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Subject: Serious Question
From: Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 23 Apr 2017 08:43:49 -0400

text/plain (25 lines)

The current discussion about Anna Netrebko in Eugene Onegin has made me curious and I hope someone on the list can help me understand.  I’m not trying to be flippant but, as a non-musician, I’m trying to understand.  The issue is pitch and whether pitch, in a specific situation like this Onegin, is relative or absolute.

Here’s where I get confused.  In the comments concerning the broadcast / HD, two distinct. polar opposite opinions emerged:  (1) Netrebko’s performance was flawless (at her best) and (2) she sang off-pitch (unable to marshal her instrument) and sharp.  Can both be true at the same time?

If we set aside performer charisma and toss out the issue of individual musicality and focus simply and solely on the singer’s ability to produce the right notes in concert with the orchestra and score, is pitch an absolute?  Can it be objectively proven when a singer is off-pitch?  Is there a degree in which ‘relative’ pitch in lieu of ‘absolute’ pitch is acceptable? 

This issue of pitch comes up often enough to make me scratch my head so I am merely using this series of posts as the basis for my question.  It is not meant to demean Netrebko in any way.  

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