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Subject: Re: "Herodiade" at Carnegie Hall 1963 (was Re: What is a "huge" voice?)
From: daaaac <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:daaaac <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 30 May 2017 14:07:30 -0400
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I’ve said this before on this list, but a friend said the largest voice he ever heard was Crespin on a bad night :-)

Donald
> On May 30, 2017, at 1:10 PM, Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Interesting review.  Schoenberg speaks the truth.  Crespin weilded the
> largest voice I ever heard at full throttle, but she could back off and
> sing the most delicate line and pianissimos.  While it lasted, it was one
> of the miracles of its day.  Very much like Tebaldi in the size and
> delicacy with which she could use it.  Of course later on as the top
> receded and the voice became more difficult to control, she rarely let it
> out full tilt.  Those of you who only heard her from the mid 70's on, have
> little idea of the size of this voice.  As Milanov produced a more
> controlled, somewhat smaller sound in the 50's and 60's compared to the
> absolute torrent of sound she could unleash in the 30's and 40's, Crespin
> made similar adjustments in her voice.  I will repeat it again, in the late
> 60's, on stage with Birgit Nilsson in the 3rd Act of Walkure, both ladies
> hurled forth huge tones into the Met auditorium.  Nilsson, focused and
> laser like, hit you square in the face.  Crespin was like Niagara, you were
> assaulted from all sides.  I guess it was like with the comparison of
> Flagstad or Traubel vs Nilsson.
> 
> Donald
> 
> On Tue, May 30, 2017 at 9:50 AM, Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>> Tom Ponti wrote:
>> 
>> "According to one reviewer, there was little paint remaining on the walls
>> after the two ladies
>> [Regine Crespin & Rita Gorr] stopped singing."
>> 
>> Yes, apparently it was a loud and exciting night.  From H.C. Schonberg's
>> NYT review:
>> 
>> " 'Herodiade' may be a tintype, but at least it does not lack effective
>> vocal moments.  and
>> the singers last night took full advantage of those moments.  Carnegie
>> Hall was filled with
>> some of the loudest, lustiest singing heard hereabouts in ages.  Whether
>> or not Massenet
>> intended to have his tunes belted out so violently is another matter.
>> Certainly the old
>> singers who recorded the popular parts of the score did not blast their
>> way through it as did
>> the principals on this occasion.
>> 
>> "We all know Rita Gorr has a big voice.  Last night she was positively
>> earsplitting when she
>> let loose.  The leading tenor part, that of John the Baptist, was sung by
>> Guy Chauvet.  He is
>> a Frenchman who was making his New York debut, and he too seemed to
>> operate only on a
>> fortissimo level.  His voice is hard and lacks any kind of sensuous
>> coloration, but the young
>> man does have good lungs and is not in the least bashful about showing
>> them off.
>> 
>> "In size of voice, Regine Crespin matched anybody in the cast.  But in her
>> case there was a
>> significant difference.  She can mix timbres and dynamics and here she
>> did, throwing in
>> some perfectly beautiful pianissimo singing on occasion.  Miss Crespin is
>> a dramatic soprano
>> with something of Milanov in her sound and production.  The one weak part
>> of her vocalism
>> is the somewhat jagged sound she produces at full voice above the staff.
>> Otherwise she is a
>> great singer, one of the really important ones of this decade."
>> 
>> MDW
>> 
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