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Subject: Re: Traubel
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 20 Aug 2017 17:16:46 -0700
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Yes, her diction was superb as was that of most of the American singers of
that time because they were taught to enunciate no matter what language
they were singing in. Words mattered to them.  What should also be said
about Traubel is that she possessed not only one of the greatest voices
ever granted an American singer, but was one of the few truly great
dramatic soprano's of the 20th century.  I've heard the Italian recital and
have grown to like it.  I didn't when I first encountered it.  As with
Flagstad, I think the bigger problem was singing in Italian.  Flagstad had
done a lot of Italian opera in her day but mainly in Norwegian and
occasionally in German.  I think that had a lot to do with it.  Language
and ease in a language is a very important component of the singers art.
As we all know, Milanov never sang in Italian until she stepped foot on the
Met stage and it took her years for her voice and technique to become
totally at ease with the Italian language.  Some people say it never did
(mainly Italians). Personally I don't subscribe to that but late in her
career she recorded a lieder recital and her German is not only very good
(it was actually her second language - she was born while Croatia was part
of the Austrian Empire and she grew up speaking her native Serbo-Croatian
and German) but her voice sounds fresher and more at ease in German then in
Italian or at least, that's how I hear it.

Donald

On Sun, Aug 20, 2017 at 4:29 PM, Gene Bowen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> So far no one has remarked on her superb diction in American music.  Almost
> every word is effortlessly crystal clear, with none of the rolled r's of
> her predecessors. There was once a recital of Italian arias, not very
> successful. That idiom seemed to be beyond her powers, as was said to be
> the case with Flagstad's Norma.
>
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