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Thread: Profound basses

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    Senior Member TxllxT's Avatar
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    Default Profound basses

    Perhaps I overlooked the thread, but why do the basses get no special attention in our 'Opera' section? "Lovely sopranos", "Gorgeous baritones, ok tenors too"..... So what about the deep throaty ones? My top favourite bass is Kurt Moll, just because his voice rings so beautifully in the acoustics (f.e. in Parsifal with von Karajan); followed by Boris Christoff, because of both his bass-blackness and his great voice-versality. He recorded Boris Godunov with doing all the bass roles himself, giving each of these characters their own distinction. Another Bulgarian, Nicolai Ghiaurov, scores also high on my list. I guess, that basses do not look too well on DVD or that they perhaps drag behind in acting talent on the stage... Your bassy opinions, please.

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    I would add the magnificent Matti Salminen. A moving King Marke, a noble Gurnemanz, a truly intimidating Hunding or Hagen.
    Couchie likes this.

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    Super Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    I would add the magnificent Matti Salminen. A moving King Marke, a noble Gurnemanz, a truly intimidating Hunding or Hagen.
    Beat me to it. Just waiting to watch his Boris Godunov!
    Natalie

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    Senior Member GoneBaroque's Avatar
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    I love the DVD I have with Matti Salminen as Sarastro, was very fond of Jerome Hines ( whom I saw in performance on three occassions) ans Martti Talvela; but for me no one can compare with the sublime Alexander Kipnis.

    Rob

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    Senior Member jflatter's Avatar
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    John Tomlinson is a bit of a legend in the UK. I quite like Franz-Josef Selig, Hans-Peter Kong and Stephen Milling in Wagnerian operas.

    For Italian operas I will always adore Ferrucio Furlanetto's portrayal of the King in Don Carlo. A performance that will live with me a long time.

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    Senior Member jflatter's Avatar
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    God now you have me started. Gottlob Frick, I think Furtwangler called him the blackest bass in Germany for his deep tone.

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    I think it's because they tend to be old and unattractive. This is how shallow our society is.
    [Says the guy who goes bananas for Anna Netrebko's looks]
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I think the "lovely" and "gorgeous" designations in the posts devoted to sopranos and baritones/tenors described their physical attributes rather than their voices (though none of those ladies and gentlemen are lacking in that department, either). But, certainly, there are basses with marvelous voices, and Kurt Moll is also at the top of my list. I also love listening to Franz Crass, Gwynne Howell, Sam Ramey, Stephen Milling, Karl Ridderbusch, Giorgio Tadeo, Franz Josef Selig, Josef Greindl, and Paul Plishka.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    I don't know what I'm doing here in opera, but discovered an urge to mention Kipnis; he made some 'highlights' recordings that are pretty awesome. And there's Ezio Pinza, never heard him in opera, but... "Some enchanted evening..."

    And there's that black American who ended up in the USSR... sort of a bass/baritone/semi-tenor... what a voice that was.
    Experience teaches you to recognize a mistake when you've made it again.
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    Senior Member TxllxT's Avatar
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    Default Feodor Chaliapin



    The greatest bass from the early 20th century, wearing a Boris Godunov costume of $500.000.

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    Senior Member GoneBaroque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jflatter View Post
    God now you have me started. Gottlob Frick, I think Furtwangler called him the blackest bass in Germany for his deep tone.
    Could not agree more. He was very careful in the roles he accepted in order to preserve his voice. I believe he performed his final concert at age 79. He sang Sarastro in Klemperer's Magic Flute.

    Rob

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    Senior Member GoneBaroque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    I don't know what I'm doing here in opera, but discovered an urge to mention Kipnis; he made some 'highlights' recordings that are pretty awesome.
    Although it is not opera Kipnis excelled in the Lieder of Brahms, especially Vier ernste Gesange and Hugo Wolf.

    His son, Igor was a renowned Harpsichordist.

    Rob

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    And there's that black American who ended up in the USSR... sort of a bass/baritone/semi-tenor... what a voice that was.
    You mean Paul Robeson, right? What a remarkable life--actor, singer, athlete, activist, all on a celebrated level.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    You mean Paul Robeson, right? What a remarkable life--actor, singer, athlete, activist, all on a celebrated level.
    That's the guy. I'm lousy about names, knew it wasn't 'Robinson'.
    Experience teaches you to recognize a mistake when you've made it again.
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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    That's the guy. I'm lousy about names, knew it wasn't 'Robinson'.
    Nah, you're thinking of the old *Lost in Space* TV series: "Danger, Will Robinson!"

    [OK, I've just dated myself severely.]

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