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Subject: Re: Flagstad (was Re: Vocal Training and Two Great Tenors)
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Wed, 7 Mar 2018 21:46:49 -0500
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Max Paley wrote:

"Max, you say it as if this were the simple answer. Anything but. No other voice suddenly 
turns into that size and power just because it’s subjected to hard work. Otherwise, there’d 
be more Flagstads. Most voices, in fact, suffer from fatigue from intense work like this. Very 
few “grow under the pressure." "

I don't know whether the answer is "simple" or not.  I'm just quoting Flagstad herself.  I 
think your argument is with her, not me.  

As for voices developing with "hard work," what happened with Flagstad clearly is that her 
intercostal muscles developed significantly while she was working on Isolde and Brunnhilde.  
Those muscles are the foundation of breath support, and apparently that development 
enabled her to produce the extraordinarily powerful, rich sound for which she is known.  
Again, I think we have to take Flagstad at her word on how and why this happened.  And I 
don't think one can use how "most voices" develop as a yardstick for Flagstad; she was sui 
generis.

The fact is, while Flagstad's singing was admired before she made her Met debut, no one 
was falling over themselves about how she was the greatest Wagnerian soprano in history.  
That suggests, to me, either that people weren't listening very carefully, or that her voice 
changed significantly in the year or two before her Met debut.  I think the latter is more 
likely.

MDW

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