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Subject: Re: Early Gwyneth Jones
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 2 Mar 2018 12:54:02 -0800
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She’d been wobble prone well before 1978 and, in fact, in 1978 she sang a Fidelio in which her pitch was like a drunk driver’s adherence to lane markings.

But she was great and there was something thrilling in every performance. You just never knew from night to night what you’d get.

A couple of weeks after that wayward Fidelio I saw her do what might be just about the best Tosca I ever experienced. Full, steady, in total control with high notes that gleamed like floodlights. A bit like Crespin in size and impact but much easier and more controlled.

In one performance of Tannhaüser in which she sang both lead female roles, the Venus was flutter and wow. After the break, her Elisabeth was pretty flawless: steady, clean, awesome control of dynamics.

Her intonation in her first SF Isoldes had a tendency, as MB brilliantly put it, “to make familiar passages sound unfamiliar.” A few years later, I saw her sing it under Colin Davis with Vickers in London and it was near perfect. Amazing.

Strauss brought out her best. I was told that her Salome was unlistenable but when I went to see it I was absolutely stunned. The eroticism, the power, the appearance of youth and the voluptuousness. That laser beam F# after the kiss, “Was tut’s?” Unforgettable. Her Marschallin and Dyer’s Wife likewise extraordinary experiences.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 2, 2018, at 12:25, David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> First, so there are no polemics over the fact, I think Gwyneth Jones was
> (is) an extraordinary artist.  This is a purely technical question.  I just
> discovered the final duet from 'Poppea' with Vickers in 1978 and could
> hardly believe she was the singer.  How did she go from the ability to sing
> like that so quickly to the wobble-problems that even her most ardent
> admirers have to acknowledge (as I believe she did herself)?
> 
> David Kubiak
> 
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