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Countertenors, female sopranos, and boy sopranos

Ah yes, I was afraid that this thread might devolve. It is not a question of who sings better or their gender. The really great a cappella choral music written around the 16th century was with the *tonal colours* that the male voice choir could make. Let us remember that they did not always sing with a lusty vibrato since that would disturb the fine textual and notationally constructed pieces, not to mention the character and solemnity of the occasion they sang in. A excellent choir is one that can, at will, turn off the vibrato. To make a fine point - Informed Musicianship! Not only the Conductor but each and every singer should be very cognizant and have taken the time to peruse and *digest* something about the composer and their time on this earth and which were the venues that they composed for. Most, if not all composed for a Church venue. That sort of edifice usually had an other-worldly acoustic and the composers knew it and thusly composed with that in mind. I'll stop right here, otherwise I would digress even further.

Oh, I forgot - just because one has female voices performing in the 16th century choral literature does not mean that the choir sings with a lusty vibrato. A blended and balanced choir of male and female voices can be just as satisfying. But, getting back to the original point - it's a question of style and acheiving the *Informed Musicianship* that should be the ken of every choir.

Humbly,

Giovanni
 

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Countertenors...Warbling Sopranos---

Hello Ms. Amy,

Thanx for your kind suggestion. You mentioned "Spem in Alium" with warbling sopranos - Methinks Master Tallis would be rotating in his sarcophagus had he know about that. The Kings Singers did a nice recording of *Spem* a couple of years ago. Anyway, I like your including the string players and their use of catgut strings to illustrate the question about appropriate style. Why you would be considered a traitor to your own sex I don't understand. The focus of *appropriate style* in music performance should, nay, must outweigh the post-Modernist arguments and sentimentalism about gender.

Respectfully,

Giovanni
 
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