Author Topic: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD  (Read 359102 times)

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Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #600 on: March 06, 2021, 06:40:14 AM »
Well, I doubt it really qualifies as a "favorite vocal recital", but I've always been curious about Sylvia Sass's pop/disco album. I just found the whole thing on youtube. I'm only to track three, "I don't know how to love him" from Jesus Christ Superstar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCLxeWBxBLs
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #601 on: March 06, 2021, 07:22:30 AM »
Well, I doubt it really qualifies as a "favorite vocal recital", but I've always been curious about Sylvia Sass's pop/disco album. I just found the whole thing on youtube. I'm only to track three, "I don't know how to love him" from Jesus Christ Superstar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCLxeWBxBLs

Actually not as bad as I expected, though some of them sound very weird in Hungarian, particularly Total Eclipse of the Heart.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #602 on: May 13, 2021, 05:55:36 AM »
I can add this recording to my favorite vocal recital list (cross-posted from ‘Listening’ thread):

This entire recording:



I had already listened to the various orchesterlieder from this recording but went back and listened to Vier Letzte Lieder and now playing through the recording again. What can I say that hasn’t already been said before about this recording? Not much! Schwarzkopf has an individual feel for these works. In the Vier Letzte Lieder, the closest comparison I can make is Cheryl Studer not in terms of timbre, but the highly personal feeling she puts into the words that somehow transcend everything and make the music about Strauss and not herself. Szell’s accompaniment, like Sinopoli’s, is also on the same lines as Schwarzkopf --- a different perspective, but never about himself. Incredible music-making and the fidelity of this recording is first-rate --- the remastering sounds wonderful.
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Offline Fritz Kobus

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #603 on: May 13, 2021, 11:15:22 AM »

Disk 1, Wagner. Disk 2, Schumann


Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #604 on: May 14, 2021, 12:22:02 AM »
I can add this recording to my favorite vocal recital list (cross-posted from ‘Listening’ thread):

With Strauss's soaringly gorgeous writing for the soprano voice, it is easy to forget that these are Lieder, not mere vocalises, and Strauss no doubt chose the various texts for a reason. I have quite a few different recordings, including two others by Schwarzkopf, but this is the one I always return to. Schwarzkopf can soar with the best of them, but she also brings her deep experience as a Lieder singer to the texts, which quite often go for nothing.

In recent years, I've noticed how critics and contributors tend to prefer versions by such as Isokoski, Janowitz, Te Kanawa, who, however beautifully they sing, are much less specific in their response to the text. Even Jessye Norman, who sings another favourite version of mine, is more generalised in her interpretation of the words.

\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #605 on: May 21, 2021, 11:44:29 AM »



CD 1 from this box:



I’ve had this box since it was issued, but I still have to plumb its depths. I don’t think I’ve listened to more than 10% of it so far.

So, on to this disc, Callas’ first studio recital from 1949. It’s very short, doesn’t make it to the half hour mark, but suprisingly representative of the singer’s enormous range. One never hears Isolde’s Liebestod sung in Italian these days, but that’s how it was done in those days. I recently heard a version by Germaine Lubin from 1938 sung in French. Wagner was not an aria composer, especially not that late in his career. Mild und leise is as close to a standard aria as we are likely to hear. Having it sung in Italian sort of reinforces that impression. The italian words come out easily and the vowels float beautifully. Despite its not lying high on the voice (it ends on a F#, quite under the climactic ABC notes one usually hears in the soprano range) it is not easy to sing. That concluding leap to a pianissimo F# never comes out easily if one is not named Birgit Nilsson. And so it is with Callas who, even at the start of her career shows a hint of instability on that note. But that doesn’t matter one bit. Her portrayal is immensely affecting, as if singing from the afterworld. Other sopranos give the aria a sense of worldly summation before quietly expiring. Callas gives us a Tod und Verklärung scena, a true transfiguration. It is said that Anna Pavlova gave that sense of sublimity to her dying swan scene. Big goosebump moment here.

In Norma she is in impeccable vocal form, the portrayal of the gaul druidess fully formed and superbly carried out vocally. As Elvira in I Puritani she is even more impressive, the voice liquid and pliant in O rendetemi la speme, strong and valiant in the cabaletta, rising to a stunning high E flat, cutting and brilliant like a laser beam. The note is taken from below, portamento-like, an effect I’ve always loved. It gives it a crunch that is irresistible even if a tad on the vulgar side.


Edit: I found this recension of Callas’ Dolce e calmo in a site devoted to that aria’s most famous interpreters. It’s one person’s opinion of course, but I happen to agree with it !
Quote
Isolde: (In Italian), Isotta, December 1949; RAI Orchestra, Torino, cond. Arturo Basile.
From the beginning, the voice rises, nostalgic and clear, slightly from the chest in the lowest reaches of the music, before deliberately engaging in 'bel canto'. Her gruppetti belong to the coloratura and the singer handles crescendi and effects with great care until she obtains bright G sharps, sorrowfully struck in the timbre. Tempo somewhat slowed down in the medium of the central part, last note less happy, even if held out for a long time. Lurid interpretation of a tragedian, projected audibly over the orchestra despite her youth. In fact, nearer to the character than has been admitted so far
« Last Edit: May 22, 2021, 02:39:32 PM by André »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #606 on: May 21, 2021, 07:35:33 PM »
With Strauss's soaringly gorgeous writing for the soprano voice, it is easy to forget that these are Lieder, not mere vocalises, and Strauss no doubt chose the various texts for a reason. I have quite a few different recordings, including two others by Schwarzkopf, but this is the one I always return to. Schwarzkopf can soar with the best of them, but she also brings her deep experience as a Lieder singer to the texts, which quite often go for nothing.

In recent years, I've noticed how critics and contributors tend to prefer versions by such as Isokoski, Janowitz, Te Kanawa, who, however beautifully they sing, are much less specific in their response to the text. Even Jessye Norman, who sings another favourite version of mine, is more generalised in her interpretation of the words.

Sorry for the late replay, but I think that’s a good point, Tsaraslondon. She seems to not worry about showboating her voice (and it is magnificent), but she’s more concerned with the way she phrases the words and brings out all of the lovely nuances that these words encapsulate. I do like Isokoski, Norman and Janowitz a lot and think highly of their performances, but Schwarzkopf is in a completely different class altogether. By far, my favorite of all the ones I’ve heard so far. A distant second-place would be Cheryl Studer (w/ Sinopoli). I love this performance also for its individuality and the way Studer is able to hang onto certain words and her phrasing is beautiful. That kind of yearning quality is what I think Studer excels in.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2021, 07:37:24 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline ritter

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #607 on: June 10, 2021, 12:01:32 AM »
Watching this wonderful, Spanish-infused recital by Marianne Crebassa and pianist Alphonse Cemin, held at La Scala in Milan 4 days ago (I don't know how long the video will be available on YouTube):

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/ms1kRFVTpWM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/ms1kRFVTpWM</a>
The program is really attractive, including four of the lovely Canciones castellanas by Jesús Guridi (pity there's a glitch in the video in my favourite of this group, Como quieres que advine), an extraordinary rendition of Debussy's Trois chanons de Bilitis, some Falla, Berlioz's Les nuits d'été, some Ravel and two arias from Carmen. Mme. Crebassa had already made a very, very strong impression on me in her recording of the piano version of Shéhérazade and the Bilitis songs (with Fazil Say), and this is confirmed here.

I understand a CD of a similar program has already been (or will soon be) recorded.

Recommended!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 12:05:06 AM by ritter »
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