LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for OPERA-L Archives


OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives


View:

Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font

Options:

Join or Leave OPERA-L
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives


Subject: Re: Stemme LIVE!
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 26 Jan 2018 16:26:38 -0800
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

text/plain (369 lines)


I found Callas’ voice very beautiful in the early (1949-1953) recordings. In fact, I find her sound more consistently beautiful than Sutherland’s on the 1953 “Puritani” recording.

Getting into the mid 1950s, I found her upper notes increasingly unsteady and often strident but, besides the incomparable musical and interpretive compensations, I found her middle and lower voice (where maybe 80+% of most music lies) even more compelling and beautiful.

To Don’s comments about electronic falsification on her recordings, I don’t think so, at least as originally recorded. Throughout the 1950s the sound of Callas on record was heavily influenced by Legge’s coaching of her to produce sounds and interpretive gestures that would play well to the microphone and Robert Gooch, the engineer for most of her recordings. Gooch clearly loved her and did his best to capture her sound.

I think she sounds very fine on the original Columbia UK LP pressings. Once Angel started pressing in the US, the sound deteriorated. The first, mid 80s, CD issues were actually quite good. The ones from the late 90s, the ones that stayed in print the longest, did sound manipulated and often added a layer of distortion onto high notes that might have been already harsh, making them ear lacerating. Case in point: her high E-flat in “Si vendetta” in the 1956 “Rigoletto” with Gobbi and Serafin.

To my ears, that really got set right again in the Warner reissue of all her studio recordings a little over 3 years ago and still in print, This is particularly true if you can hear them in a high res format (either the 24-bit 96 KHz downloads or the Japanese SACD issues). But even the standard CDs are much improved.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 26, 2018, at 15:04, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Donald-
> 
> I suspect I am in a minority, but I consider Callas's voice among the
> most beautiful I have ever heard, and that began the first time I heard
> it, which was on the recording of her first "Lucia" with Di Stefano,
> Gobbi and Serafin.
> 
> Time Magazine had an article in 59 that focused on Tebaldi, the most
> beautiful voice, Callas, the most intense vocalist, and Milanov, the
> great compromise. So, having just made my operatic debut at the
> Met, seeing Manon with de los Angeles, and other gems, which
> were the rule, rather than the exception in 1959, I went off to
> Korvettes to find recordings of these three, none of whom had i heard.
> 
> Milanov - Gioconda
> Tebaldi - Forza
> Callas - Lucia
> All highlights LPs.
> 
> Milanov had the great moment "Madre, Enzo adorato" and I was in
> a version of heaven.
> 
> Tebaldi sang La Vergine degli Angeli, and I thought I had heard
> alpha and omega. Then I listened to -
> 
> Callas, a miracle on first hearing. "Verrano a te..." with Di Stefano
> took me to an entirely different place. I was taken with his voice, but
> mesmerized by hers, and within days had learned every word of the
> excerpts contained on that LP. It was she whose vocalism sent me to
> find an Italian-English dictionary, and I have never looked back.
> I learned to hear how music should go by listening to her, and for
> that, my unbounded gratitude. When I finally heard her live, in 65 at
> the Met as Tosca, I heard a technique in terrible distress, but a tone
> and interpretive instincts that remained unmatched. For all its
> flaws, it remains my greatest operatic memory. I am not alone!
> 
> Bob
> 
>> On Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 16:48 donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> The voice I have the most trouble with on recordings, and which I remember
>> as very
>> much better heard from an altitudinous seat in Carnegie Hall, for a concert
>> performance
>> of IL PIRATA, at a date which is usually referred to as late in her career,
>> was that of Maria
>> Callas;  I think most of her records were made with a variety of electronic
>> manipulation
>> that distorted her voice's natural beauty.  Perhaps that explains why her
>> "pirated" stuff
>> was so much in demand
>> 
>> dtmk.
>> 
>> On Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 12:15 PM, Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>> 
>>> I am in agreement with all of you.  Sills had a glint and beauty to her
>>> tone.  The later unsteadiness never bothered me.  I was blown away by the
>>> other aspects of her voice and art.   She took whatever God gave her, and
>>> it was not inconsiderable, and made something wondrous out of it.  In her
>>> case, the whole was much greater than the sum of the parts.
>>> 
>>> For me, Lorengar and Rysanek could do no wrong.  It was so much in love
>>> with their voices and art that when each died, it took over a year for me
>>> to sit and listen to their recordings without bawling.  Unlike my friend
>>> Bob, I never heard the pitch vagueries of Leonie or the occasional
>>> unsteadiness in the middle, or better, I choose to ignore them.  As for
>>> Lorengar, she soared with a sheen, ease and spin that was also the domain
>>> of the great Leontyne.  And, don't even ask me about how Rysanek's voice
>>> soared on top and bounced around the Met auditorium.
>>> 
>>> There are singers who are phonogenic and those who are not.  There are
>> also
>>> great singers who do well under the microphone, but are so much better in
>>> person.  Tebaldi and Crespin had huge voices that the microphone just had
>>> problems with when it got high and loud.  What sounded so harsh on
>>> recordings disappeared for the most part in the house.  Milanov was
>> another
>>> one who I suspect sounded much better live then on recordings - although
>> to
>>> be honest, every recording after 1952 caught her entering the downward
>>> slope.  I only heard her at the very end of her career, but my mother who
>>> heard her within two weeks of her debut in 1937 always said she always
>>> sounded better live and when the top became hardened and more difficult,
>> it
>>> was still better live.  MDM is probably another example.  He is trashed
>>> regularly by those who never heard him but everyone I've ever met who
>>> experienced him live in his price were in awe of the voice - other
>> singers
>>> especially.
>>> 
>>> Then, there are the singers who sound so magnificent and beautiful on
>>> recordings who are something else again in the theatre....
>>> 
>>> Donald
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> On Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 9:03 AM, tom ponti <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Though Sills may have sounded better live, I always liked her sound on
>>>> most of her recording. On her Strauss-Mozart album, IMO, one hears one
>> of
>>>> the most beautiful sounding voices ever recorded. I do agree that
>>> Lorengar
>>>> and Rysenak sounded much better live than on recordings. Though I
>> always
>>>> liked Julie Andrews on recordings, I was much surprised at how much
>> more
>>>> beautiful her voice sounded live, when I saw her in Camelot. I do think
>>>> that most great and beautiful voices sound better live than on
>>> recordings.
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> ________________________________
>>>> From: Discussion of opera and related issues <
>> [log in to unmask]
>>>> 
>>>> on behalf of Max Paley <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Sent: Friday, January 26, 2018 10:31 AM
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Stemme LIVE!
>>>> 
>>>> I agree that Sills was much better live. Until her last singing years,
>>>> what sounded like a persistent tremulousness on record was something I
>>>> didn’t perceive at all live. The overall quality and beauty of her
>> sound
>>>> needed to open out into an auditorium. Like letting wine breathe.
>>>> 
>>>> Lorengar and Rysanek are two others whose voices were much more
>> enjoyable
>>>> and thrilling heard first hand. In Lorengar’s case, that vibrato (some
>>>> called it a “wibble”) was hardly noticeable in the house. One heard a
>>> big,
>>>> solid voice that soared thrillingly on top. In Rysanek’s case,
>>> microphones
>>>> exaggerated both the unsteadiness in her lower middle voice and the
>>> extreme
>>>> volume disparity between her upper and lower registers.
>>>> 
>>>> However with all of these, Sills, Rysanek, Lorengar, once I heard them
>>>> live my mind was able to add what I’d heard to what was on the
>> recordings
>>>> so that I could enjoy them. With Stemme, I have the really unfortunate
>>>> situation in which, even having heard and loved her live on many
>>> occasions,
>>>> I am really hard pressed to enjoy the recordings and broadcasts.
>>>> 
>>>> Max Paley
>>>> 
>>>> Sent from my iPad
>>>> 
>>>>> On Jan 26, 2018, at 05:49, RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>> First and foremost in our time, Beverly Sills.  Many outside of the
>>> U.S.
>>>> found her competent but could not understand the adulation she
>> received.
>>>> James McCracken was another.  It was not a "beautiful" voice but one
>>> built
>>>> from sheer willpower.  McCracken's first solo album for London tanked
>> so
>>>> badly, the label cancelled the remainder of his recording contract.
>> What
>>>> both had -- Sills in particular -- was the ability to dominate the
>> stage.
>>>> Another, not so well known, who had the ability to dominate the stage
>> was
>>>> Phyllis Curtin.  I only saw her once, long after she had retired and
>> was
>>>> teaching at B.U., in a student or semi-student production of "A Little
>>>> Night Music".  Once she came on the stage, you could not take your eyes
>>> off
>>>> of her.  And then there is Magda Olivero.  I like her voice on
>>> recordings,
>>>> but some do not.  On stage, she was something else.  I remember the
>> first
>>>> time that I saw her.  It was as Tosca. Here was the shock of seeing
>> this
>>>> clearly older or elderly woman
>>>>> coming out on stage to greet Mario.  But within five minutes, she
>> WAS
>>>> Tosca.
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Best from Boston.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Ray Gouin
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> ***
>>>>> 
>>>>>> On January 26, 2018 at 1:33 AM janosG wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>   Perplexing and true. The opposite of many singers: far superior
>>> live
>>>> than in recording.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>   I think there have been others like Stemme in the past, I hear
>>>> voices in my mind, but cannot put names to them. Anyone?
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>   On 1/25/2018 9:00 PM, Max Paley on OPERA-L :
>>>>>>>> Stemme is an artist who has consistently mesmerized me with her
>>>>>>>> interpretations as well as her singing live in everything I've
>> seen
>>>> her do
>>>>>>>> (most recently Turandot in SF) but her art very strangely eludes
>> any
>>>> form
>>>>>>>> of recording or transmission. The sound heard even in a good
>>> sounding
>>>> live
>>>>>>>> transmission sounds totally different and in a negative way. The
>>>> clear,
>>>>>>>> powerful, marble-like sound I hear live somehow crosses the
>>>> microphone as
>>>>>>>> unsteady and not particularly attractive and even the compelling
>>>> personae
>>>>>>>> she creates are for the live audience and not the camera.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>   **********************************************
>>>>>>   OPERA-L on Facebook:
>>>>>>   http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/<hr style="height: 0;
>>>> border: 0; border-top: 1px solid #aaa; margin: 8px 0;">To UNSUBSCRIBE,
>>> send
>>>> a message to [log in to unmask] mailto:[log in to unmask]
>> .org
>>>>>>   containing only the words: SIGNOFF OPERA-L
>>>>>>   ---------------------------------------------
>>>>>>   To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
>>>>>>   [log in to unmask] mailto:[log in to unmask] .org
>>>> containing only the words: SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
>>>>>>   ---------------------------------------------
>>>>>>   Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/
>>>> archives/opera-l.html<hr style="height: 0; border: 0; border-top: 1px
>>>> solid #aaa; margin: 8px 0;">
>>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> **********************************************
>>>>> OPERA-L on Facebook:
>>>>> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> --------------
>>>>> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
>>>>> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> --------------
>>>>> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
>>>>> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L
>>>> NOMAIL
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> --------------
>>>>> Modify your settings:
>> http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> --------------
>>>> **********************************************
>>>> OPERA-L on Facebook:
>>>> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> --------------
>>>> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
>>>> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> --------------
>>>> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
>>>> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L
>>> NOMAIL
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> --------------
>>>> Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> --------------
>>>> 
>>>> **********************************************
>>>> OPERA-L on Facebook:
>>>> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> --------------
>>>> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
>>>> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> --------------
>>>> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
>>>> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L
>>> NOMAIL
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> --------------
>>>> Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> --------------
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> **********************************************
>>> OPERA-L on Facebook:
>>> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
>>> 
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
>>> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
>>> 
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
>>> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L
>> NOMAIL
>>> 
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
>>> 
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> 
>> 
>> **********************************************
>> OPERA-L on Facebook:
>> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
>> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
>> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> 
> 
> **********************************************
> OPERA-L on Facebook:
> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
**********************************************
OPERA-L on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
[log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main OPERA-L Page

Permalink



LISTSERV.BCCLS.ORG

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager