Author Topic: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé  (Read 1942 times)

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« on: October 06, 2018, 12:45:58 AM »
One of the last of the great opera stars has passed away at the age of 85.

Renowned for the beauty of her voice, her superb breath control and her ravishing pianissimi, she sang a wide range of music; mostly Italian opera of the ottocento, but also including Strauss, verismo, French and of course Spanish song and zarzuela.

My favourite of all her recorded performances would be the DVD of Norma from Orange, with Vickers as Pollione. Others include her Aida for Muti, her Liu on the Sutherland/Mehta recording, live accounts of the Donizetti Tudor Queens and the early recitals of rare Verdi, Donizetti and Rossini. Her very first recital disc for RCA has one of the most beautiful accounts of Norma's Casta diva you are ever likely to hear.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Biffo

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2018, 01:19:18 AM »
Sad news indeed. I read somewhere that she thought the Norma in Orange was the greatest performance of her life. BBC R3 just played Casta Diva from that recital disc - ravishingly beautiful, I will have to get the disc out and listen to more.

Offline Florestan

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2018, 02:18:48 AM »
Sad news. God rest her soul.
"Medtner [is] one of  the few oases of the old musical outlook --- when music was music and not a sport; when it still served as the language of expression; when it was permissible and not ridiculous to feel, and to disclose one's feelings" - Leonid Sabaneev

Offline vandermolen

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2018, 06:10:19 AM »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline ritter

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2018, 06:27:36 AM »
A great loss for the opera world. R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé.

A saw her live only once, late in her career (1989, at the Teatro de la Zarzuela here in Madrid), in the unlikely role of.....Isolde! A peculiar performance, but one not devoid of interest

On record, there’s much to admire (her Elisabetta in Don Carlo under Giulini being a favourite of mine).
Ritter
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Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2018, 08:12:12 PM »
 Montserrat Caballé was an opera singer who didn't sing at the audience or her colleagues but to them. So much of classical singing these days is barking and posing with all kinds of gimmicks thrown in. Caballé personified the almost lost art of Bel Canto. Listening to her are voice lessons in themselves.
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Offline knight66

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2018, 10:12:48 PM »
I almost saw her once, at the Edinburgh Festival. She cancelled a couple of hours before the concert. Emanuel Ax and Yo Yo Ma were in Edinburgh and though not scheduled to play together, they gave us a very good concert, but not the one we had booked for.

In an interview I heard her explain that at an early important audition she was told that her voice was not of the required quality and that she would be best advised to find a different career, ha! It is a pity that even quality newspapers drone on about her appearance with Freddy Mercury, demeaning her achievements by attaching her as adjunct to a rock star. She did tarnish her reputation in later years, pushing her modestly talented daughter and the tax evasion scandal, but the large recorded legacy proves her talent and her worth.

I have quite a few of her CDs and she had quite a range. Salome might seem to be a surprise, but she sings it terrifically well. Don Carlos, Cosi fan Tutti, Rossini Rarities, Aida and a recital including Lady Macbeth’s Sleepwalking scene are all terrific. Barbirolli’s Verdi Requiem, Mehta’s Turandot where she sings Liu and a beautiful Granados songs disc, all very beautiful and sung with insight. On video there is also the famous Norma from Orange. All favourites of mine and no doubt many others will come to mind.

Mike
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Offline Florestan

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2018, 12:17:41 AM »
It is a pity that even quality newspapers drone on about her appearance with Freddy Mercury, demeaning her achievements by attaching her as adjunct to a rock star.

This bothers me a lot too (and I say it as a big fan of Freddie Mercury).
"Medtner [is] one of  the few oases of the old musical outlook --- when music was music and not a sport; when it still served as the language of expression; when it was permissible and not ridiculous to feel, and to disclose one's feelings" - Leonid Sabaneev

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2018, 12:57:21 AM »
This bothers me a lot too (and I say it as a big fan of Freddie Mercury).

It's hardly surprising, though, is it? After all the song Barcelona was a massive success, being used as the theme tune for the Barcelona Olympics. It brought her to the attention of loads of people who would never otherwise have heard of her. When identifying her to the largely non opera loving public, of course that is what they will refer to.

Callas never sang a note of popular music, so when she died the media (and actually still to this day) brought up the affair with Onassis. When Pavarotti died, they tended to concentrate on the World Cup and the Three Tenors. No doubt they will do the same when Domingo and Carreras eventually pass away. It's the way of the world.

« Last Edit: October 07, 2018, 04:23:58 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Florestan

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2018, 01:01:13 AM »
It's hardly surprising, though, is it? After all the song Barcelona was a massive success, being used as the theme tune for the Barcelona Olympics. It brought her to the attention of loads of people who would never otherwise have heard of her. When identifying her to the largely non opera loving public, of course that is what they will refer to.

Callas never sang a note of popular music, so when she died (and actually still to this day) they brought up the affair with Onassis. When Pavarotti died, they tended to concentrate on the World Cup and the Three Tenors. No doubt they will do the same when Domingo and Carreras eventually pass away. It's the way of the world.

All true. (And I love Barcelona.)
"Medtner [is] one of  the few oases of the old musical outlook --- when music was music and not a sport; when it still served as the language of expression; when it was permissible and not ridiculous to feel, and to disclose one's feelings" - Leonid Sabaneev

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2018, 04:27:16 AM »
(And I love Barcelona.)

Me too, It's a wonderful piece of mixed genre camp, on which Caballé is nothing other than herself.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline André

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2018, 04:39:32 AM »
The canadian press article attached 5 clips of her performances, including her Casta diva from Orange, where she seemed to have wings because of the wind playing with her robes. I immediately put on her in mia man alfin tu sei, my favourite bel canto bit.

Another clip was from a german concert where she chatted with the audience in fluent german before singing O mio babbino caro. Amazing purity and breath control. One of her greatest assets was her ability to establish a bond with the audience.

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2018, 02:33:57 AM »
I only saw her once, a 1985 Tosca with Pavarotti, a few days after they'd opened the season with that opera. It turned out to be her last series of Met performances. I wish I could have seen them both earlier, and in different roles. Memorable, in any case.
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Offline Marc

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2018, 02:42:03 AM »
RIP.

I also dig her Fiordiligi in Mozart's Così fan tutte.
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Offline knight66

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Re: R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2018, 03:15:07 AM »
RIP.

I also dig her Fiordiligi in Mozart's Così fan tutte.

Yes, she and Janet Baker seem like an odd pairing, but it worked exceptionally well. Unfortunately the men in that set let the side down a bit.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.