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Subject: Re: Sirius Met 1964 'Don Carlo'
From: Ombrarecds <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Ombrarecds <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 5 Sep 2017 15:23:17 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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Rysanek was more peculiar than Olivero. Olivero knew how to manage her recalcitrant instrument, Rysanek did not.

Patrick Byrne

Sent from my iPhone

> On Sep 5, 2017, at 2:57 PM, David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> I listened to a 1964 'Don Carlo' yesterday with Corelli and Rysanek, and it
> was a salutary chastening for someone like myself who is apt to go on about
> 'the good old days'.  I must have listened to the original broadcast as a
> young teenager and thought it tremendous.  What a difference fifty years makes.
> 
> Rarely have I heard such incompetent conducting as that achieved by Kurt
> Adler.  Everything that could conceivably go wrong did -- lack of ensemble,
> rhythmic unsteadiness, quacking brass players.  Terrible, and the score cut
> to bits, one excision in the garden trio almost funny in that it could not
> have been more than half a minute of music.
> 
> There was Corelli, in extraordinarily great voice, but a complete law unto
> himself.  Entrances that were either early or late, Adler unsure how long he
> would hold any given high note, a missed cue in the auto-da-fe scene that
> produced a momentary halt in the performance.  The frantic prompter finally
> gave up.
> 
> And Rysanek.  There must be many threads here about her Italian roles.  This
> was apparently the last Italian performance she gave at the Met, and it was
> not hard to see why.  People always comment on her wavering intonation,
> which was certainly in evidence -- embarrassingly so in the big aria at 'il
> riposo profondo' when she was a good half tone lower than the orchestra when
> it entered.  But it was the quality of tone she produced in the middle that
> I found most strange, a kind of hollow fog horn sound that at times gave the
> impression of a male singer.  I think she sounded so peculiar that she
> rather unnerved Corelli in the first duet.  And four years earlier she had
> produced audience hysteria with her famous Senta.  You would never guess
> from this performance that she was to sing in the house for another
> thirty-two years as one of its most beloved stars.  I think she must have
> done some restudying before her triumph in 'Frau'.  Her middle voice
> obviously was never her glory, but for the rest of her career I don't recall
> it ever sounding as weird as in this Elisabetta.  (If I am calculating
> correctly her whole career lasted no less than forty-seven years.)
> 
> The singer who surprised me the most was Tozzi, who I always think of as
> very good at everything he did, master of the legato line.  But he was
> overwhelmed vocally by Phillip, and compensated by hammy distortions of the
> music.  He could not, however, disguise the fact that he did not really have
> a low F.
> 
> Uhde was reputed to have made a tremendous impression as the Inquisitor, but
> the sound was very light and the lower notes out of tune.
> 
> In any event, I guess I should start appreciating more the exponentially
> higher musical standards we expect in opera today.
> 
> David Kubiak     
> 
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