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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Herlea is a new discovery of mine for the contest. I think you will like him. Bonetan wanted both Enkhbat and Merrill
Nicolae Herlea, Romanian baritone sings from Verdi Il trovatore aria "Il balen del suo sorriso"
Amartuvshin Enkhbat: Il balen del suo sorriso (Verdi: Il trovatore)
Il Trovatore (1990 Remastered Version) , ACT 2 Scene 2: Il balen del suo sorriso (Count di Luna) · Robert Merrill · Orchestra del Teatro dell'Opera, Roma · Thomas Schippers
 

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Herlea makes this sound as easy as one might be tempted to imagine that it is. As Ponselle said of Stracciari in an earlier era, "Now that's a baritone!" Herlea does nothing extraordinary interpretively - it's quite straightforward musically - but his vocalism is so fine that I don't care. It's a voice with no artificial darkening, or artificial anything, It rings out freely and splendidly.

This must be a late recording of Merrill. It's more effortful than it would have been years earlier, and he breaks up phrases too much. Enkhbat is more youthful vocally, and puts some feeling into his interpretation. But Herlea's singing is in another class: technically, though not stylistically, he echoes the Golden Age in the postwar era. An easy winner.
 

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Yes, I believe this is very recent. Last year I believe. Here's a clip of his Germont at The Met that's even more recent.

It's a rich and powerful instrument His approach to the aria is unlike any I've heard - very dramatized, rather than "bel canto" (Battistini's being at the other end of the continuum).I like the way it makes sense of the cadenza, which generally just sounds like a desperate baritone trying to make something awkward sound good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Herlea makes this sound as easy as one might be tempted to imagine that it is. As Ponselle said of Stracciari in an earlier era, "Now that's a baritone!" Herlea does nothing extraordinary interpretively - it's quite straightforward musically - but his vocalism is so fine that I don't care. It's a voice with no artificial darkening, or artificial anything, It rings out freely and splendidly.

This must be a late recording of Merrill. It's more effortful than it would have been years earlier, and he breaks up phrases too much. Enkhbat is more youthful vocally, and puts some feeling into his interpretation. But Herlea's singing is in another class: technically, though not stylistically, he echoes the Golden Age in the postwar era. An easy winner.
I'm so glad you were impressed with Herlea!!!!! I make no pretense at being able to discern interpretation like you and some others are so adept at but this contest finally has gotten me listening to good baritones and I am getting an ear for what sounds right and he sounded absolutely amazing to me. If you are this impressed I am on the right track in my vocal education. Judging by the photo he would have been a pleasure to see onstage:love: I will ad him to some other contests now.
 

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I'm giving this to Herlea, mostly because of the superiority of his instrument, but It was actually closer than I expected. Merrill sounds past his best, so he went out first. However Enkhbat impressed me greatly. He sings with real feeling and, though his legato line isn't ideally smooth, he makes something meaningful out of the aria. Herlea isn't faultless (I'm sure I noted a couple of aspirates creeping in) but his voice is magnificent and interpretively he doesn't do anything wrong, but I'd like to acknowledge a modern singer who sounds like one to look out for if he comes this way.
 

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This is an incredibly difficult one for me, being a Hvorostovsky groupie.
Merrill's voice is the most beautiful and if I were just voting for sound of voice, he'd get it, hands down. But the emotion is lacking and that is more important to me than just the beautiful voice.
Herlea's voice is the most powerful and he does have depth but somehow it sounds like he is singing with food in his mouth and his sound is not very appealing.
("Ink Spot"):D Enkhbat on the other hand not only has a fine sound but he successfully conveys his feelings as well so I guess, even though they all sang well, he gets the edge.
 

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Round Three - Il Balen - Herlea - Enkbhat - Merrill


Vocal control - Two-way tie - Herlea and Enkbhat

Good tone - Three-way tie - Herlea - Enkbhat - Merrill

Enunciation - Edge to Enkhbhat

Pronunciation - Edge to Enkhbhat

Musical phrasing - Two-way tie - Herlea and Enkbhat

Voice suitability - Three-way tie - Herlea - Enkbhat - Merrill

Versatility - Two-way tie - Herlea and Enkbhat

Performance that I personally enjoyed the most - Herlea although if given the chance, I would have split my vote between him and Enkbhat


On a side note - I would like to request that no performer whose last name involves the letters - n - k - b - and - h - in that particular order ever be entered in a competition again as it took me nearly 30 minutes to type this review thanks to my continually misspelling "Enkbhat" and thus having to correct it 10 separate times. Note to self - "Hey, genius, try to remember the "copy and paste" method approximately 29 minutes sooner than you did just now..." - Reply from self - "Thanks, I'll try to keep that in mind next time unless I forget to do so much in the way that I did just now - Maybe you should think about writing "use copy and paste" on a post-it note and stick it on your monitor, Einstein..."
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Round Three - Il Balen - Herlea - Enkbhat - Merrill


Vocal control - Two-way tie - Herlea and Enkbhat

Good tone - Three-way tie - Herlea - Enkbhat - Merrill

Enunciation - Edge to Enkhbhat

Pronunciation - Edge to Enkhbhat

Musical phrasing - Two-way tie - Herlea and Enkbhat

Voice suitability - Three-way tie - Herlea - Enkbhat - Merrill

Versatility - Two-way tie - Herlea and Enkbhat

Performance that I personally enjoyed the most - Herlea although if given the chance, I would have split my vote between him and Enkbhat


On a side note - I would like to request that no performer whose last name involves the letters - n - k - b - and - h - in that particular order ever be entered in a competition again as it took me nearly 30 minutes to type this review thanks to my continually misspelling "Enkbhat" and thus having to correct it 10 separate times. Note to self - "Hey, genius, try to remember the "copy and paste" method approximately 29 minutes sooner than you did just now..." - Reply from self - "Thanks, I'll try to keep that in mind next time unless I forget to do so much in the way that I did just now - Maybe you should think about writing "use copy and paste" on a post-it note and stick it on your monitor, Einstein..."
It took me 6 contests before I could spell Gheorghiu without contstantly checking.
 

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I am sure I’ve seen Herlea’s name in some Golden Age Wagnerian cast list, or a Metropolitan Opera broadcast. He sounds fine without a Golden Age voice. He sings very beautifully, despite frequent aspirates (we must remember that it was perfectly acceptable for men to use that to move between notes).

Merrill is a known quantity, perhaps too well known , as we take him for granted. In 1961, the year of Corelli’s studio Trovatore, he would’ve been 44 years old, middle-age for the 20th Century, but young today; he was never an agile voice, but he should’ve been able to handle this aria, and he does, without aspirates (well, just a couple). And the voice is gorgeous.

Enkhbat is a new name to me, and for a modern singer, not too bad - despite the aspirates. the voice is liquid, decent legato. A nice, dark voice. He loses against Merrill for voice, and Herlea just generally, to my ears.
 

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Round Three - Il Balen - Herlea - Enkbhat - Merrill


Vocal control - Two-way tie - Herlea and Enkbhat

Good tone - Three-way tie - Herlea - Enkbhat - Merrill

Enunciation - Edge to Enkhbhat

Pronunciation - Edge to Enkhbhat

Musical phrasing - Two-way tie - Herlea and Enkbhat

Voice suitability - Three-way tie - Herlea - Enkbhat - Merrill

Versatility - Two-way tie - Herlea and Enkbhat

Performance that I personally enjoyed the most - Herlea although if given the chance, I would have split my vote between him and Enkbhat


On a side note - I would like to request that no performer whose last name involves the letters - n - k - b - and - h - in that particular order ever be entered in a competition again as it took me nearly 30 minutes to type this review thanks to my continually misspelling "Enkbhat" and thus having to correct it 10 separate times. Note to self - "Hey, genius, try to remember the "copy and paste" method approximately 29 minutes sooner than you did just now..." - Reply from self - "Thanks, I'll try to keep that in mind next time unless I forget to do so much in the way that I did just now - Maybe you should think about writing "use copy and paste" on a post-it note and stick it on your monitor, Einstein..."
Are you married? I'm thinking of a divorce.:giggle:
 

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Round Three - Il Balen - Herlea - Enkbhat - Merrill


Vocal control - Two-way tie - Herlea and Enkbhat

Good tone - Three-way tie - Herlea - Enkbhat - Merrill

Enunciation - Edge to Enkhbhat

Pronunciation - Edge to Enkhbhat

Musical phrasing - Two-way tie - Herlea and Enkbhat

Voice suitability - Three-way tie - Herlea - Enkbhat - Merrill

Versatility - Two-way tie - Herlea and Enkbhat

Performance that I personally enjoyed the most - Herlea although if given the chance, I would have split my vote between him and Enkbhat


On a side note - I would like to request that no performer whose last name involves the letters - n - k - b - and - h - in that particular order ever be entered in a competition again as it took me nearly 30 minutes to type this review thanks to my continually misspelling "Enkbhat" and thus having to correct it 10 separate times. Note to self - "Hey, genius, try to remember the "copy and paste" method approximately 29 minutes sooner than you did just now..." - Reply from self - "Thanks, I'll try to keep that in mind next time unless I forget to do so much in the way that I did just now - Maybe you should think about writing "use copy and paste" on a post-it note and stick it on your monitor, Einstein..."
I regret profoundly to have to tell you this, but the correct spelling, according to my research, is "Enkhbat." Not only that, but "Enkhbat" appears to be a shortened form of his original name, "Enkhbatyn." He probably shortened it so that we could spell it more easily. :p

Now for his first name, Amartüvshin... How about "Marty"?
 

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"Amartüvshin Enkhbatyn" (carefully copy-and-pasted) makes me wonder whether I'm looking at a language with roots common to the modern Finno-Ugric languages, Hungarian, Finnish and Turkish. I'm not expecting anyone to know the answer to this, but having Hungarian ancestry I'm curious about this odd group of languages. Maybe Mr. Enkhbat will drop by and tell us.
 

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I regret profoundly to have to tell you this, but the correct spelling, according to my research, is "Enkhbat." Not only that, but "Enkhbat" appears to be a shortened form of his original name, "Enkhbatyn." He probably shortened it so that we could spell it more easily. :p

Now for his first name, Amartüvshin... How about "Marty"?
It... gets... even... worse... His name is actually "Enkhbatyn Amartüvshin" although apparently he is also known as "Amartuvshin Enkhbat"...

He probably alternates them depending upon which name is written on the arrest warrant...

In this Mongolian name, the given name is Amartüvshin. Enkhbat is a patronymic, not a family name.

 
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