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Subject: Re: Nilsson on Corelli and Turandot
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:53:32 -0500

text/plain (44 lines)

Mr. Levine wrote (in part):

“I felt the same way about Jessye Norman as a soprano.  She just wasn't.”

Meaning no disrespect, but that’s just the craziest thing I’ve read all day!  At its loveliest, 
Norman’s soprano was one of the most elegant, cleanly, evenly-produced voices I know of in 
the last half century.  

First up, “Se pietade avete, o Numi” from Haydn’s “Armida.”   Here, Norman’s seamless line, 
beautifully produced legatos, near perfect trills (at least three of them), High C’s and cleanly 
produced coloratura render this my favorite recording of this difficult aria.  Her work here is 
nothing if not breathtakingly beautiful.

Her classic recording of “Dove Sono”

Here is Ms. Norman in a short (4 minute) film giving one of the most thrillingly dramatic 
performances I know of Schubert’s best known song.  Her brilliant delineation – three 
completely distinct voices and characters, one flowing breathlessly directly after the other, 
turns “Erlkönig” into a 4 minute opera simultaneously both chilling and heartbreaking.  This 
is complete mastery of “acting with the voice” . . . of course having one of the world’s most 
expressive faces doesn’t hurt in this instance either!

This is, at least to me, a soprano.  And an amazingly gifted one at that.


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