7 February 2012

3.5 Time-Outs Tuesday

I started to write some quick posts, but I found they were quickly becoming long posts.  I couldn't think of anything else, so today's 3.5 timeouts is a music edition, courtesy of YouTube.


In my music lessons, I often find it useful to listen to various singers singing the same song, taking in the various interpretations.  Today, I'll do the famous aria from Tosca: E lucevan le stelle.  I'll begin with the man Pavorotti thought was the greatest tenor of all time, Jussi Bjorling.


Second is Italian great Benjamino Gigli.  He sang in the early twentieth century, in a much different style than is prevalent today.  Notice how, for his first big rise on the words "O dulci baccio...." he goes into falsetto for effect, rather than maintaining full voice.


Possibly my favourite tenor, Mario Del Monaco, the brass bull of Milan.  Not the greatest singer, but there is something undeniably manly and powerful in his voice.  His version of Nessun Dorma, for instance, is my favourite, though it is not the technical best.


Just to prove that not all voices are suited for all songs, here's Del Monaco singing Panis Angelicus. He had a great, powerful voice, which was actually his problem: he couldn't reel it back in.  He sings this song like he is standing on a street corner, hailing a cab.

Final bonus for those who made it this far:

Here's the man Placido Domingo believes could have been the best tenor of all, Mario Lanza, singing E Lucvan.  Of them all, he is the only one who really enunciates his consonants. I mean that as high praise. Many singers just howl out an undiffereentiated vowel mash and are almost completely imcomprehensible as a result. For instance, Joan Sutherland was well known for it. True story: The day she died, my singing teacher was driving on some errands, listening to the radio play a retrospective on her life and work. They played a song of hers he had never heard before. "She's singing in German," he thought. "No wait, that's Italian. No German. Russian? No, definitely Italian. German." The song ended and the radio announcer named the song. As it turned out, the song was by Handel, and she had been singing in English.


LarryD said...

Your description of the singing of Panis Angelicus was spot on.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

I always thought Mario Lanza was one of the greatest tenors ever and that he died way too young. Jussi Bjorling had the voice unmatched - liquid gold.