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Thread: The best trill ever?

  1. #46
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ird4qnCdGFU Farrell's PERFECT trill
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ysz71n8LZPM Jones when she was one of the greatest Verdi singers of all time
    Jones also did Norma at 60 after singer Wagner for years and did a really amazing job. I'm sure there is a trill in there somewhere.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC4vlii287E Varnay Trovatore She also does a great trill in Wagner but my brain is blanking on where at the moment.
    Jane Eaglen was also a Bruinhilde who could trill. I could track down if you want me to.
    Thanks. What a pity Farrell didn't make more complete opera recordings, or for that matter just do more opera. As Callas said, "The Met can hardly be considered a serious artistic institution. They don't even have Farrell."

    It's also great to hear Jones in 1966, before the dreaded wobble cropped up. As for Varnay, if she'd stop scooping and swelling and increasing the vibrato gradually on note after note like some sultry torch singer I might be able to stand listening to her. I'll bet Callas would have a choice remark for her too.

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  3. #47
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    Here are some effortless trills from the great voices of the golden past; these ladies all successfully performed Brunnhilde and/or Isolde at some point in their career :










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  5. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentio View Post
    Here are some effortless trills from the great voices of the golden past; these ladies all successfully performed Brunnhilde and/or Isolde at some point in their career :









    Wonderful stuff, silentio. These women had technique to burn! A pity recordings of the time couldn't capture the size, body and brilliance of their voices, and often forced them to rush through arias while doing virtual acrobatics in front of a horn. It's no wonder some singers refused to make recordings, or hated the recordings they did make.

    Fabulous trills from all of them. That Hungarian thing by Nordica is an absolute hoot - such coloratura from a Wagnerian! - and Solomiya Kruschelnytska manages to be powerfully moving in the Mefistofele aria despite the technology.

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    I remembered Steane mentioning that Kruschelnytska, Muzio, and Callas were the three most imaginative sopranos on record. Kruschelnytska's recordings (all of which are available on YouTube nowadays) justify his assessment: she does sound ways ahead of her time, with the kind of deep characterization, darkening the voice and putting the "drama" before the purity of tone. In addition, she was a singer of historical importance. From Wikipedia:

    "In the history of music, Krushelnytska is known as an active promoter of the works of her contemporaries, and of Richard Wagner. In 1902 she starred in a successful production of Lohengrin in Paris. In 1906 she appeared to acclaim at Milan's La Scala in Richard Strauss's Salome, conducted by Arturo Toscanini...

    In 1904, she famously became a savior of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. The opera had been booed by the audience at its premiere in Milan's La Scala, but three months later in Brescia, a revised version of the work, with Krushelnytska singing the leading role, was a major success."


    (What a freak this soprano is!)

    Sometimes I wonder if the like of Lehmann, Kruschelnytska, Fremstad, Leider etc, e.g. hardcore Wagnerian soprano who could effortlessly execute any kind of coloratura from Mozart to Verdi, was the norm of the past, or they were extreme outliers!
    Last edited by silentio; Apr-22-2017 at 09:20.

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    That Kruschelnytska is a phenomenon. Thanks for bringing her to our attention, I had never heard or heard of her before. Fantastic trill ... and voice! I wonder if she ever sang Kostelnička?



    Kind regards,

    George
    Last edited by Barelytenor; Apr-22-2017 at 16:31.

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  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentio View Post
    I remembered Steane mentioning that Kruschelnytska, Muzio, and Callas were the three most imaginative sopranos on record. Kruschelnytska's recordings (all of which are available on YouTube nowadays) justify his assessment: she does sound ways ahead of her time, with the kind of deep characterization, darkening the voice and putting the "drama" before the purity of tone. In addition, she was a singer of historical importance. From Wikipedia:

    "In the history of music, Krushelnytska is known as an active promoter of the works of her contemporaries, and of Richard Wagner. In 1902 she starred in a successful production of Lohengrin in Paris. In 1906 she appeared to acclaim at Milan's La Scala in Richard Strauss's Salome, conducted by Arturo Toscanini...

    In 1904, she famously became a savior of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. The opera had been booed by the audience at its premiere in Milan's La Scala, but three months later in Brescia, a revised version of the work, with Krushelnytska singing the leading role, was a major success."


    (What a freak this soprano is!)

    Sometimes I wonder if the like of Lehmann, Kruschelnytska, Fremstad, Leider etc, e.g. hardcore Wagnerian soprano who could effortlessly execute any kind of coloratura from Mozart to Verdi, was the norm of the past, or they were extreme outliers!
    They may have been among the best, but I don't think they were outliers. These singers were trained in old traditions of vocal pedagogy still maintained in the 19th century, before singing was compartmentalized into "fachs" and when there was no such thing as a "Wagnerian soprano" or a "Verdi soprano." Yeah, there were lighter and heavier voices, but basically you sang anything you had the power and endurance for, and you were expected to have the technique to do it. Even Nellie Melba seems to have thought that if Lehmann could sing the Queen of the Night, Melba could sing Brunnhilde (or maybe she just thought that Melba could do anything). Of course she quickly discovered that she was wrong, but the idea that she had a "fach" obviously never occurred to her. It wasn't only the sopranos, either. Contralto extraordinaire Ernestine Schumann-Heink, who was the first Klytemnestra in Strauss's Elektra and sang everything from Donizetti to Wagner, had coloratura technique to burn, and so did Caruso, though his repertoire rarely called for it; his cadenza at the end of "La donna e mobile" is unsurpassed, and he shows us a perfect trill in "Ombra mai fu," recorded when his voice had darkened into that of a dramatic tenor who would have taken on Otello and even Wagner.

    I'm still discovering singers from the early days of recording whose vocal prowess amazes me. It seems to me that World War II was a cataclysm that amounted to a great dividing line in the history of mankind, and that the history of musical performance practice, including singing, also divides into pre- and post-war. Maybe it's just a personal perspective, or a function of my age (early baby boomer, who grew up with 78rpm records of Galli-Curci and other "golden age" singers). All I'm certain of is that when I want to hear Verdi or Wagner sung as well as it can be sung - from the standpoint of technique and, usually, style as well - it's to singers active before WW II that I must usually turn.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Apr-22-2017 at 17:57.

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  13. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    They may have been among the best, but I don't think they were outliers. These singers were trained in old traditions of vocal pedagogy still maintained in the 19th century, before singing was compartmentalized into "fachs" and when there was no such thing as a "Wagnerian soprano" or a "Verdi soprano." Yeah, there were lighter and heavier voices, but basically, you sang anything you had the power and endurance for, and you were expected to have the technique to do it. Even Nellie Melba seems to have thought that if Lehmann could sing the Queen of the Night, Melba could sing Brunnhilde (or maybe she just thought that Melba could do anything). Of course she quickly discovered that she was wrong, but the idea that she had a "fach" obviously never occurred to her. It wasn't only the sopranos, either. Contralto extraordinaire Ernestine Schumann-Heink, who was the first Klytemnestra in Strauss's Elektra and sang everything from Donizetti to Wagner, had coloratura technique to burn, and so did Caruso, though his repertoire rarely called for it; his cadenza at the end of "La donna e mobile" is unsurpassed, and he shows us a perfect trill in "Ombra mai fu," recorded when his voice had darkened into that of a dramatic tenor who would have taken on Otello and even Wagner.

    I'm still discovering singers from the early days of recording whose vocal prowess amazes me. It seems to me that World War II was a cataclysm that amounted to a great dividing line in the history of mankind and that the history of musical performance practice, including singing, also divides into pre- and post-war. Maybe it's just a personal perspective, or a function of my age (early baby boomer, who grew up with 78rpm records of Galli-Curci and other "golden age" singers). All I'm certain of is that when I want to hear Verdi or Wagner sung as well as it can be sung - from the standpoint of technique and, usually, style as well - it's to singers active before WW II that I must usually turn.
    Great points Woodduck. I often heard the same things among my pianophile and theater-going friends, that as if the geist in these arts were stripped off by some brutal forces post-war. One can't help to wonder what happened exactly?
    Last edited by silentio; Apr-23-2017 at 02:25.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silentio View Post
    Great points Woodduck. I often heard the same things among my pianophile and theater-going friends, that as if the geist in these arts were stripped off by some brutal forces post-war. One can't help to wonder what happened exactly?
    That has to be an enormously complicated question. The Nazi era, the traumatization of Europe, the atomic bomb, Soviet imperialism, the cold war and the arms race, the space race, the explosive growth of American prosperity, technology and influence, the triumph of Modernism in the arts, the rise of pop and media culture - all that and more within thirty years... Yes, I'd say those were "brutal forces"!

    I listen to old recordings to get a feel for life before it all came down on us. What could take us farther from the world as we know it than the voice of the 62-year-old Adelina Patti, recorded in 1905, singing "Home, Sweet Home"?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM0Sft7Kjic

    And to bring us back to trills, here's Patti's "Ah non credea" from La Sonnambula:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2LY6YLHn7U

    Here we have a singer, born in 1843, who sang for Rossini, and whom in her prime Verdi called "the greatest singer in the world," showing us a technique and style, a simple, clear, serene, unforced, natural way of using the voice, which is now entirely lost. I find these recordings incredibly moving, and the more I listen to Patti the more I love her.

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