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Subject: Re: Corelli and diminuendi (was Celeste Aida etc)
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 21 Oct 2017 14:05:10 -0500
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Must agree with Bob Rideout here.  Franco Corelli may have been imperfect (in that he wasn't a truly complete and finished artist), but he had vocal equipment that was twenty-four karat gold.  Of course his looks didn't hurt, but he was so much more.  I heard him do a really long diminuendo at the end of his Romeo et Juliet performance from Philly in 1964 and I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  Also, his diminuendo at the end of the "Celeste Aida" (posted here yesterday) was almost as spectacular.  Corelli generated a tremendous amount of excitement, and the molten Italian lava of a voice had a take-no-prisoners quality to it that to this day sends shivers up my spine.
    I must say, however, that I'm sorry that Jonas Kaufmann's superb high B flat diminuendo at the end of HIS "Celeste Aida" wasn't included in the lineup yesterday.  I've never heard any tenor execute such an exquisite diminuendo on that B flat before.  I was also surprised at how many of the tenors sounded so blatantly flat on the F leading up to the B flat, which they just took forte like all the others save for Corelli and Kaufmann.
    On a personal level, I've never especially liked this particular tenor aria from the first time I heard it as a teenager.  I haven't changed my mind.  I find it surprisingly unattractive and most of the time the tenor sounds like he's bellowing.  What has made this aria so prized is beyond my comprehension.

> On October 21, 2017 at 9:00 AM Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 
>  Franco Corelli did have the most ravishing and technically secure
> diminuendo I ever heard from a male throat, but its best example
> in my exprience was in "E lucevan le stelle", which is magnificent
> on record but was even more stunning in the theater. I saw him in
> the role at least a half dozen times and it never failed to bring gasps
> from a large segment of the audience.
> 
> To be able to do that, after pulling off the greatest "Vittoria, vittoria"
> imaginable, left me and many others speechless. His was an imperfect
> talent but his best was the most thrilling I ever heard.
> 
> Bob
> 
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