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Thread: Verdi baritones

  1. #61
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    And btw how did Turandot recordings find their way into a thread on Verdi baritones?
    It found its way because in post #11 you asked "Why go to the ancient and crackling recordings when we have such riches decently recorded?" At least 3 people have given concise answers to that question.

    You've also accused others of "condemning" you for "preferring sound which is tolerable." I've seen no condemnation, and I believe we all prefer sound which is tolerable. But your constant denigration of old recordings, not only on this thread but wherever on the forum the subject arises, gives others the distinct impression that you want the right to determine what ought to be considered tolerable.

    A simple suggestion which applies here and elsewhere: when other people are expressing enthusiasm for something, restrain the impulse to jump up, wave your arms about, and say that it's awful, that you can't understand what anyone gets out of it, that "we" shouldn't take it so seriously, that there are more important things in life, and so forth.

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  3. #62
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Yes it's good what I hear. Of course, you can get the really fine Decca recording in excellent sound
    You mean the Mehta recording, with the woefully underpowered Calaf and a Turandot who never actually sang the role on any stage?

    Context matters.

  4. #63
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    I've been checking through the discographies and I think that Renato Bruson has recorded the most Verdi baritone parts - over twenty as far as I can tell. Giuseppe Taddei was another versatile artist who performed many roles including rarely performed works such as Un giorno di regno [aka Il finto Stanislao] and La battaglia di Legnano.

    I'm not sure where this leaves my idea of a "Verdi baritone"... Both their voices have a lower centre-of-gravity than, say, Gobbi or Nucci, Panerai or Sereni who you might argue are more suited to Ford than Falstaff.

    No sooner would you conclude that Taddei and Bruson provide a useful 'stereotype' - along with, say, Manuguerra's lovely timbre - than I realise that Milnes has performed almost as many Verdi parts and his voice is so different and used so differently...

    I think that Ambrogio Maestri probably belongs to the same baritone-with-a-hint-of-bass range as Taddei and - when he is not pigeonholed as Falstaff - he sings Rigoletto, Ballo, Otello etc rather well.


    PS It is lamentable how many videos of Maestri's singing have poor sound. This seems to have been a decent modern version but it is hard to tell even though it is so-called HD.

    Between that and videos recorded by mobile phone, if the poor man retired tomorrow we could hardly muster a decent album to commemorate his hard work.
    Last edited by Revitalized Classics; Oct-15-2019 at 18:26.

  5. #64
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    You mean the Mehta recording, with the woefully underpowered Calaf and a Turandot who never actually sang the role on any stage?

    Context matters.
    Not a fan of the Mehta, but I'd take the Nilsson/Bjorling/Tebaldi over the Cigna/Merli/Olivero recording any day, regardless of sound quality. I find Olivero pretty unpleasant on that recording actually--I don't know why but she came back from her retirement a much finer singer than what we hear on that Turandot.

    just listened to the end of act 1 of the Ghione since it's been awhile, I forgot about the unintentional comedy of the gong that Timur bangs on this one. Sounds like a very dainty xylophone, hardly the impressive crashes we're used to.

    Oof, just relistened to Cigna's In questa reggia, this is not good, guys. Edgy, thin and hard, very unpleasant top notes, flat much of the time. I can entertain an argument for the Borkh/Del Monaco/Tebaldi if you insist on a pre-stereo recording (although I strongly dislike Del Monaco in this role), but the Cigna/Ghione/Olivero has mediocre performances across the board.
    Last edited by howlingfantods; Oct-15-2019 at 23:05.

  6. #65
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revitalized Classics View Post
    It is lamentable how many videos of Maestri's singing have poor sound. This seems to have been a decent modern version but it is hard to tell even though it is so-called HD.

    Between that and videos recorded by mobile phone, if the poor man retired tomorrow we could hardly muster a decent album to commemorate his hard work.
    Judging by that "Cortigiani," I would say Maestri is working a bit too hard.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Oct-15-2019 at 22:52.

  7. #66
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    You mean the Mehta recording, with the woefully underpowered Calaf and a Turandot who never actually sang the role on any stage?

    Context matters.
    Yes and the context happens to be an audio recording not a stage performance. The Calaf is not actually woefully underpowered unless you like a bawler in the role - and don’t forget more people have heard him in the role than anyone else ! As for Sutherland she is pretty remarkable and who can question Caballe’s singing as Lui? It’s interesting that people say this about this Turandot then go on to rave about certain Carmens who never sang the role on stage. And as I say why are we discussing this in a thread on Verdi baritones? Wouldn’t it be better to start a thread?
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-16-2019 at 07:25.

  8. #67
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revitalized Classics View Post
    I've been checking through the discographies and I think that Renato Bruson has recorded the most Verdi baritone parts - over twenty as far as I can tell. Giuseppe Taddei was another versatile artist who performed many roles including rarely performed works such as Un giorno di regno [aka Il finto Stanislao] and La battaglia di Legnano.

    I'm not sure where this leaves my idea of a "Verdi baritone"... Both their voices have a lower centre-of-gravity than, say, Gobbi or Nucci, Panerai or Sereni who you might argue are more suited to Ford than Falstaff.

    No sooner would you conclude that Taddei and Bruson provide a useful 'stereotype' - along with, say, Manuguerra's lovely timbre - than I realise that Milnes has performed almost as many Verdi parts and his voice is so different and used so differently...

    I think that Ambrogio Maestri probably belongs to the same baritone-with-a-hint-of-bass range as Taddei and - when he is not pigeonholed as Falstaff - he sings Rigoletto, Ballo, Otello etc rather well.


    PS It is lamentable how many videos of Maestri's singing have poor sound. This seems to have been a decent modern version but it is hard to tell even though it is so-called HD.

    Between that and videos recorded by mobile phone, if the poor man retired tomorrow we could hardly muster a decent album to commemorate his hard work.
    The problem today of course is that record companies are simply not making records in the quantities they used to and therefore Maestri has come in the wrong end at least to have his word aurally recorded for posterity. I have known him in other roles but he is the best Falstaff I’ve ever seen on stage
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-16-2019 at 07:37.

  9. #68
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    The problem today of course is that record companies are simply not making records in the quantities they used to
    Companies are making plenty of records, more than ever before - it's just not the so-called "major" labels making them, and most of them don't feel the need to record standard repertoire operas that have been recorded umpteen times before.

  10. #69
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    And as I say why are we discussing this in a thread on Verdi baritones? Wouldn’t it be better to start a thread?
    As with most threads in this opera forum, this quickly switched focus from the topic of good Verdi baritones of the past and present to become yet another thread where people argue "old things good, new things bad".

    As such, I found it interesting that someone brought up the very mediocre Ghione recording, since that's actually a pretty good counterexample of the "OTG, NTB" talking point that folks in the opera forum love to argue.

  11. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    As with most threads in this opera forum, this quickly switched focus from the topic of good Verdi baritones of the past and present to become yet another thread where people argue "old things good, new things bad".

    As such, I found it interesting that someone brought up the very mediocre Ghione recording, since that's actually a pretty good counterexample of the "OTG, NTB" talking point that folks in the opera forum love to argue.
    Is it not also interesting that you are recommending a 59-year-old recording (Leinsdorf) and a 64-year-old recording (Erede) while criticising other people who think "old things good, new things bad"?

  12. #71
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revitalized Classics View Post
    Is it not also interesting that you are recommending a 59-year-old recording (Leinsdorf) and a 64-year-old recording (Erede) while criticising other people who think "old things good, new things bad"?
    I like recordings from the 1920s and recordings from the 1950s and recordings from the 1980s and recordings from the 2010s. Thus I don't think it's remotely contradictory to recommend 60 year old recordings since I often recommend recordings from many eras.

    The funny thing about the "old things good, new things bad" trope around here is that the "old" and the "new" are extremely fluid categories depending on whatever the argument happens to be about. I do think it's pretty funny in this particular thread that the "new" that yall are attacking DavidA for liking includes the 50 year old Mehta recording. I gather that since David also recommended Toscanini and Gobbi recordings that the "new" for the purposes of this particular thread includes the early mono magnetic era, which is pretty amusing.

  13. #72
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    I like recordings from the 1920s and recordings from the 1950s and recordings from the 1980s and recordings from the 2010s. Thus I don't think it's remotely contradictory to recommend 60 year old recordings since I often recommend recordings from many eras.

    The funny thing about the "old things good, new things bad" trope around here is that the "old" and the "new" are extremely fluid categories depending on whatever the argument happens to be about. I do think it's pretty funny in this particular thread that the "new" that yall are attacking DavidA for liking includes the 50 year old Mehta recording. I gather that since David also recommended Toscanini and Gobbi recordings that the "new" for the purposes of this particular thread includes the early mono magnetic era, which is pretty amusing.
    Anything post-Deluvian is 'new' to some people apparently!

  14. #73
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    Companies are making plenty of records, more than ever before - it's just not the so-called "major" labels making them, and most of them don't feel the need to record standard repertoire operas that have been recorded umpteen times before.
    And of course many opera recordings are now DVD
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-16-2019 at 19:52.

  15. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    I like recordings from the 1920s and recordings from the 1950s and recordings from the 1980s and recordings from the 2010s. Thus I don't think it's remotely contradictory to recommend 60 year old recordings since I often recommend recordings from many eras.
    Well what was stopping you? Provide your suggestions, including modern recordings you would recommend. If you do indeed cast a benevolent eye over ninety years of recording then you will have lots of suggestions of good modern singing.

    This has been a thread where posters simply suggest that we listen to all available recordings. You'll understand that since you already appreciate recordings of any age.

    The alternative is, as you pointed out, cherrypicking an arbitrary time somewhere around "the early mono magnetic era" and starting from there.
    Last edited by Revitalized Classics; Oct-16-2019 at 21:24.

  16. #75
    Senior Member Azol's Avatar
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    Cappuccilli - the very first reaction when I saw this thread's title.

    And here's why:



    P.S. Of course he overplays the last "Ah!" but who don't? It would be interesting to compare just this "Ah!" coming from different studio and live versions and to have a public poll on the best croak ever!
    Last edited by Azol; Oct-16-2019 at 21:34.

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