mention Price sounded fine on the Karajan Trovatore studio recording (w/Bonisiolli) and we have to thank Karajan for that, the very first day she started singing on the recording, Karajan stopped her and then coached her back into shape. So I guess what happened is she did not get push back from conductors after a while, so she kept doing the bad things she did.
    I think Callas is a good case where “vocalism” remained intact but the voice deteriorated. Just listen to the recording tapes of Verdi arias, her vocalism is astounding, she sings most early Verdi which is fiendishly difficult with such mastery that the orchestra spontaneously applaud her even though the voice had a lot of problems.
    Price had no wobble as she aged too, to me the large, uncontrolled vibrato is a major factor in shortening a singer’s career, I usually can’t stand it no matter whatever other qualities a singer has to offer.
    The other thing about Price is she was not much of an interpreter/actress, her characterizations were mostly exaggerated but the voice was indeed a marvel!
    Take care,
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