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Thread: a matter of pronunciation

  1. #1
    Daffodylls
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    Default a matter of pronunciation

    Have you ever been disappointed by the performance of a foreign singer?

    ------------------------------

    I watched an Elisabeth Schartzkopf’s masterclass, in witch she explained the particularities of the german pronunciation. I had the feeling that, in that matter, perfection can only be achieved by a german singer.

    When I listen a lied performed by Dietrich Fischer-Diskau, I have the same feeling.

    What do you think?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau? But isn't German his mother tongue? I find no flaws in his pronounciation.

    What sometimes really can annoy me is bad Latin. Almost no choir or solist pronounce it properly. Italians, French and British have the palatal problem, pronouncing 'vincit' as [vintchit] instead of (approx.) [vintsit], 'plangere' as [plandgere] instead of [planghere] etc.
    I was disappointed when I heard the Slovak Philharmonic Choir sing like that. At least Slovaks should pronounce Latin correctly, since they speak a Slavic language that never turns a [prudentsia] into [proodenshah].
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Senior Member Morigan's Avatar
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    Lisztfreak,

    Latin has several "official" pronounciations, and I don't think any of them is really "wrong". I know that the official germanic way of speaking Latin would be "vintsit", but the official Italian prounciation of Latin is "vintchit". I think Italian is the closest language to Latin nowadays, and Rome happens to be in Italy too... I guess they have to be the "official" latin pronouncers. My Latin teacher told us that some scholars have studied this matter deeply and that they think it should actually be "vinkit"! I'll never be able to get used to that way of speaking Latin!

  5. #4
    Daffodylls
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisztfreak View Post
    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau? But isn't German his mother tongue? I find no flaws in his pronounciation.
    in fact, i wanted to say that Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's pronunciation was perfect, because:
    1° He was a great singer
    2° He is German
    - sorry-

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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morigan View Post
    My Latin teacher told us that some scholars have studied this matter deeply and that they think it should actually be "vinkit"!
    In my first year of Latin, we pronounced it in exactly the way (c=k, ae=[eye], s=s, etc.) That's the so-called 'classical pronounciation', and the one we were discussing is 'traditional' - so sorry, I did forget that this, more usual pronounciation, differs from one country to another.

    That's why 'vinkit' is the best, actually. It's universal, and latinists use it in international congresses.

    But this is a purely linguistic discussion, we ought to get back to music!
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    I believe there are 2 pieces in the world that non-native speakers should never perform.

    The first one would be Luonnotar, a no-no for non-Finns, and the second one would be Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings. Earlier this year I heard it live in Prague, with a very good singer from the National Theatre singing tenor. Although his English was not bad by any account, the small details that he could capture marred the performance. He had problems with "TH" and some vowels were much too neutral, not capturing the English dipthong nuances...

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    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morigan View Post
    Lisztfreak,

    Latin has several "official" pronounciations, and I don't think any of them is really "wrong". I know that the official germanic way of speaking Latin would be "vintsit", but the official Italian prounciation of Latin is "vintchit". I think Italian is the closest language to Latin nowadays, and Rome happens to be in Italy too... I guess they have to be the "official" latin pronouncers. My Latin teacher told us that some scholars have studied this matter deeply and that they think it should actually be "vinkit"! I'll never be able to get used to that way of speaking Latin!
    That's as I learned it and presumably there was some foundation in that because the C in Roman names was transliterated to K in Greek and vice versa.

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    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    I'm also told that the Latin soft 'ch' for written c was instituted by the RC Church sometime around 1900 for use in lithurgical music.


    (Sorry about the extra post - it looks like I can't edit my post from yesterday).

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    I think the problem here is that only a handfull of composers have managed to make the soprano voice sound beautiful. Those included Mozart and R. Strauss. Both German, they would have made the German language seemingly superior to all others. I think the skill of the composers' is paramount in producing a pleasing sound, not so much the language of the song.

    P.S. Mozart and R. Strauss slept with enough sopranos so they should have been good at soprano writing anyway!
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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