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Subject: "Celeste Aida" High Note Compilation
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Fri, 20 Oct 2017 19:09:58 -0400
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This is fun:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecZ24el7QSc

IMO Corelli wins, hands down, with his stunning trademark diminuendo.  

But what is interesting, to me, is that even though most of the tenors sing the high B-flat 
forte, some (e.g., Pertile, Bjoerling and Nelepp) manage to still make it sound relatively 
graceful, whereas others sound like they're either bursting a blood vessel (e.g., Baum) or 
summoning the entire Egyptian army (e.g., Del Monaco).  Also, while the Bergonzi (live) 
excerpt here has him singing the note forte, other live performances I've heard - e.g., the 
1963 and 1967 Met broadcasts - have him singing the note softly.  In 1967 the effect is 
exquisite (if not quite perfect), so much so that there is blessed silence during the postlude 
(perhaps the Met audience, not hearing the note bellowed, was too taken aback to clap). 
Among contemporary tenors, Kaufmann on his Verdi recital sings the note piano - but then, 
it is a studio effort, so who knows?  In any case, Kaufmann's is one of the most beautifully-
sung versions of this aria I have ever heard.
 
A few of these are sung terribly flat.  Penno's sounds like it was transposed up to a B 
(although maybe the tape speed is off).

Enjoy.

MDW    

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