View Poll Results: Who sang it better?

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  • Destinn

    16 55.17%
  • Caballe

    13 44.83%
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Thread: SOPRANO TOURNAMENT: (Quarterfinal 3): Destinn vs Caballe

  1. #31
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    This is just not a voice that has verve and passion to it. I just happen not to hear what the rest of you do about her voice. I find it light and thin but not a Carmen type of voice that appeals to me. (running for cover)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKKuU57z0t0
    Last edited by nina foresti; Mar-05-2021 at 22:29.

  2. #32
    Senior Member vivalagentenuova's Avatar
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    I think she sounds okay as Carmen, although it's not a role I would have associated with her. I don't find her voice thin at all. In fact, I think it is rounder and fuller than Caballe. Here's Destinn in a less acoustically dry transfer. Does that make a difference?

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  4. #33
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    It's interesting that Destinn's voice can be perceived as thin. In the below Salome excerpts, she sounds "thicker" and fuller (well-coordinated) than Nilsson to me. Just listen to the B-flat at 1:08. Granted, Nilsson has to compete with the orchestra, and it is very difficult to have a fair comparison because there are many confounding factors, but I think it's fair to assess that Destinn's is a very large voice. In the Tosca comparison, it's Caballe who is "thin" IMO. But I have to confess I have never been really warm to Caballe's voice, at least in her studio recordings.





    P/S: I am very happy with the civilized discussions we have in these tournaments. I learn so much about differences in taste and am willing to reevaluate my opinions as well.
    Last edited by silentio; Mar-06-2021 at 00:35.

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  6. #34
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    I happen to prefer this. Hear the chest tones?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEMHiww3JEI
    Last edited by nina foresti; Mar-06-2021 at 01:46.

  7. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by nina foresti View Post
    Good to hear someone tout the virtues of "La Draculette". Perhaps she's less than adored offstage but onstage her voice is the most glorious, vulnerable, sensitive and plaintive of the sopranos of today.
    I have not heard her in an opera for several years and do hope the magic in her throat is still there.
    People who know her personally off stage do like her. Some people who work with her don’t. I suspect a lot of this is because she has a strong will, knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to stand up for what she wants. If she wants to interpret a role in a particular way (e.g. phrasing Vissi D’Arte similarly to Callas) and a director tells her to do it differently, she pushes back.

    Is it possible that some directors & other staff have a problem with a very strong willed soprano who knows what she wants??

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  9. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanacekTheGreat View Post
    Does anyone have any idea how come they accept this level of singing at La Scala and The Met?
    (Netrebko vids removed to keep post size down)

    She’s accepted because their audiences love her, despite the appalling tone and dreadful wobbling. If you book Netrebko for a series of performances, she’ll ensure that every seat is sold. 10+ years ago her voice was far better than it is today, and this was understandable. Watch her in Lucia from that period - not perfect but far, far better than she is now.

    Personally, I’d rather see Oropesa, Yoncheva, Sierra, Schulz, Petibon, Yende, Lezhneva, etc.....

    I think Netrebko’s days are numbered now that her voice has deteriorated so far, but for now she’s still filling the house and selling well.

    It’s interesting to note another historical singer who was famed for her wobbly top at at times harsh voice is now regarded as an all-time great. I’m young enough to be alive (barring illnesses etc) for some years after Nebs retires. Will be interesting to see how she’s remembered in the future.

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  11. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivalagentenuova View Post
    I think she sounds okay as Carmen, although it's not a role I would have associated with her. I don't find her voice thin at all. In fact, I think it is rounder and fuller than Caballe. Here's Destinn in a less acoustically dry transfer. Does that make a difference?
    That certainly brings her vocal quality out more, although is still not a recording I’d choose to listen to except to understand the voice better. It has greater clarity, but like most recordings of this era even the orchestra has a wobble - leading me to question how accurately her voice was really captured. I’d not dispute that she was a great performer. But recordings of such poor quality mean that I’m unlikely to listen purely for enjoyment.

  12. #38
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentio View Post
    It's interesting that Destinn's voice can be perceived as thin. In the below Salome excerpts, she sounds "thicker" and fuller (well-coordinated) than Nilsson to me. Just listen to the B-flat at 1:08. Granted, Nilsson has to compete with the orchestra, and it is very difficult to have a fair comparison because there are many confounding factors, but I think it's fair to assess that Destinn's is a very large voice. In the Tosca comparison, it's Caballe who is "thin" IMO. But I have to confess I have never been really warm to Caballe's voice, at least in her studio recordings.





    P/S: I am very happy with the civilized discussions we have in these tournaments. I learn so much about differences in taste and am willing to reevaluate my opinions as well.
    Thin is not a word I would ever use to describe Caballé!

    But seriously, thin is not the word that comes to mind when I think of Caballé's voice, which, at its best , had a gorgeous velvety beauty. Heer greatest years didn't last that long and the voice started to develop a hardness on top, which perhaps explains her overindulgence in those floated high pianissimi. The end of O patria mia, when she floats the top C in a way that is truly dolce as Verdi asks, is truly staggering, but you can have too much of a good thing.

    Nilsson's is not a voice I have ever warmed to, warmth being one of the things lacking from her voice. That said I'd take her pure funnel of sound on the Bb over Destinn's, which here sounds strained and wavers in pitch, and I don't think that is the fault of the recording.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  14. #39
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nina foresti View Post
    I happen to prefer this. Hear the chest tones?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEMHiww3JEI
    Wow! So beautiful and you are right. The photo with the hat has her looking like she just rose from the grave LOL

  15. #40
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    Thin is not a word I would ever use to describe Caballé!

    But seriously, thin is not the word that comes to mind when I think of Caballé's voice, which, at its best , had a gorgeous velvety beauty. Heer greatest years didn't last that long and the voice started to develop a hardness on top, which perhaps explains her overindulgence in those floated high pianissimi. The end of O patria mia, when she floats the top C in a way that is truly dolce as Verdi asks, is truly staggering, but you can have too much of a good thing.

    Nilsson's is not a voice I have ever warmed to, warmth being one of the things lacking from her voice. That said I'd take her pure funnel of sound on the Bb over Destinn's, which here sounds strained and wavers in pitch, and I don't think that is the fault of the recording.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ1eM_mHT2E&t=324s May I suggest sampling Nilsson's singing on this post I made to Youtube that shows of the dark within light quality her live voice had. Start .30 seconds in. It is a revelation. So dark and warm. Her voice was by nature much darker, but as she projected it you heard mostly the brightness if recorded to closely. Only out in the house did the full nature of her voice reconstitute.

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  17. #41
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ1eM_mHT2E&t=324s May I suggest sampling Nilsson's singing on this post I made to Youtube that shows of the dark within light quality her live voice had. Start .30 seconds in. It is a revelation. So dark and warm. Her voice was by nature much darker, but as she projected it you heard mostly the brightness if recorded to closely. Only out in the house did the full nature of her voice reconstitute.
    I'm willing to believe that, and in fact your not the first person to have told me that. I suppose I don't listen to her thay mch because the repertoire she was best at (Wagner and Strauss's Elektra) I don't listen to that often, and in any case there are other sopranos I prefer as both Isolde and Brünnhilde. I'm afraid, aside from Turandot, I don't really like her in Italian opera and even here I prefer Sutherland.

    I'm sure I've related this story before, but I once went to a Q & A session with Nilsson and Regina Resnik at the Crush Bar in Covent Garden. They were both retired by this time. The first half was the Q&A and the second was a short masterclass featuring three or four young singers. She and Resnik were hilarious in the frst half and gave out some good advice to the young singers, however one of them was decidedly not in the same league. As she finished (I think she sang Suicidio!) Nilsson blurted out, "My dear, are you having singing lessons?". You could tell it was completely involantary because the audience tittered and then she quickly came in kindly with something like, "Well of course you are. I'm just not sure this is the right repertoire for you." The poor girl must have been crushed but I really don't know why she had been chosen.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  19. #42
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivalagentenuova View Post
    I think she sounds okay as Carmen, although it's not a role I would have associated with her. I don't find her voice thin at all. In fact, I think it is rounder and fuller than Caballe. Here's Destinn in a less acoustically dry transfer. Does that make a difference?
    Judging from this, Destinn would have had great projection in the house. I'm thinking of Birgit Nilsson, standing and listening to a recording of herself recorded by the acoustic process, horrified and saying "that's terrible!," and vowing that she would never laugh at old recordings again. If Destinn sounds as good as this via acoustic horn, shellac and cactus needle, she must have been a force heard live.

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