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Subject: Re: Corelli and diminuendi (was Celeste Aida etc)
From: Tom Frey <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 23 Oct 2017 11:05:17 -0400
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phlegm. maybe
----- Original Message -----
From: Larry Kellum <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Mon, 23 Oct 2017 10:32:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Corelli and diminuendi (was Celeste Aida etc)

Hi. you people talking about "Celeste Aida" ok fine. MY Waterloo for
tenors is in Act 3 of Manon Lescaut w/ the ships captain! What a
powerful piece of music!!! Saw Domingo blow the roof off the house w
it!! Too bad Corelli didnt do it!! A couple of local-yocal sopranos i
met said they forced w/ all their might to suppress crying here at
this emotional scene because any phlem (spell?)  would never allow
them 2 make it thru last act of this opera which is heavier than
Butterfly or Minnie at this point! Larry

On Sat, Oct 21, 2017 at 6:42 PM, tom ponti <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I totally agree with everything you say here. I do agree that the 67 Celeste Aida is a great performance, but I do think they cleaned up the first seconds of the final note, as Carlo seemed to have had a frog in his throat when I heard in live on the radio, the ending though is how I remembered it. Then I listened to the Nile and final duet with Carlo and Pricek from the 63 broadcast.. Their final duet has to be one of the very best ever. Price's voice in 63 was beyond beautiful and the music poses NO problem for her, at all. As one Italian critic supposedly said - Our dear Verdi could have written Aida for Leontyne  Price.
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, October 21, 2017 4:13 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Corelli and diminuendi (was Celeste Aida etc)
>
> Les Mitnick wrote:
>
> "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."
>
> "Celeste Aida" is, potentially, an exquisite aria but an extraordinarily difficult one to sing
> effectively.  First, the tenor must sing this technically gruelling piece shortly after he first
> comes on stage and is not yet warmed up.  Second, the rising intervals of the vocal line can
> sound awkward and clumsy if they are not sung with absolute vocal control and elegant
> portamento (which they seldom are).  Finally, if, as usual, the final high note is bellowed, it
> destroys Verdi's intended effect of the piece.  The aria is supposed to be a rather dreamy
> reverie of love by the tenor, but it is rarely sung that way.  (Which is why, like you, I don't
> generally like the aria as it is usually sung, as The Tenor's Big Moment.)
>
> Bergonzi's 1973 recording (from the Philips album of complete Verdi tenor arias) is IMO the
> most persuasive studio version on disc:
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5AD4qJws_s
> [https://www.bing.com/th?id=OVP.bA4MUaiD5MA667EhuVWs1QH0Fo&pid=Api]<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5AD4qJws_s>
>
> CARLO BERGONZI "Celeste Aida" Aida<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5AD4qJws_s>
> www.youtube.com
> Carlo Bergonzi sings "Celeste Aida" from Aida by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) New Philharmonic Orchestra Nello Santi, conductor
>
>
>
>
> Granted, the diminuendo at the end is not perfect.  (Corelli is the paragon there.)  But
> Bergonzi finds the poetry and reverie in the aria that (apart from the end) is absent from
> Corelli's more muscular version.  In an earlier post I mentioned Bergonzi's singing of this
> aria in the 1967 Met performance.  It can be heard here:
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnVhGgcVxAs
> [https://i.ytimg.com/vi/xnVhGgcVxAs/maxresdefault.jpg]<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnVhGgcVxAs>
>
> Aida: Act I: Se quel guerrier io fossi! ... Celeste Aida<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnVhGgcVxAs>
> www.youtube.com
> Provided to YouTube by Sony Music Entertainment Aida: Act I: Se quel guerrier io fossi! ... Celeste Aida · Carlo Bergonzi · Giuseppe Verdi Aida ℗ 2013 The Me...
>
>
>
>
> This is extraordinary singing by any standard.  Again, there is a bit of a bobble in the final
> diminuendo, but Bergonzi then gets hold of the note, pianissimo, and it just dies away; the
> postlude is played in blessed silence.  But obviously the audience was expecting the usual
> fortissimo, ringing high B-flat at the end, and the applause is tepid and brief perhaps
> because it didn't get what it was expecting.
>
> When you compare Bergonzi's gentle singing with (for example) Del Monaco's stentorian
> bellowing, you realize what is usually missing from most renditions of this aria.  Out of the
> many performances of Aida I have heard live, in person, over the years, I have never heard
> a completely satisfying performance of "Celeste Aida."  (Some very good, but all wanting in
> some respect.)
>
> MDW
>
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