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Thread: The Helen Traubel Appreciation Thread

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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Default The Helen Traubel Appreciation Thread

    Unlike the more steely dramatic sopranos most of us are used to, Traubel possessed a warm, motherly voice. There were touches of brightness, but not a youthful brightness. It was more like the brightness of the last shimmers of twilight which gave the voice a perpetual melancholic quality. Imo, the voice sat more comfortably in the mezzo range, but I enjoy the voice from top to bottom, so I'm happy to listen to it in either range.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9BDB1nh2nQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxLz4gAmfuM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6Twuk-Wi7k
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I5GOPPL-z0

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    Senior Member Retrograde Inversion's Avatar
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    Traubel was awesome, but I'm not sure Home, Sweet Home would be among my first choice of her recordings...

    I know I'm a dreadful snob, but I'd rather listen to this:


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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retrograde Inversion View Post
    Traubel was awesome, but I'm not sure Home, Sweet Home would be among my first choice of her recordings...
    "Autumn Leaves" was the first one, not home sweet homes. I wanted to start out with her mezzo/contralto register. my favorite part of her voice

    I know I'm a dreadful snob, but I'd rather listen to this:
    <3

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    Senior Member gardibolt's Avatar
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    Traubel was terrific and is underappreciated.
    Hours of unrecorded, unpublished and unknown Beethoven works at The Unheard Beethoven

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    The Traubel voice was one of the great ones indeed. Her range was a bit short - she avoided high C - but the timbre was dark velvet and consistent from top to bottom. She resembled Eileen Farrell not only in vocal opulence but in being attracted to popular entertainment; Traubel made Hollywood movies (as did Lauritz Melchior, the two of them thus getting on the bad side of Rudolf Bing), and Farrell appeared frequently on TV variety shows.

    I always get nostalgic for the interwar period (no, I'm not old enough to remember it!), when the big soprano roles of Wagner were sung by the likes of Leider, Flagstad, Lawrence and Traubel. Where are such majestic voices today?

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    Senior Member Tuoksu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    The Traubel voice was one of the great ones indeed. Her range was a bit short - she avoided high C - but the timbre was dark velvet and consistent from top to bottom. She resembled Eileen Farrell not only in vocal opulence but in being attracted to popular entertainment; Traubel made Hollywood movies (as did Lauritz Melchior, the two of them thus getting on the bad side of Rudolf Bing), and Farrell appeared frequently on TV variety shows.

    I always get nostalgic for the interwar period (no, I'm not old enough to remember it!), when the big soprano roles of Wagner were sung by the likes of Leider, Flagstad, Lawrence and Traubel. Where are such majestic voices today?
    That would have been priceless

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    Senior Member Tuoksu's Avatar
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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    The Traubel voice was one of the great ones indeed. Her range was a bit short - she avoided high C - but the timbre was dark velvet and consistent from top to bottom. She resembled Eileen Farrell not only in vocal opulence but in being attracted to popular entertainment; Traubel made Hollywood movies (as did Lauritz Melchior, the two of them thus getting on the bad side of Rudolf Bing), and Farrell appeared frequently on TV variety shows.

    I always get nostalgic for the interwar period (no, I'm not old enough to remember it!), when the big soprano roles of Wagner were sung by the likes of Leider, Flagstad, Lawrence and Traubel. Where are such majestic voices today?
    we killed them when we decided that dramatic sopranos needed to sound like screaming hippos, rather than the relaxed vocal production of singers the likes of which you mentioned.

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    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuoksu View Post
    This is one of my favorite recordings of hers. She had a very Italiante sound and she got to show off her marvelous chest voice. She started out as a contralto. This is the best B5 I ever heard from her. To my ears her voice is almost as beautiful as Flagstad... and that is saying a lot. It is said that on a good night she could hold her own with Flagstad in volume. Their voices were very different.

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    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tZOuRRgde4
    Here she is dancing and singing. She was a large woman but not obese like many today. I believe she was 6 feet tall.

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    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2KjRxxZqxM
    This is my favorite video of her singing from the movies. Her singing is marvelous. She would be what we used to call a handsome woman. If you haven't seen this it is very much like an art song. You'll love it. It was said she was a stiff actress on stage, but she was a natural on film for these musicals. Bing fired her because she liked popular singing. Enjoy
    Last edited by Seattleoperafan; Jan-07-2017 at 04:05.

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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    This is one of my favorite recordings of hers. She had a very Italiante sound and she got to show off her marvelous chest voice. She started out as a contralto. This is the best B5 I ever heard from her. To my ears her voice is almost as beautiful as Flagstad... and that is saying a lot. It is said that on a good night she could hold her own with Flagstad in volume. Their voices were very different.
    Bb5. it was trasposed down

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    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalalaikaBoy View Post
    Bb5. it was trasposed down
    The things you know. This also accounts for the unusually rich lower notes in her version. I wouldn't be surprised if Tebaldi did this in her late Giocondas... which are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!
    Are you of Russian heritage... hence your avatar name?

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    I gotta have more Traubel!
    Alan

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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    The things you know.
    to be fair, I had to double check

    This also accounts for the unusually rich lower notes in her version.
    indeed. the voice sat more comfortably in a mezzo tessitura

    I wouldn't be surprised if Tebaldi did this in her late Giocondas... which are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!
    I might look into them, though I've never been a huge Tebaldi fan

    Are you of Russian heritage... hence your avatar name?
    nope, I just love Eastern European music

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