Classical Music Forum banner

Yes or no?

41 - 60 of 84 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,238 Posts
I'm not a big fan, but a countertenor voice worked well in Glass's opera Akhnaten, which I recently listened to. The countertenor of Akhnaten is matched by the contralto of his wife Nefertiti - maybe to portray them as being a couple so in synch with each other that they almost seem to be two halves of the same entity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I find it difficult to credit this poll. Why on earth is it here. And anyway, what is supposed to happen if the answer is no? What prejudice will be exercised next - Mongolian throat singers? I don't particularly like the sound of bass saxophones! But it is of little interest who else doesn't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,867 Posts
Discussion Starter · #44 ·
I find it difficult to credit this poll. Why on earth is it here. And anyway, what is supposed to happen if the answer is no? What prejudice will be exercised next - Mongolian throat singers? I don't particularly like the sound of bass saxophones! But it is of little interest who else doesn't.
Yes, it's pretty pointless, but so is your post and life itself etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,959 Posts
For the sake of simplicity, I voted No. What we call a countertenor today- a strained, hooty male alto falsettist- is usually to be avoided. I don't know how long this type of singer has existed for, but a CD I have of historical counter tenors has several examples, presumably drawn from the English choral tradition. Hatherley Clarke is among the featured singers, and he sounds fairly similar to the moderns, and certainly no more appealing to my ear:


The once popular Will Oakland also there, and is better- less hooty, clearer diction- and his style is quite unlike what we hear today:


Still, we have to ask what we mean by countertenor: do we necessarily mean a falsettist, or might we include a very high tenor- perhaps corresponding to the historical 'tenore contraltino- who is physically normal and not reliant on falsetto? Gennady Pischaev is an example that springs to mind, and his is a voice I am always glad to listen to. What about very high voiced men who have not undergone a normal puberty and who may or may not use falsetto extensively, e.g. the aforementioned Yoshikazu Mera, and very probably Richard Jose too, who of course sang in a very different style? Mera is interesting- his high notes have an ethereal, Moreschi-like quality, but he probably doesn't sound that much like the great operatic castrati, whose distinctive sound was largely a result of a training regimen that aimed to build power, breath control and ability in florid music, including the composition of ornaments. Without that power (see those amazing barrel chests the castrati had!) Mera is left sounding rather like a woman. A woman's sound is of course aesthetically preferable to that of a falsettist, since the constant use of falsetto produces a displeasing and necessarily constricted tone and greatly limits volume and ability to colour the voice. I would see the countertenor, however we define the term, as a completely legitimate voice type, provided the person in question has a sufficiently high natural range to avoid over reliance on falsetto. Such voices must be incredibly rare, but can be worth the wait. Here's Richard Jose- a slightly ghoulish but fascinating sound:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,959 Posts
Yes to countertenors!

Philippe Jaroussky is the closest I ever hope to get to hearing the voice of an angel.


Personally I like my angels to sound a little more conventionally masculine- I've always envisioned the heavenly host sounding like a youthful John McCormack- but there's no doubt that the handsome young Mr Jaroussky produces an attractive tone... for a countertenor. The exception that proves the rule!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,135 Posts
Personally I like my angels to sound a little more conventionally masculine- I've always envisioned the heavenly host sounding like a youthful John McCormack- but there's no doubt that the handsome young Mr Jaroussky produces an attractive tone... for a countertenor. The exception that proves the rule!
Not the only exception


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,768 Posts
whatever you do, don't talk smack on countertenors on operatalk (facebook). I innocuously stated "falsetto is overrated"....and like 5 people attacked me like a bunch of jealous, menstruating divas. the best part was that it was all guys. most of the women were like "he's right, gimme some baritone" :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
331 Posts
My daughter got me Franco Fagioli's Arias For Caffarelli CD for Christmas. Took me a little time to get used to his voice (about a day), now I can't get enough, I've become a Fagioli fanboy.

The counter tenors have certainly opened up a new area of exploration for me - baroque and early classical opera.

If counter tenors in 'male' roles are too freaky for you then stay with the ladies in breeches.

Franco Fagioli - 'Vo solcando un mar crudele' from Artaserse (Vinci)

I have nothing against ladies in trousers, I'm very open minded.

Simone Kermes - 'Vo solcando un mar crudele' from Artaserse (Vinci)

Best wishes
Metairie Road
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,754 Posts
It took a while for me to get used to Countertenor. At first it was as if I was watching Natalie Dessay sing and Bryn Terfel's voice was coming out of her mouth.
What helped me was the excellent "The Enchanted Island" DVD Featuring David Daniels.
So I voted yes. Its no different to Boy Soprano really.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,779 Posts
Took me a little time to get used to his voice (about a day), now I can't get enough, I've become a Fagioli fanboy.
Franco Fagioli - 'Vo solcando un mar crudele' from Artaserse (Vinci)
[/video]
I'm a big fan of his, too. That sensational live performance of "Vo solcando" gives us a fair idea of why the 18th century opera audiences went doolally over superstars like Farinelli in the first place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,838 Posts
I voted Yes! Countertenors because I've been enchanted with the singing of Max Emmanuel Cencic, also,Philippe Jaroussky and, lately, Jakub Josef Orlinski. The voices range widely from Max's mezzo to Philippe's high soprano,to more central Jakub.

Comfort Dress shirt Sleeve Wood Floor


Smile Happy Eyelash Earrings Fashion design


Forehead Nose Lip Hat Eyelash
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,433 Posts
Having sung countertenor until I was 40 I have to say yes. To add to those already mentioned I would add Yoshikazu Mera, (he may look like a young lad but he's 49).


 
41 - 60 of 84 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top