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Subject: Rockwell Blake
From: BILL ALFORD <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:BILL ALFORD <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 5 Mar 1997 10:04:51 PST
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        Good Morning, List-
        I'd like to ask something of a side-question of those who have
heard Blake in person, since my sole exposure to him has been via
recordings, broadcasts, and  telecasts.  My reaction has pretty
generally been the same: amazing technique, more-than-merely-acceptable
musicianship, bewildering accuracy, velocity, and altitude, but
my-stars-what-an-acidulated tone!  I simply have been unable to discern
vocal warmth and "plushness".  The sole exception was a Houston Opera
_Donna Del Lago_ from a number of years ago, with Horne, von Stade,
Zaccaria, and Raffanti.  Here the tone was ample, and to my ears almost
generous.  Since this caught him "in the House" as opposed to a studio,
and I also had a somewhat similar perception of Sills's sound until I
had opportunity to hear her "live", I wonder if Blake's sound is also
comparably intractable under studio conditions.  If so, it's a great
pity: since first hearing him I've wanted to enjoy him more than I
really do, since I'm fully able to appreciate what he does do so very
well.
        Incidentally, as a mere postscript to Mr. Cooper's earlier
posting, I would add that, for one, I thoroughly enjoyed Shicoff on the
_Rigoletto_ I have, that on Philips under Sinopoli, as well as the
_Macbeth_, same label and conductor.  But on that last, whatever the
hell is Zampieri doing?  That's some of the weirdest singing I've ever
heard....sort of like a demented Deutekom!  A friend in North Carolina
once speculated she was fortunate indeed to have had opportunity to
record under the direct supervision of her psychiatrist, and I couldn't
seriously disagree!
        Any comments would be appreciated.
        Cheers.
        Bill Alford     [log in to unmask]

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