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Who rode the waves the best.

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I got really excited when I heard the Gadski version - at least for the propulsive way she sings the high notes. I don’t hear (perhaps fortunately) the flatting Woodduck suggests. She must’ve been very exciting on stage (she was very popular at the Metropolitan Opera in the early days)

I eliminated Cerquetti because she immediately softens her tone in the opening “Mare!” and makes little of the words, and she is cautious in the approach to some of her acuti. Not what I want in this aria. No trill, of course. She improves toward the end, but she’s uneven. What a voice, though!

Tatum was, to me, almost perfect in this - she pours out the first “Ocean!” like I expected and sounds like she’s throwing caution to the winds in the high notes and sounds almost unbridled in the final cries. Her diction is good, but English intelligibility is problematic in opera. But I can still hear the ring in her high notes.
 

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I have to say it's not a particular favourite of mine - and it's quite long. Three different versions take around half an hour to listen to.
It is a particular favorite of mine, mostly because my favorite version is by Callas, live, in 1962. I was chuffed to find that other singers, while not as “right” as Callas’s version, sing with similar passion.
 
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