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Subject: Re: Renata Tebaldi (was Seconda Donna - Angela Meade)
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 11 Dec 2017 23:51:15 -0600
Content-Type:text/plain
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Bob:
   And here I blow my second post within a few minutes.  You are absolutely correct about Tebaldi.  Vocal problems she certainly developed, but never a wobble.  Her problems were with pitch and the fact that she was considered a "soprano corti" like Ponselle was.  She had a reasonably responsive top C for the decade of the 1950s (though as that decade rolled on, certain imperfections were starting to creep in).  The 1960s toughened her voice and it took on that "metal rim" that Paul Jackson avers to in his detailed books about the Met broadcasts.  Still, Tebaldi could deliver an outstanding performance (even if some attempted top Cs were closer to B naturals).  She also became more liberal in her use of chest voice, which made her late 1960's recordings of "Gioconda" and "La Wally" so exciting.  In fact, I find her singing on that 1968 "La Wally" recording to be very close to "prime Tebaldi" ---- an autumnal miracle very close to the end of her career.  The lady has certainly left a beautiful legacy of her work.
> On December 11, 2017 at 4:26 PM Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 
> One can say the same thing abut Renata Tebaldi. Whaever her
> faults, "wobble" aka "unsteady tone" was not among them.
> Along with the huge number of tapes and records that I have
> heard, I also saw her at least twenty five times in about a
> dozen roles, and I never heard a beat, much less a wobble.
> It was rock steady from her first moment on a stage until the
> very last, at least  regarding the enormous legacy I have heard.
> 
> Bob
> 
> On Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 17:11 Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> > You know, I’ve wondered about this and whether it’s technique or something
> > else physical/genetic or both. Flagstad’s upper range contracted in her
> > 60s, but hervoice stayed rock solid and firm for as long as she sang. Even
> > Nilsson had her wobbly nights once she was in her 60s.
> >
> > One difference, which might or might not have anything to do with it, was
> > the sheer ease and effortlessness with which Flagstad sang, which might
> > also apply to Melba. Never any sense of “pressure” - just the sound flowing
> > out as easy as speaking. Someone I knew who heard her live often talked
> > about the instrumental ease and purity of her sound, “like a giant violin.”
> >
> > Max Paley
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> > > On Dec 11, 2017, at 11:58, Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > David,
> > >
> > > If you listen to 60 something Adelina Patti her aging voice might have
> > had
> > > a number of flaws (breath control primarily) but one thing she does not
> > do
> > > is wobble.  There are times (Serenata, La Calesera, Ah non credea....)
> > when
> > > she sounds younger than springtime.  Likewise Melba, Plancon, Sembrich,
> > > Schumann Heink, Bori, Flagstad...What seems to be most prized today is a
> > > Big Sound in a Big Hall  the fact that "Technique" can help achieve this
> > > seems to be lost somewhere in the 19th century.
> > >
> > > Steve
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >> On Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 12:15 PM, David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> > >>
> > >> I missed this message when it was first posted but want to say how much
> > I
> > >> agree with the sentiments expressed.  Professional tolerance for
> > wobbling
> > >> voices is close to driving me out of the opera house. Even as great a
> > diva
> > >> as Callas admitted in late interviews that she had developed a wobble
> > and
> > >> that it was a technical fault she was trying to improve on.  Today it is
> > >> apparently taken for granted that a teacher will launch a student with
> > >> woefully inadequate vocal technique.
> > >>
> > >> Further on the diminishing importance of singing in opera, it amuses me
> > no
> > >> end to hear on the Met broadcasts the completely inane things singers
> > say
> > >> about the dramatic meaning of their parts, because these are the only
> > kind
> > >> of questions they are ever asked.  Can you imagine what sort of reply
> > >> Corelli would have given if asked about the psychological motivation the
> > >> director had given him for his Don Carlo?
> > >>
> > >> David Kubiak
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> On Fri, 8 Dec 2017 17:48:55 -0500, Stephen Charitan <
> > [log in to unmask]>
> > >> wrote:
> > >>
> > >>> I just listened to excerpts of Meade's "Norma" on the MET's website and
> > >>> they confirm what I've heard live  in house (Ernani, Trovatore...)  -
> > she
> > >>> is at best a  "cover" artist or one who should only perform after the
> > >> first
> > >>> cast at "reduced" prices.  A vibrato ridden voice of non descript
> > >>> character, reasonable agility, a faux trill, and a "dead on arrival"
> > stage
> > >>> presence.  So sad that she will wobble and waddle through one of my
> > >> "desert
> > >>> island" operas - Semiramide.  At one point Joyce di Donato was
> > >>> also to grace this important MET revival - on the evidence of her
> > Munich
> > >>> outing it would have been a triumph.  Instead we have La Seconda in
> > >>> Rossinian HD and La Rossiniana herself -Di Donato - in the wispy
> > Massenet
> > >>> confection - Cendrillion.
> > >>>
> > >>> Go Figure...
> > >>>
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