Classical Music Forum banner
1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,681 Posts
My immediate response is to say Frida Leider, with Flagstad giving me occasional reason to hesitate. There's no getting around the sheer splendor of Flagstad's voice in her prime, and some of her radio broadcast recordings reveal a livelier temperament than she projects in some of her studio recordings, but Leider - also heard at her best in live performance - had liveliness in spades, along with a vibrant, flexible voice that met Wagner's demands for both power and a strong legato line, quite naturally exuding a warm femininity as opposed to the more heroic or monumental quality of some other Wagner singers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,838 Posts
I haven’t really heard Leider and excerpts are, in my opinion, not the whole story. Flagstad, though, I’ve heard at length, thanks to many recordings - the voice is astonishingly large and majestic and beautiful, with a warmth that eluded the one I have heard the most, Birgit Nilsson, both live and in recordings. So, in my limited experience, I’d pick Flagstad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,588 Posts
Flagstad, but because of this group I have come to highly regard Leider. I love Traubel's voice. Two others I'll mention: Varnay's first stereo Ring from Bayreuth when she was still in great voice is amazing and even though Farrell never sang a Wagner role onstage, her Immolation Scene and Siegfried"s duet are astonishing. I never saw the Wagnerian famous greats including Nilsson, but I am so greatful I saw Eaglen in all the big Wagner roles as she had the vocal beauty and vocal weight to do justice to those superhuman parts. and did so with great power. I never dreamed I would hear someone do justice to those roles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Frida Leider, without a doubt, at least amongst the ones who have been recorded to a reasonable extent. Others who might vie for the title in my opinion, are Germaine Lubin, Felia Litvinne, Florence Austral, Lilli Lehman and Johanna Gadski, although we do not have sufficient recorded evidence from them. A similarity in all these singers is that they were of the Italian school, and their singing is limpid, warm and inward compared to their successors. Their versatility too is much greater.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,768 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I'm split almost evenly between Traubel, Flagstad and Leider. Traubel sings with the most heroic majesty, while Leider and Flagstad both sing with Italian warmth and femininity. Traubel may have struggled with high Cs, but honestly, I just don't care, because all of her transpositions sound just fine, and it's infinitely more impressive to hear a mighty, lightning-voiced dramatic soprano hitting a Bb5 than a canary soprano hitting a C6 (or for that matter, E6). When you consider how her voice was about a 4th lower than that of a typical soprano (she could sing all the way down to a D3), the extremely wide range she did possess was even and perfectly balanced from top to bottom.

You know what though? Being the chest voice junky that I am, I am gonna have to give the ever-so-tiny edge to Traubel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,588 Posts
I'm split almost evenly between Traubel, Flagstad and Leider. Traubel sings with the most heroic majesty, while Leider and Flagstad both sing with Italian warmth and femininity. Traubel may have struggled with high Cs, but honestly, I just don't care, because all of her transpositions sound just fine, and it's infinitely more impressive to hear a mighty, lightning-voiced dramatic soprano hitting a Bb5 than a canary soprano hitting a C6 (or for that matter, E6). When you consider how her voice was about a 4th lower than that of a typical soprano (she could sing all the way down to a D3), the extremely wide range she did possess was even and perfectly balanced from top to bottom.

You know what though? Being the chest voice junky that I am, I am gonna have to give the ever-so-tiny edge to Traubel.
I wish I could hear her sing to D3! She had one of the most beautifully even voices from the chest up to B5. For most of Wagner that was fine. Nilsson is much better known, but Traubel had a much more beautiful voice. I would have loved to have heard her as Amneris, but she was the leading soprano in the world and would have never have sung a secondary role.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,681 Posts
I wish I could hear her sing to D3!
This desire to hear voices sing higher than they actually can... When did you first notice it? Did other kids recognize that you were different and make fun of you? Did it impair your social life? Did you come out to friends and family, or are you mentioning it here for the first time? I want you to know that we understand, that we love and accept you for who you are, and that you're safe with us. Believe me, some of us have weird secret desires too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,135 Posts
Wagner is not my field really. I don't have or even listen to multiple recordings of his operas the way I do to Verdi, so maybe I'm not qualified to judge. However I'd have thought that, as in Verdi, further qualifications need to be made. I assume that when we say "Wagnerian soprano", we really mean Brünnhilde and Isolde. But what of the roles of Eva, Elisabeth, Elsa, Sieglinde and Senta? Or even Kundry, which is regularly performed by both sopranos and mezzos. Are these not Wagnerian sopranos? Many who sing these roles do indeed graduate to Brünnhilde and Isolde, but just as many don't.

Of those sopranos I have listened to, I'd probably have to say Frida Leider, who had both beaury of voice and flexibility, which allowed her to sing a much wider repertoire.

I wish we had better recordings of Lili Lehmann, who sang at the first Bayreuth Festival. What we have were late in her career and early in the recording process, so are hardly ideal. As it is, from recorded evidence alone I'd have to choose Frida Leider, whilst giving the nod to some of those that Shaafee mentioned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,588 Posts
This desire to hear voices sing higher than they actually can... When did you first notice it? Did other kids recognize that you were different and make fun of you? Did it impair your social life? Did you come out to friends and family, or are you mentioning it here for the first time? I want you to know that we understand, that we love and accept you for who you are, and that you're safe with us. Believe me, some of us have weird secret desires too.
Yes, well, I always liked exceptions to rules, but D3 is low. The only sopranos I've heard sing that low are Norman and Ponselle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,681 Posts
Yes, well, I always liked exceptions to rules, but D3 is low. The only sopranos I've heard sing that low are Norman and Ponselle.
Hahaha. I thought D3 was the D above high C. What number D is that? Somehow I've managed to live over 70 years without learning this terminology. It must be part of my general hatred of numbers.

See? I told you some of us were weird.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,135 Posts
Woodduck;[I said:
[/I]2249875]Hahaha. I thought D3 was the D above high C. What number D is that? Somehow I've managed to live over 70 years without learning this terminology. It must be part of my general hatred of numbers.

See? I told you some of us were weird.
I've never learned it either. The only term I knew was that notes above the stave are referred to as in alt or even in altissimo for notes an octave above the top of the stave. Mind you I think those notes might only apply to Mado Robin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,588 Posts
Hahaha. I thought D3 was the D above high C. What number D is that? Somehow I've managed to live over 70 years without learning this terminology. It must be part of my general hatred of numbers.

See? I told you some of us were weird.
I thought you were mixing it up.... but you have a lot of credit. D6 is what Callas sings in the big aria from Armida. Mezzos rarely sing above the 5th octave. C3 is middle C.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,421 Posts
I think I'll just remember that a soprano's high C is C3 and count down or up from there. But only when I'm forced to at gunpoint.
Although a soprano high C is C5
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top