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Who sings it best?

  • Studer

    Votes: 4 40.0%
  • Nilsson

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • Cruz-Romo

    Votes: 4 40.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Special edition of the “Ah! Perfido” surveys, this time around of renditions captured on film. Two deliver more restrained, Teutonic renditions (restrained in body language, that is), which I prefer, while the other makes something of a soap opera of the piece, complete with the occasional raised eyebrow, arm-stretching and other old-fashioned conventions. But beautiful in its own way and valid, too. One of the three reaches Gold Standard status for reasons that should become more than evident. Hope all of you find this new survey interesting and enjoyable. Discuss.




 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Interesting to observe no participation thus far in this round. Does it upset the conventional narrative? Or is it that only SOF’s rounds are deemed legitimate?
 

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Indeed I like all three videos. All the singers are different both in vocal and dramatic sense, and it becomes a base of their individuality.
Studer is gorgeous, her voice is nice and classy, and facial expressions are touching, as if she hadn't such a fun since a long time.
Nilsson is one I adore and every time I vote against her I feel guilty. Maybe it's not her genuine repertoire and she isn't a born actress, but the power of her voice and stage presence undoubtedly act.
Gilda Cruz became a discovery for me, with such a beautiful and consistent voice. She hadn't any recording contract and her videos are undeservingly sparse, but had an impressive carrier, I mean, she sang all those big roles and was accepted well. Her dress of a color of a frightened nymph's hip is a special attraction. But it's not why I voted for her, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Indeed I like all three videos. All the singers are different both in vocal and dramatic sense, and it becomes a base of their individuality.
Studer is gorgeous, her voice is nice and classy, and facial expressions are touching, as if she hadn't such a fun since a long time.
Nilsson is one I adore and every time I vote against her I feel guilty. Maybe it's not her genuine repertoire and she isn't a born actress, but the power of her voice and stage presence undoubtedly act.
Gilda Cruz became a discovery for me, with such a beautiful and consistent voice. She hadn't any recording contract and her videos are undeservingly sparse, but had an impressive carrier, I mean, she sang all those big roles and was accepted well. Her dress of a color of a frightened nymph's hip is a special attraction. But it's not because I voted for her, of course.
Cruz-Romo was also a surprise. As I wrote, her old fashioned operatic posturing is not my cup of tea and reminded me of Aprile Millo. It is an outmoded body language that just doesn’t speak to me and which can give opera a bad reputation as it sometimes appears like a stereotype. And although she sings beautifully, she is not so consistent vocally. At some point she turns hoarse and there was also a clear register break that sounded jarring to me. Some will notice that she holds on to the railing, if you will, behind the conductor’s podium à la a certain-someone in her Hamburg concert. 🙂 Nilsson’s no nonsense posture is more to my liking but her intonation is poor. She goes flat and sharp too often. And sometimes even short of breath. She was obviously captured too late in the work. Finally, the Gold Star (Standard) goes to Studer, here in her full prime and impeccable in her delivery. The contrast and control between the lyrical and the dramatic are simply astonishing and without sacrificing an ounce of absolute exquisite beauty. And then having Claudio Abbado and his Berlin Philharmonic supporting her only adds to the polish and sheer magic of this performance.
 

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As for old-fashioned operatic gestures, I find them nice and even charming. We rarely see it now in opera productions, but recitals and concert performances leave it for the artist's sake. Guleghina worked this way too. I saw her several times, when she was still in good form. When she sang as she sang, all these throwing up hands should be forgiven, as should be forgiven selfishness, because it's incurable. (It was a loose quote of Jane Austen). Studer also uses this kind of tricks: her head turn, hands holding frills, serene smiles like in Rosalba Carriera's pastels, but all this helps the performance rather than spoil it.
I wish Isabelle Huppert could sing as Jessy Norman, for example, but we go to the cinema, to the opera or to the museum for common but at the same time different purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As for old-fashioned operatic gestures, I find them nice and even charming. We rarely see it now in opera productions, but recitals and concert performances leave it for the artist's sake. Guleghina worked this way too. I saw her several times, when she was still in good form. When she sang as she sang, all these throwing up hands should be forgiven, as should be forgiven selfishness, because it's incurable. (It was a loose quote of Jane Austen). Studer also uses this kind of tricks: her had turn, hands holding frills, serene smiles like in Rosalba Carriera's pastels, but all this helps the performance rather than spoil it.
I wish Isabelle Huppert could sing as Jessy Norman, for example, but we go to the cinema, to the opera or to the museum for common but at the same time different purposes.
Those old fashioned body gestures could be charming indeed but I am afraid that train left the station long ago. Anyone attempting anything close today would be ridiculed and not without reason. At the end of the day the acting and the gesturing must happen with the voice. That’s where it counts, ultimately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Studer also uses this kind of tricks: her h[e]ad turn, hands holding frills, serene smiles like in Rosalba Carriera's pastels, but all this helps the performance rather than spoil it.
Well, perhaps. But more than anything it comes to show that a performer doesn’t need to prop him/herself with (faux) Grand Imperial airs (e.g., Cruz-Romo here but also think of Jessye Norman) to come across as a Total Class act or to help their performances or to get into and project their characters. Hope this makes sense.
 

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Excuse me? First, there are only three contestants here (the C-R performance is split in two videos). Second, since when is three contestants too many? Would you prefer if I created a new poll with only two? Would be my pleasure.
You were asking what exactly I deleted :-D

Edit: If it were'nt stupid, I wouldn't have deleted it, right ?
 
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