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Subject: Re: Tunings
From: walter guitian <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:walter guitian <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:10:30 +0000
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According to the testimonies of the sound documents,  Ghena Dimitrova should not have sung Aida. I have three Dimitrova "live" Aidas, Spain 1982, Paris 1984 and La Scala 1985 and she misses the C in "o cielli azurri" in the three consecutive performances.
However the most distressing Aida recording I have listened so far is Règine Crespin in  Mexico 1962, she was supposed to be in the best year of her career but she absolutely has an inabilty to sing in the high tessitura in the complete act 3rd. The major problem is not the C in "O cielli azurri", the worst is she cracks and she misses high notes one after another in the whole duet with Jon Vickers "La tra foreste vergine". Apart from that her voice is not ductile.I listen young Eva Marton in 1977  in her Aida video  from Spain  and though young marton manages to sing the high notes , also Marton cannot modulate on top, her voice is not ductile either and she had little or nothing dynamics.Regarding Tebaldi, her mother had died on december 1957 and  she spent all that following  year 1958  crying over the death of her mother  and had an a full opera schedule with lots of performances in Barcelona, Naples, Wienn, Venezia, Bruselles, Chicago, New York and three complete opera recordings (for Decca).Plus that she debutted Madama Butterfly in 1958.( All that made the following year, 1959 the first year of her career when she started to experience some tiredness and her voice was presented for the first time less ductile, slowly at the begining in 1959 and it was noticed much more in the second half of 1961 and 1962.) Actually there is only one document of Tebaldi/Aida where she does not sing well the C in "o cielli azurri", it is the june 1959 Paris Aida video..In the other existing Tebaldi documents in Aída : her 1950 fonit Cetra "o cielli azurri", her 1951 Rio Aída excerpts, her first Decca 1952 MONO Alberto Erede Aida ,  the 1953 Loren film, and the 1953 Naples complete "live" Aída, she is perfect.. Because she not only had the color for Aída but Tebaldi in 1950 or 1955 was "ductile" and her  dynamic range was incomparable, able to go from the most ethereal ppp to the loudest fff without becoming impoverished her timbre and without losing quality in the voice and the nobility of her phrasing makes her very difficult to be overcomed by other famous sopranos who sang Aida.

We know Zinka Milanov recorded Aída in 1955 when she was well past her prime vocal years, but if you listen her Met 1943 Aida broadcast you will see her 1943 Aida does not have much difference with her 1955 RCA recording.
Regarding to Leontyne Price, and her ease for high notes, that is because she is a lyric soprano, she always darkened her middle but the voice is lyrical on top and clear in color.Birgit Nilsson  was a dramatic soprano, but it was a dramatic soprano of agility, because she had column of sound a bit a narrow of width and her sound was dominated by the vowel "I" for which it had penetrating incidence.
Here I share the documents of Dimitrova, Crespin and Milanov in Aidahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1CngLERFQw&t=5326s

  
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Aïda - Regine Crespin - Jon Vickers - Belen Amparan
 Regine Crespin. Jon Vikers. Belen Amparan (Amneris). Carlo Meliciani( Amonasro). Paolo Washington (Ramfis) Dir.:...  |   |

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA8eq1RuiSQ&t=5798s

  
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Dimitrova Bartolini Obraztsova Fondary - Aida 1984
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW7U6mXsgVQ&t=1s

  
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Aida -6th March 1943- Milanov, Martinelli, Castagna, Bonelli - Pelletier-Me...
 Aida (Giuseppe Verdi) - Metropolitan Opera House 6th March 1943 Matinée Broadcast Aida.......................Zin...  |   |

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Walter


      De: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
 Para: [log in to unmask] 
 Enviado: Lunes, 19 de febrero, 2018 17:57:35
 Asunto: Re: Tunings
   
The high C doesn’t define the role, but I think it’s a requirement.

The difference between Aida’s high C and Violetta’s E-flat is that Aida’s C id not only wriiten by Verdi, it’s done so with care and intent. Violetta’s E-flat is not written, even as an option.

So I love it when Violetta can pop in a great E-flat (not if it’s a screech) but I don’t hold it against her if she doesn’t. On the other hand, I don’t like hearing the entire “Sempre libera” taken down to avoid the “Gioir” D-flats or the repeated Cs. I think these are requirements of the role.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 19, 2018, at 12:36, tom ponti <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Does one high note really define a performance of a great role, especially Aida, which has so much other variable vocal requirements? The same is true of Siempre Liberia.  If the soprano can hit the E flat or whatever at the end, then great, but IMO it is not necessary to be a great or very good Violetta.
> 
> 
> From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, February 19, 2018 3:12 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Tunings
>  
> Aida is not “about” the high C but the one in “O patria mia” is so exposed and so clearly in the spotlight that I’d go as far as to say that a soprano who isn’t really comfortable with her C, and that means being able to “play” the voice on that note with dynamic control and not just slam it out, should not perform Aida.
> 
> Re: the E-flat: a soprano who has the control for that C almost has to have a good E-flat as “headroom.” But then, to decide to “perform” the E-flat at the end of the Triumphal Scene, she needs yet more. The rule of thumb is that, to have enough margin to perform the highest note in a role day after day, including days you don’t feel at your absolute best, you need to solidly vocalize at least a minor third higher regularly.
> 
> Max Paley
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
> > On Feb 19, 2018, at 11:33, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > 
> > "Aida is not about the high C"
> > 
> > We should all be required to write that down a hundred
> > times so we never forget it. But what do I know; I like
> > the high E.
> > 
> > dtmk
> > 
> >> On Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 3:18 AM, Takis Pavl. <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >> 
> >> It is  a b s o l u t e l y  true. There is a very informative video of
> >> Cappuccilli (and Tebaldi on the panel) demonstrating the effects of a
> >> higher pitch to a singer's instrument and vocal emission. Cappuccilli never
> >> had trouble with high notes and his voice lasted for ever so why would he
> >> have any reason to advocate for a lower (Verdi) pitch? Even a quarter of a
> >> tone makes a difference in our vocal technique. As Cappuccilli explains,
> >> Verdi knew about voices and wanted to use a certain colour, for baritones
> >> in his case. If you make a singer stretch his passaggio too often during a
> >> performance, the voice will get tired sooner and the chords will lose their
> >> ability to recover and keep their focus especially in the lower area.
> >> 
> >> I'm no Cappuccilli but a professional musican (singer) and I have no doubt
> >> that 440 or higher tuning is not appropriate for works of the 19th century
> >> (even of the early 20th century). Now if certain lighter singers such as
> >> Mado Robin enjoyed raising their scenes a tone or more higher, that's
> >> because they wanted to demonstrate what their higher placed voices could do
> >> or how pretty their high voices were, not how the roles were written.
> >> In Baroque times pitch often had to do with the tuning of the city's
> >> church organ. Hence some Bach cantatas feel too low or too high if you sing
> >> them in modern pitch. Having sung a lot of Bach, I know most singers are
> >> petrified when they don't sing with period instruments because modern
> >> instruments pitched half a tone higher make some already difficult Bach
> >> passages a trial. Having to sing those a few times during daily rehearsals
> >> in modern pitch and often having to perform the piece on the same day
> >> (saving venue booking costs for the ensemble) means your voice is stretched
> >> beyond its limits. And after all that stretch on the top, the low and
> >> middle suffers. Also some string instruments (tuned in 440) will tune
> >> slightly higher before the concert, thinking that the tuning might drop in
> >> a warm hall. It doesn't matter if the singers protest, if it's choosing
> >> between a stretched singer or an out of tune orchestra, the orchestra will
> >> prefer to stay in tune and not consider the singer.
> >> 
> >> Now you may wonder, why don't they use a higher voice that has no trouble
> >> with those passages instead? All the interpretative tricks a singer can do,
> >> don't make up for a certain vocal colour that matches the piece. The chosen
> >> tonality also has a meaning. Yes, you can ask Edita Gruberova, Diana Damrau
> >> and Mariella Devia to sing Aida, they can pop out the high C any time. But
> >> Aida is not about the high C. If you don't get that, there's no point
> >> discussing this any further.
> >> Takis
> >> 
> >> 
> >> 
> >> 
> >>    On Sunday, 18 February 2018, 23:18:45 EET, Kiwi <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >> 
> >> That was the contention, that over time the turning has been raised to the
> >> benefit of the orchestra and the detriment of the singer.
> >> 
> >> And also it led to bigger orchestras because the brighter sound needed more
> >> support.
> >> 
> >> I think (I don't have the article in front of me at the moment) that writer
> >> says if you, as a singer, are singing with an orchestra tuned to 435 or
> >> 432,
> >> the sound production is easier and more fluid / flexible, producing a more
> >> even and less stressed sound.
> >> 
> >> ????  Is there at least some validity to the point that a lower tuning
> >> allows most singers to have (for lack of a better sense) a richer, more
> >> easier sounding emission?
> >> 
> >> 
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: Bella Malis
> >> Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2018 3:36 PM
> >> To: [log in to unmask]
> >> Subject: Tunings
> >> 
> >> Just to help a little, as a former tuner.....etc. albeit a short term one.
> >> 
> >> A 440, per min. Or sec.  I can’t remember which.....just means that there
> >> are 440 beats each time the A is sounded...that is the third A, up from the
> >> bottom of the piano.  Over the years, SOMEBODY decided to brighten the
> >> tones
> >> by raising of the tuning of the instruments.  All the instruments raised
> >> and
> >> the voices too.
> >> 
> >> Makes for a brighter tone.....who knows which tuning should be done....
> >> A440....A 435, etc., etc.
> >> 
> >> ***Bella
> >> 
> >> Sent from my iPad
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