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Thread: Do you like Norman jessye ?

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    Default Do you like Norman jessye ?



    She is one of the best 10 "soprano" in the last 35 years...


    And she can sing blues very well also..
    Last edited by asiago12; Sep-02-2019 at 16:13.

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    I'll say this: I enjoy her singing much more than I do her autobiography which I thought was one of the worst books I have ever read on the subject of opera and singing.
    She spoke little of the art and instead plastered her book with anger of bigotry and racism, and religious upbringing and happenings in church.
    Not for me.

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    I don't mind listening to her, but would not consider seeing her name on the cover of a CD as a special recommendation.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Although I'm grateful that her voice was so rich and warm, I actually find quite a lot of her records pretty dull.

    If we check out the Philips compilation the cover is from, I'm most interested in the opera arias which include Corsaro, Figaro, Carmen, Ariadne and Dido. I think Ariadne is by some way the best and her voice is exciting there.

    In each, she is vocally secure but the result is often a bit heavy. The performances are detailed but there is not much danger of them sounding spontaneous, excitable and vibrant.

    I'd guess that her best work was more likely to be Wagner, Strauss (incl. Ariadne) and Berlioz in Les Troyens.

    Her contemporaries made some excellent records of these arias which provide tough competition
    Corsaro - Montserrat Caballe / not much earlier was Callas in 1969 with raw tone but like a real character
    Figaro - Kiri Te Kanawa, Gundula Janowitz
    Carmen - Shirley Verrett, Tatiana Troyanos, Marilyn Horne, Teresa Berganza
    Ariadne - Leontyne Price, Margaret Price, Anna Tomowa-Sintow
    Dido - Janet Baker, Tatiana Troyanos

    If we are talking "the best 10 "soprano" in the last 35 years..." I would suggest Julia Varady for some of this rep - including Figaro, Ariadne and her Verdi arias album. I really enjoyed her Santuzza with Pavarotti: I can't say that Norman and Giacomini really grabbed my attention the same way.

    Cheers, David
    Last edited by Revitalized Classics; Sep-02-2019 at 20:00.

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    I’m not much of an expert, but I’ll say this much: her German accent is impeccable.

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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    not particularly. nothing against her (other than some very obvious neck tension which shows in the voice and a tendency to sacrifice technique and clarity for "musicality"), but not particularly
    Last edited by BalalaikaBoy; Sep-03-2019 at 03:44.

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    Pretty much the same as BalalaikaBoy I've seen her a couple of times but never impressed me really and the hype surrounding the four last songs I never understood .
    Second: why on earth did she recorded Carmen.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    ^^^^
    Pretty much the same as BalalaikaBoy I've seen her a couple of times but never impressed me really and the hype surrounding the four last songs I never understood .
    Second: why on earth did she recorded Carmen.
    There is no "hype surrounding the four last songs." Her performance is a fine one which some people like very much. I'm not a big fan of hers, but I find that recording one of her most satisfying.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    I heard her live quite a few times, and I was always slightly underwhelmed; the voice never seemed to take off. That said, I've reassessed her Four Last Songs recently. I didn't like it when it first came out, but now I do rather, even if it wouldn't be my absolute favourite.

    I also recently came across a live recording of her singing the soprano part in the Verdi Requiem, under Muti and it's absolutely stunning, particularly in the Libera me, which is urgently dramatic.

    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    One of my favourite mezzo/sopranos in the repertory I'm listening to. I've been liking many things I've heard from her, and I own her four last songs which are my third favourite after Janowitz and Studer.

    Quote Originally Posted by nina foresti View Post
    I'll say this: I enjoy her singing much more than I do her autobiography which I thought was one of the worst books I have ever read on the subject of opera and singing.
    She spoke little of the art and instead plastered her book with anger of bigotry and racism, and religious upbringing and happenings in church.
    Not for me.
    Maybe editors fooled you and she never intended to write mainly about her profession in an autobiography.

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    There is no "hype surrounding the four last songs." Her performance is a fine one which some people like very much. I'm not a big fan of hers, but I find that recording one of her most satisfying.
    I think that she's fine on the VLL recording; my reservations relate to Masur's prosaic conducting and the slow tempi, particular for Im Abendrot. I wish that she'd recorded the songs with a more assertive conductor.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    I heard her live quite a few times, and I was always slightly underwhelmed; the voice never seemed to take off. That said, I've reassessed her Four Last Songs recently. I didn't like it when it first came out, but now I do rather, even if it wouldn't be my absolute favourite.

    I also recently came across a live recording of her singing the soprano part in the Verdi Requiem, under Muti and it's absolutely stunning, particularly in the Libera me, which is urgently dramatic.

    That's extraordinary, and should silence niggling criticism (of which I've probably done as much as anyone). All singers have flaws or limitations, but if artists are to be judged by their best work, Norman has to be considered one of the great singers of our time.

    As for her Four Last Songs, she's the only singer I've heard who makes me accept an extremely slow "Im Abendrot." Her majestic tone and fine phrasing fill it out admirably, as lyric sopranos don't.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Sep-03-2019 at 18:41.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    I think that she's fine on the VLL recording; my reservations relate to Masur's prosaic conducting and the slow tempi, particular for Im Abendrot. I wish that she'd recorded the songs with a more assertive conductor.
    I guess I know what you're saying, but she steers that majestic voice so sensitively and keeps me so riveted to her that any shortcomings of Masur just don't register. The voice and articulation seem to fill out the tempi and make them work. It's an extreme take on the songs, maybe, but not an unattractive extreme as Renee Fleming's first recording was, where slowness provided an arena for mannerism. I haven't heard Fleming's second go, but supposedly it's better.

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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revitalized Classics View Post
    If we are talking "the best 10 "soprano" in the last 35 years..." I would suggest Julia Varady for some of this rep - including Figaro, Ariadne and her Verdi arias album. I really enjoyed her Santuzza with Pavarotti: I can't say that Norman and Giacomini really grabbed my attention the same way.

    Cheers, David
    YES! So much guts, real chest voice, versatility of rep. A criminally underrated soprano.

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    AMEN!!!!!!!!!!! AWFUL book.

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