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Subject: Re: Levine returns to the Sirius airwaves (sattelite beams?)
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 10 Feb 2018 19:42:06 -0800
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By 1972 she was starting to get uneven. She did an SF “Ring” that fall of which I saw one full one and another “Götterdämmerung.” On the full Ring, Walküre was superb, Siegfried was awful. Shrill, strident, constantly singing sharp. “Götterdämmerung” started harsh and strident but she got better in Act 2. The second “Götterdämmerung” was superb from the first note to the last.

She was likewise variable in a’74 “Tristan” - superb opening performance, others less so.

I thought she was fading and wasn’t sure what to expect when, on my first trip to London, a friend got us tickets at the Royal Opera for an “Elektra” conducted by a guy named Carlos Kleiber. Phenomenal from beginning to end as was the whole performance.

In the early 80s I saw her as Dyer’s Wife in Vienna of which the first act was wailings of the dead and why is this woman still on stage? In Act 2 she dropped years and by the end was thrilling as ever.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 10, 2018, at 14:28, Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> David:
> 
>    You are obviously referring to a Nilsson broadcast of "Walkure" in 1972 from the Met, where you say that "strident tone was settling in".  I don't know how reliable that broadcast was, but Nilsson did a Ring Series in Chicago (Valkure in 1972, Seigfried in 1973, and Gotterdammerung in 1974) and was outstanding.  Moreover, she sang a single performance of Salome with the Chicago Symphony under Solti in December of 1974, and all but caused the plaster on the walls to come tumbling down.  I saw all of those performances, and was, along with critics, totally blown away, especially by the Solome.  It was one of the most memorable evenings of my opera-going life.
> 
>                                                                                     Les
> 
>> On February 10, 2018 at 12:51 PM David Kubiak wrote:
>> 
>> 
>>    My thought on this issue is a little different. No one can deny Levine's
>>    making the Met orchestra into a virtuoso instrument when at times in the
>>    past it could sound like a pick-up band. I was never a fan of his
>>    conducting, however, finding him incapable of real profundity (of the type
>>    Thielemann brought to 'Frau') in any repertoire. At one point I thought I
>>    had it figured out -- in whatever tempo he was playing his eighth notes were
>>    always too short in relation to everything else.
>> 
>>    During Levine's Sirius absence it often occurred to me that it was
>>    unfortunate that he hogged so much of the repertoire for so long. There was
>>    a '71 'Tristan' with Leinsdorf recently that was really splendid. (And so,
>>    by the way, was Nilsson. It might have been the best 'Liebestod' I have
>>    ever heard her sing. And by the next year, as evidenced in a 'Walküre'
>>    broadcast not long ago, the strident tone was setting in.)
>> 
>>    I understand that there were issues with conductors demanding amounts of
>>    rehearsal time the Met could not manage contractually, but I have rather
>>    enjoyed listening to other people over the last months.
>> 
>>    David Kubiak
>> 
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