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Subject: Re: Caballe (my evil thoughts), was 1973 Norma
From: robert levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:robert levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 26 Jul 2017 14:16:12 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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Caballé tended to be her best under Eve Queler - Parisina, Gemma di Vergy -
where she could control the tempi and dynamics. Or with Carreras in the
'70s - Adriana, Devereux. And then there's the Norma from Orange, with
Vickers - unbelievably great.

And I think what AI was speaking of was her lack of interest in the text
when she could (or preferred to) fake it with gorgeous tone, particularly
at the top of her range. Certain vowels - and most consonants - were
forgotten/omitted for ease of production.

What a complicated singer she was! Like Corelli, one had to meet her half
way.
Best,
Bob

On Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 2:09 PM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I was at the NYC debut as Lucrezia Borgia, and it was among
> the most extraordinary events of my life. A star was truly, and
> justly, born! It was everything you've ever heard about it. Her one
> other great concert opera evening was La Straniera, also at
> Carnege Hall. No cheating; she sang out with prodigious tone all
> night and it was awesome. Her other concert evenings left me
> very conflicted. Great moments and a lot of fakery
>
> At he Met, I saw Luisa Miller, excellent, Otello, a superb last act,
> Trovatore, which was booed for good reason, such self indulgent
> disregard for the role's musical demands have rarely been more
> apparent, and Ballo, which was equally uneven, and which showed
> her either unprepared, or simply lazy. She left out music at will, as
> though her pppp tricks would carry the day. They did with many
> people, but not everyone, including me.
>
> The last  time I saw her was as Adriana in a sterling cast that included
> Carreras and Cossotto. It was very good, but I enjoyed Scotto
> infinitely more when she entered the revival later in the run.
>
> Caballe had great days, not so great days, and awful days! Her
> best was breathtaking, and the legacy is, at its best, as good as it
> gets. But she was lazy as they come, as often as not.
>
> Bob
>
>
> On Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 1:43 PM Max Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > 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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