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Subject: Re: Vishnevskaya
From: Russ Geschke <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Russ Geschke <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 10 Jul 2018 12:22:53 -0500

text/plain (130 lines)

Re Felia Litvinne (1860/1863-1936):  There was on YouTube a 20-minute 
excerpt (now gone) of a 1963 French television interview with Germaine Lubin 
in which after praising Flagstad as having a "voix incomparable" in response 
to the question "Whose was the greatest voice you ever heard?" immediately 
answered "Felia Litvinne."  Litvinne had a huge international career, and 
was also one of the teachers of Lubin as well as Nina Koshetz.  Marston 
Records issued several years ago a CD set of all of Litvinne's records --  
Wagner, Meyerbeer, Saint-Saens, Verdi, Donizetti, Faure, Gounod, Napravnik, 
Rubinstein, you get the idea, the lady was versatile.  To continue the list 
of important historic Russian singers, one could also add Koshetz, Maria 
Kuznetsova, and Oda Slobodskaya; there are many more, as you indicated.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "James Camner" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, July 09, 2018 12:02 PM
Subject: Re: Vishnevskaya

> Chaliapin was the dominant singer of his time even more famous world wide
> than Caruso, a huge force. We have no singers today who can compare to him
> in any way except for Netrebko, but in a far lesser sense..
> Vishnevskaya, a wonderful singer was never the top soprano in her time,
> undoubtedly that was Callas.
> There are surely many more important Russian sopranos, historically, than
> Vishnevskaya, let's start with Medea Mei Figner (an Italian who became a
> Russian colossus), Felia Litvinne, and probably the most important of all,
> Antonina Nezhdanova.
> (From my days of selling autographs, I never had anyone ask for one of
> Vishnevskaya, though her husband Rostropovich was a brisk seller.)
> Netrebko stands alone in this era, she has no rivals as a star, she's far
> more famous than Vishnevskaya was, in that way she's like Chaliapin, but 
> on
> a much smaller stage, opera singers are no longer the world's premiere
> entertainment stars as they were in Chaliapin's day, they barely register
> in today's cultural zeitgeist and I doubt any of them including Netrebko
> have an income to compare to the top pop singers. Like Chaliapin,
> Netrebko's talents are less vocal than dramatic.  It's fair to ask if
> Netrebko is the last international opera star. I believe she might prove 
> to
> be so, but one never knows what's around the corner and already sitting
> here on the West Coast, I feel out of it a bit. But happily so!
> Regarding Russian singers, there are some expert members of this list who
> really know this subject much better than me!
> James Camner
> .
> On Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 1:55 AM, David Shengold <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> "Galina Vishnevskaya was the most important and in my opinion (only), the
>> greatest Russian singer of the twentieth century.  The range was immense,
>> her qualities as an opera singer and as a singer of songs was unrivaled,
>> and before hardness set in, the voice was so truly beautiful. etc"
>> Agree with most all of whet you and others have writen about Vishnevskaya
>> and her historical qualities vis a vis those of Netrebko, an excellent
>> vocalist and increasingy exciting singing acrtess who - unlike
>> Vishnevskaya-- has created no important music nor left no definite
>> recordings of anything.
>> I would remind everyone that besides the Moscow studio Verdi REQUIEM 
>> there
>> is a live Leningrad Philharmonic performance  from 1960 under 
>> Melik-Pashaev
>> with the staggering Irina Arkhipova instead of Nina Isakova as well as
>> Vladimir Ivanovsky and Ivan Petrov ( who are on the Muscovite performance
>> as well). I like both, but the live one better ( n.b. Ivanovsky, though a
>> fine recorded Grigori/Dmitri, is not remotely in the
>> Bjoerling/Bergonzi/Pavarotti class in this music).
>> And still: "the greatest Russian singer of the twentieth century"? If you
>> said 'female singer" I might agree, but what about Chaliapin? A total 
>> game
>> changer for the art form in terms of vocalism and dramatic artistry who
>> left his mark on many roles-- not only Russian ones--left a studio movie
>> (Pabst's unforgettable DON QUIXOTE) and created much music ( including
>> Ibert's songs for that movie, Massenet's DON QUICHOTTE, Rachmaninoff's
>> cantata "Spring", Salieri in Rimsky's MOZART AND SALIERI. 
>> Internationally,
>> Chaliapin's name and reputation were familiar to tens of thousands who
>> never set foot inside an opera house or concert hall, as with Caruso or 
>> the
>> Greek-American diva whose vocal perfection vis a vis her "Coca-Cola" 
>> rivals
>> Takis has done so much here to  underline.
>> -David Shengold
> **********************************************
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