LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for OPERA-L Archives


OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives


View:

Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font

Options:

Join or Leave OPERA-L
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives


Subject: Re: orchestration and tuning (diapason)
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:52:36 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

text/plain (180 lines)


Bellini did write the F. And musically speaking, it makes perfect sense. (The phrase before 
that crests to the Db - the F is the next highest chord tone and is "raising the stakes" in a 
musical/dramatic way. The way a lot of tenors have gotten around that is to eliminate the 
first Db and lower it to an Ab, so that going to a Db in the 2nd phrase will still sound 
higher. When I've heard tenors do 2 Db's instead, it lacks the build that the 2nd phrase 
should have. 

Given that in that time, most of a tenor's "above the staff" notes would have been in head 
voice, the way this entire musical section would sound would be very very different to our 
ears. The high F, though still most likely a difficult note, wouldn't have sounded so out of 
place if even the Bb's and possibly Ab's were sung with more head resonance. We also 
have to remember that with a smaller orchestra and in a smaller venue, and with a 
different general expectation of how the tenor voice would have sounded, the transition 
from "regular" voice to that head voice would not have been so pronounced as it is today, 
and he wouldn't have had to sing with quite so much power to be heard. 

So I think it's truly hard to judge exactly the effect that F would have had in Bellini's day - 
certainly still showy, but not quite the circus stunt it's become in the day of the can belto 
tenor, lol. 

But I suppose Muti would have wanted it in there, because that would indeed be "come 
scritto" lol. 



On Wed, 21 Jun 2017 22:51:50 -0500, Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>John:
>
>     I've heard virtually all of the You Tube high F's.  To me, they're just too damn high 
and they all sound like castrated capons.  I don't like ANY tenor singing that particular 
note.  The way it's placed in the key of A flat.  From that A flat (already above of the 
stave)  to the F is a long, long way.   The high D flat is a sufficient feat as it is.  And though 
I admired his technique, I was never nuts about the voice quality of Rockwell Blake.   My 
favorite is Florez, and I don't believe he ever took that terrible note.  He didn't need to.  
Neither did Pavarotti, especially in view of what he ultimately produced on the recording.  I 
much prefer his earlier Arturo from La Scala with Freni in 1969 under Muti, who, I am sure, 
wouldn't have allowed him to take the note anyway------------even if Bellini wrote one or 
not (I'm not sure, but I'd hope not!).
>
>                                                                                               
>
>> 
>>     On June 21, 2017 at 7:05 PM John Irving <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>>     I believe Gedda did sing in full voice an F from a Philadelphia Puritani with 
Sutherland from the sixties. Rockwell Blake and Gregory Kunde have attempted this 
stratospheric note as well as others. I believe there are you tube videos which document 
many tenors attempting this feat, many in falsetto.
>> 
>>     John
>> 
>>     Sent from my iPhone
>> 
>>         > > 
>> >         On Jun 21, 2017, at 6:32 PM, Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]> 
wrote:
>> > 
>> >         Hi All:
>> >         Only my own personal opinion which only reflects my own feelings. I do not 
have perfect pitch either (I guess I have approximate pitch in that I can certainly tell if a 
singer is veering flat or sharp). I started studying piano when I was five (I begged for them 
and my parents were thrilled to indulge me). I also started listening to opera very early on. 
Until around twenty years ago, I felt transpositions to be a definite "no-no". I had far more 
respect for a singer who tried for a top note and failed than for a singer who would even 
think of transposition.
>> >         I've moderated my feelings about this considerably. After doing a lot of 
listening, I discovered that in "Norma", both Milanov and Ponselle indulged in 
transpositions; Tebaldi transposed by a half or whole key the finale of Act One of 
"Traviata"; Corelli transposed "Di Quella Pira" downwards into B; other tenors transposed 
in "Boheme, Marilyn Horne transposed "O don fatale" in "Don Carlo" (a role she had no 
business singing in the first place), and I'm sure there are many other instances where 
singers have transposed downwards, or perhaps relinquished a top note immediately after 
arriving there (Milanov seemed to be prone to this on the high C in "O Patria Mia" (though 
her top C on the RCA commercial recording is superb and beautiful ----- no doubt due to 
the fact that there was ample opportunity for her to get it right free of live performance 
tension).
>> >         Callas and Sutherland got people used to hearing a top E flat at the end of Act I 
of Traviata because major Violetas before them --- Steber, Albanese, Novotna, Bori simply 
didn't have the note, and for Tebaldi it was a foregone conclusion since she sang the aria 
downwards anyway, but we know that she had no high D (if sung in the key of G major) 
But I would imagine that Melba, Galli-Curci, and sopranos of their period DID and they 
sang it in the original key of A flat. Everyone knows that in "Anna Bolena", a very late Joan 
Sutherland assumption, she had the cabaletta to the Mad Scene transposed down into D 
flat from E flat. She manages the D flat, but the "bridge" written by Bonynge) to get her 
into the key of D flat from E flat is very strange and not at all pleasant to the ear.
>> >         I don't expect ANY tenor to take that insane high F at the end of "Puritani". 
Pavarotti's falsetto tone on the F on the Decca recording is NOT what I wanted to hear. For 
me, a high F from a tenor is simply asking too much, and I've never heard any tenor sing 
that awful note with a full voice and sound even tolerable.
>> >         I've learned to tolerate downward transpositions, such as those I've noted 
above - but I do not sanction a singer employing "bridges" to move from one key to 
another. It sounds terrible and the whole melodic line is blemished.
>> > 
>> >             > > > 
>> > >             On June 21, 2017 at 8:53 AM Jean Michel Pennetier 
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> > > 
>> > >             I haven’t a perfect pitch. If I’m exposed to an aria alone, “Che 
gelida manina” or “Nessun dorma”, I certainly won’t be able to tell if it's 
transposed down or not. It's easier during a performance : you "know" when the tenor is 
transposing down “La Pira” and usually you can feel the lack of brightness.
>> > >             But for belcanto, it’ a completely different story for me : I'm usually 
shocked by a transposition : in many Puritani’s last act for example.
>> > >             In other words, are there works, composers, styles that support better 
transposition than others ?
>> > > 
>> > >             Jean-Michel.
>> > > 
>> > >             **********************************************
>> > >             OPERA-L on Facebook:
>> > > 
>> > >             http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
>> > > 
>> > >             --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > >             To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
>> > > 
>> > >             containing only the words: SIGNOFF OPERA-L
>> > > 
>> > >             --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > >             To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
>> > > 
>> > >             [log in to unmask] containing only the words: SET OPERA-L 
NOMAIL
>> > > 
>> > >             --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > > 
>> > >             Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
>> > > 
>> > >             --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > > 
>> > >         > > 
>> >         **********************************************
>> >         OPERA-L on Facebook:
>> > 
>> >         http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
>> > 
>> >         --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> >         To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
>> > 
>> >         containing only the words: SIGNOFF OPERA-L
>> > 
>> >         --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> >         To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
>> > 
>> >         [log in to unmask] containing only the words: SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
>> > 
>> >         --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > 
>> >         Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
>> > 
>> >         --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > 
>> >     > 
>
>**********************************************
>OPERA-L on Facebook:
>http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
>--------------------------------------------------------------------------
>To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
>containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
>--------------------------------------------------------------------------
>To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
>[log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
>--------------------------------------------------------------------------
>Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
>--------------------------------------------------------------------------

**********************************************
OPERA-L on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
[log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main OPERA-L Page

Permalink



LISTSERV.BCCLS.ORG

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager