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Subject: Re: my favorite attribute of Montserrat Caballe
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 9 Oct 2018 22:28:30 +0000
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Good point about Horne and Vickers would be on my tenor list. Among Tenors: Corelli, Pavarotti, Vickers, Bergonzi, Gedda, Tucker and Domingo- In no particular order, though Bergonzi is my favorite, overall.   Again, these are only singers I saw live.


________________________________
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 5:35 PM
To: tom ponti; [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] my favorite attribute of Montserrat Caballe


Tom:

     Your "supreme four" are pretty damn supreme" .  If I had compiled such a "supreme" list, I'd have certainly included those four ---------- and would have probably added Marilyn Horne and Jon Vickers, each for different reasons.  Vickers for being almost a theatrical miracle not unlike Callas, and Horne for giving the term, "mezzo soprano", an entirely new type of identity.



On October 9, 2018 at 3:08 PM tom ponti <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


Of all the sopranos I saw live or heard on live recordings the vocal miracles, 1950 - 80 would be: Callas, Sutherland, Nilsson and Caballe. Each had their own special greatness and certain faults. There were, many other great singers of that era but none I saw or heard on live recordings had the supreme great qualities of these four. Price, Milanov and Tebaldi had incredibly beautiful voices, but not the versatility or consistency of my supreme four.


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 3:42 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [OPERA-L] my favorite attribute of Montserrat Caballe

I was "onboard" (and already in my early twenties) when Caballe made and released her
first RCA recordings.  On records, I was duly impressed by her Traviata and Lucrezia Borga,
as well as by her Rossini, Donizettti, and Rossini Rarities recordings.  While her bel canto
technique was not on the Olympian level of Callas or Sutherland, she nevertheless was
worthy to be ranked in their company, at least from a vocal standpoint.
     What truly blew me away was her 1969 RCA Victor recording of Salome.  The fact that
she actually had this role in her repertoire was positively shocking.  On records, I found her
Salome incredibly beautiful, and sometimes even riveting (some of her plunges into the low
register while singing German consonants thrilled me to no end).  Her piano singing was
also exquisite (while her forte top notes were rock solid without a hint of the metallic sound
that later crept in).  Then I heard her Marshallin in a pirate recording of "Rosenkavalier".
Then came "Arabella" and "Ariadne Auf Naxos" along with Norma, Elena in "Vespri", Aida,
and later some French titles.   By 1977 she took on Turandot in San Francisco and by 1980
performed Semiramide with Marilyn Horne.
      In this respect, she was kind of a Placido Domingo among sopranos.  She did not totally
conquer these roles to a lot of critic's satisfaction, but she took them on anyway, and
managed to deliver a performance.  Then came Isolde and Seglinde.  Her Isolde is on
YouTube and it's got some gorgeous moments, as well as some very exciting ones in Act I.
      That she had a voice that could encompass all of these roles in addition to many others
make me wonder how she accomplished so much.
       To my ears, her Salome and her Norma were her greatest and most diverse creations
and she's certainly a soprano whose legacy in opera history is guaranteed as well as
warranted.

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