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Subject: Re: Flagstad (was Re: Vocal Training and Two Great Tenors)
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 8 Mar 2018 10:23:46 -0800

text/plain (40 lines)


The other one I’ve really wondered about is her Aida. An older music critic friend saw her sing “Ritorna vincitor” in recital during the late 30s. He said the effect was “electrifying.” 

Later he had chance to ask her “Why not at the Met?” Her simple response was “they never asked me.”

She badly wanted to sing Eva at the Met but was told “no one wants to hear you in that.”

The reason I’m so curious about what she learned from Bratt is that her way of singing seems so unique. The sound is so huge but seems to pour out (never “pushed” out) with extraordinarily little effort, sounding as easy as speaking. Other singers have developed great muscular strength in the support muscles, but the results have been very different. Again, for the size of the voice, it seems like she required very little air to “drive” it. She just continued singing on as though breathing weren’t even a consideration. Several times conductors were asking if she didn’t want a pause for a breath here or there, only to be calmly told “I have no need.”

Roberta mentioned the ever-present “soft” attack (which I think was wrongly attributed to “scooping”) which, at least from the outside, seems very different from Nilsson. Nilsson was also unique in a different way in how she managed to thrive with what sounded like a fairly forceful attack (particularly in how she seemed to be able to slam out powerful top notes). Not for every voice: Ursula Schröder-Feinen didn’t survive it.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 7, 2018, at 16:35, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Minnie is the one that always intrigued me, because Flagstad', the person,
> must have been like that when she was young, and as Donald Levine put it,
> "it's a big sing". 
> dtmk

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