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Subject: Re: Caballe & Coloratura (was Re: Opinions on the live NORMA, etc.)
From: Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:58:56 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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As Max says, her control of dynamics, feel for legato, to which I would add
a generously gorgeous timbre allowed me to enjoy much and tolerate more
than I would from others less endowed.  She could never summon up a true
trill, but early on she could rip through runs with the best - the RAI
"Donna del Lago," the EMI "Pirata" and her classic "Rossini Rarities" on
RCA.    Later on it was more a matter of bump and grind - the Aix
"Semiramide" and the "Ermione" from Pesaro - but even when she fakes it I
find myself momentarily convinced by the fraud.


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

On Sun, Nov 19, 2017 at 11:37 PM, Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Tom Frey wrote:
>
> "since [Caballe] did at least record Lucia and Puritani I don't see how
> she could totally avoid
> coloratura elements in these pieces not to even mention Norma with the
> cabaletta after
> Casta Diva"
>
> To my ears, Caballe frequently "managed" coloratura passages rather than
> dominating them
> like Sutherland or Callas did.  She certainly was not bad, but she
> frequently got the job
> done with little "cheating" tricks, like taking the tone off the breath
> and retreating into
> pianissimo instead of singing full out.  You can hear these tricks in her
> recording of "Vien,
> diletto" in the Muti recording of Puritani in which she pecks at the
> coloratura, rather than
> singing it full out as Sutherland and Callas do:
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTG8nMrerDc
>
> Similarly, in "Ah, non tremare" in Norma, in live performances you can
> hear that Caballe
> snatched at the coloratura, dropping notes here and there, rather than
> crushing it like Callas
> or Sutherland did.
>
> On the other hand, Caballe's "Sempre libera" on the complete Traviata
> recording is superb.
> There she DOES dominate the coloratura and comes through with flying
> colors, no cheating!
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HZB2tmgyn0
>
> IMO Caballe's gifts as a bel canto singer lay more in her wonderful legato
> line and dynamic
> control although her coloratura was usually OK and sometimes more.  For
> me, Caballe's
> "Norma" in Orange and Callas' 1955 La Scala performances are the two
> greatest
> performances of the role ever recorded, vocally and dramatically.  Very
> different, but equally
> great.
>
> MDW
>
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