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Subject: Re: Caballe (my evil thoughts), was 1973 Norma
From: Max Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:43:26 -0700
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I first saw her in the mid 70s. Norma in Paris (she was having a very bad night), Turandot, Tosca, Semiramide and "Ballo" Amelia (another very bad night) in San Francisco. She could produce individual very loud sounds of Nilsson-like volume but forte high notes were often very squally and unpleasant. I thought her best singing was in the incredibly long breathed, often beautifully shaped phrases at moderate to soft volume levels. Sometimes she went too far with that - distending phrases at the cost of the musical flow.

I think my favorite recording of her is actually her Fiordiligi in the Colin Davis "Cosi fan Tutte." I also thought she might have been a very good Donna Anna or Elvira but I never heard her do either. I didn't care for her Tosca at all - the timbre seemed all wrong to me, surprisingly lacking warmth, both live and on the Davis recording. I do like her Salome recording very much.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPad

> On Jul 26, 2017, at 09:34, Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Hi,
> 
> A short reply to your questions although one from Maestro Innaurato would
> of course be more to the point.
> 
> It was Caballe's Met debut as Marguerite in Faust that I think he was
> referring to.  She obviously forgot her lines and either vocalized or
> invented her own words.  Crooning is soft singing in an unsupported way,
> not piano which is fully supported by the breath and part or should be part
> of every singers technique.  Some singers simplify and adjust the music to
> their abilities or lack of abilities.  Caballe did this at times and it is
> unfortunate because she had the making of a truly great singer and was a
> first class musician.  She got lazy and coasted.  This being said, in
> concert she could have incredible charm and sweetness and when the voice
> was working and all of the stars were aligned, the sheer beauty of her
> voice and her native ability shown through. That's why we loved her.
> 
> But, as Al said, she was a big lyric soprano - never a true spinto let
> alone a dramatic.
> 
> Donald
> 
>> On Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 4:12 AM, Henry <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> albert innaurato <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>>> ...in the last scene, she sang with feeling and great sweetness of sound.
>>> However, she forgot all the words (AS OPPOSED TO REFUSING TO
>>> SING THEM) and the great John Alexander (Faust) was left at something of
>> a
>>> loss.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> ... She began to croon and leave music out. She ABANDONED
>>> WORDS, sometimes because she forgot them or hadn't learned them,
>>> sometimes TO EASE EMISSION OF HER TONE.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Please excuse this neophyte's confusion but what are you talking about?
>> 
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