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Subject: Domingo and Norman (was Re: Nilsson on Corelli and Turandot)
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:55:08 -0800
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Poor Domingo! For most of his tenor career he had people saying he was really a baritone. Tgen when he switched to baritone, people said he was really a tenor.

Then there’s the question of Jessye Norman’s voice category that she did nothing to alleviate, singing Sieglinde one day, the alto part in “Das Lied von der Erde” the next (although much of Sieglinde’s music lies in mezzo territory).

I think Domingo is/was a tenor. His top register wasn’t his glory and he never had a really good C but he sang some magnificent B-flats at least well into his 50s and the ease and timbre of his singing in the E to A-flat area was not that of an extended baritone. Or so it sounded to me.

Norman is more of a puzzle. She could sing an F# that sounded like it was her last and then pop out a good C. Overall, I think of her in much the same terms as Victoria de los Angeles, whose high notes were usually secure and clear, but the glory of her voice was in the middle and lower registers. Both ladies could sing high notes well enough, but I often wished they didn’t have to.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Nov 16, 2017, at 09:53, G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 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.
> 
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1WQBAvKS1Q
> 
> Her classic recording of “Dove Sono” 
> 
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5WDGxpblZc
> 
> 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!  
> 
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8noeFpdfWcQ
> 
> This is, at least to me, a soprano.  And an amazingly gifted one at that.
> 
> p.  
> 
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