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Singers (Volume II)


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Initial post: May 25, 2011 12:42:40 AM PDT
Well, we might as well get started:

I'll ante up with Flagstad, Tebaldi, Pagliughi, Tagliavini, Vickers, Merli, Warren and Pinza. Anybody in?

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011 8:03:18 AM PDT
Ahmad says:
Hi Cnatrell,
Can experts like yourself and Ruggeri provide us with lists of best male and female voices classified in order of their voice type and era. Example:

Best Male Voices, early 20th century mid 20th century late 20th century
Baritone provide 5 names provide 5 names provide 5 names
Bass provide 5 names provide 5 names provide 5 names
please list the rest of types of male voice and do the same

Best Female Voices (do same as above).

A question: do you differentiate between voices for lieder and voices for opera?

Posted on May 25, 2011 8:35:29 AM PDT
Piso Mojado says:
Oh, boy! Here's a mine-field to navigate. I look forward to reading the responses and am thinking, thinking, thinking ...

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011 9:02:30 AM PDT
Ahmad says:
Piso,
Go ahead,have a drink or something and go ahead, show us your exquisite taste.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011 11:46:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 26, 2011 6:16:54 AM PDT
Piso Mojado says:
After several drinks, I'm suddenly not afraid of the minefield. These are just my favorites, the ones who always give me special pleasure, but I don't know many voices and periods as well as John and Larry. Also understood that there are many, many excellent singers I enjoy besides these, but these are special.

Early tenors: Enrico Caruso, Beniamino Gigli, Richard Crooks Karl Erb
Middle tenors: Fritz Wunderlich, Ivan Kozlovsky, Aksel Schiotz, Hugues Cuenod, Lauritz Melchior, Jussi Bjoerling, Heddle Nash
Late 20th Cen: Topi Lehtipuu, Rufus Mueller, Roberto Alagna, Jonas Kaufmann, Stephen Costello, Christoph Pregardien, Rolando Villazon

Early baritones: Giuseppe de Luca, Ludwig Hoffmann, Leonard Warren
Middle baritones: Hans Hotter, Heinz Rehfuss, Gerhard Huesch, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Yevgeny Nesterenko
Late 20th Cen baritones: Wolfgang Holzmair , Gerald Finley, Konrad Jarnot, Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Early basses: Serebriakov? Ezio Pinza
Middle basses: Alexander Kipnis, Fyodor Chaliapin, Gottlob Frick, Gustav Neidlinger
Late 20th Cen: Franz Crass, Kurt Moll, Rene Pape, Philip Ens

Early sopranos: Nina Koshetz, Celestina Boninsegna, Geraldine Farrar, Amelita Galli-Curci, Lotte Lehmann, Claudia Muzio, Miliza Korjus
Middle sopranos:, Magda Olivero, Helen Traubel, Kerstin Flagstad, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Licia Albanese, Zinka Milanov, Maria Callas
Late sopranos: If I think of one I'll tell you

Early mezzos/contraltos: Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Sigrid Onegin, Gladys Swarthout
Middle: Cloe Elmo, Ebe Stegnani, Marian Anderson, Hilde Roessl-Majdan, Maureen Forrester, Nan Merriman
Late ditto: Christa Ludwig, Cecilia Bartoli, Ewa Podles. Susan Graham, Delores Zajic

Some periods overlap; I've tried to place them at their best. They all made bad records; I judge them by their best, some with severe restrictions: Callas before 1955 or so; Claudia Muzio by her 1934-1935 records; the earlier the better for Bartoli; Villazon and Schiotz before their operations; Fischer-Dieskau up to about 1970 ideally. Gigli and Melchior up to 1942. Hans Hotter to 1957, or with a low pollen count. And so it goes.

John and Larry are going to kill me. We should get Rob Stuart on here.

Posted on May 25, 2011 1:08:05 PM PDT
John Ruggeri says:
FYI except to answer issues specific to this thread I will still post on the original "singers" thread.

Posted on May 25, 2011 1:20:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2011 1:21:28 PM PDT
John Ruggeri says:
Ahmad
The early/middle/late designation for me is an artificial distinction which adds little to the discussion of greats. I think categories such as Light/Wagnerian etc based upon musical values makes more sense to me. WHEN one sang is of little importance rather than HOW one sang.

I think the lieder/opera distinction for some singers has value although there are Lotte Lehmann/Heinrich Schlusnuss/Elizabeth Schwarzkopf who are great in both fachs.

Glad you are posting again.- JOHN
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For me THE Early Basses were Jose Mardones and Nazzareno de Angelis.
Heck they can also be called Pan and/or Meta basses they were so great.

NAZZARENO DE ANGELIS "Voi che del Dio vivente" L`Ebrea
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm97qj4KTRs

José Mardones - I Vespri Siciliani - O tu Palermo - Verdi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUhWSfTPzl8

Posted on May 25, 2011 1:28:08 PM PDT
Piso Mojado says:
John's post reminds me that I forgot to comment on Lieder vs. Opera singers. Many of my favorites are singers who sing both. In general I prefer voices of what we think of as the Lieder type ... many are on my list ... always with exceptions. There's also the matter of sheer size. Lieder are usually sung in smaller halls. The large opera houses, again generally speaking, require larger voices to fill them, but there are many examples of singers with well-focused but what are thought of as smaller voices being very successful in opera houses.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011 1:39:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 4:23:16 PM PST
John Ruggeri says:
Piso Mojado says:
John and Larry are going to kill me. We should get Rob Stuart on here also.
----------------------
No way dear friend. I figure there will be new names for me to discover and some old names that have been on the Back-Burner. For me, that is a Win-Win. Where there is disagreement I am quite happy to live in Vanilla or Chocolate.
musical world.

Regards-John

Posted on May 25, 2011 1:43:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2011 10:50:19 PM PDT
D. M. Ohara says:
Piso has set the cat among the pigeons!
Early baritones would have to include Tita Ruffo - perhaps the greatest of the 20th century.
No quarrel with de Luca: but Stracciari and Tibbett deserve a mention: and Pinza was surely a bass?
The greatest basses for me are [besides Pinza] Plancon, Chaliapin and Kipnis.
And while having no quarrel with Caruso and Gigli, there are several I would place ahead of Crooks and Erb - Slezak, Martinelli, Pertile, McCormack, Tauber & Bjorling [who was singing tenor by 1930, so counts as early to me!] among them. [Schipa added in edit!]
The greatest sopranos [1900-1933] are Melba, Ponselle, Rethberg, Leider, Muzio, Teyte [but she made only a few records in this period]. Flagstad was a relatively late starter, so belongs in the second third of the century.
Contraltos: Onegin, Schumann-Heink must be in there. And what of Sabine Kalter and Kirsten Thorberg?

Between 1950 and 1975, the outstanding singers have surely been Callas, Sutherland, Wunderlich, Vickers, Christoff, Gobbi, di Sefano, Corelli, Kraus.
I am not competent to choose between all those who have emerged only since 1990 - but Terfel and Bartoli must be in there.
There are so many others, and it is harder than herding cats to choose between them!
[PS -I'm sure I've left a lot out, including the divine Lotte Lehmann, Elisabeth Schumann etc.]

Posted on May 25, 2011 2:12:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2011 2:13:58 PM PDT
Piso Mojado says:
Surprised to be still standing. How could I have left out Fritz Wunderlich, best German tenor in all Space? I've fudged my earlier post to include him and Rufus Mueller, and took the opportunity to move Ezio Pinza to the basses, thanks, Dan. Should have remembered how desperately he lunges for the top note in his Figaro aria, missing it by a minor third. But he was great in the Attila and Lombardi trios in 1926-1928, Rigoletto quartet, and Lucia sextet.

Posted on May 25, 2011 2:40:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2011 2:43:10 PM PDT
Faites vos joux, mesdames et messieurs:

Trying to find names not listed yet---

In the early category I need to add Louise Homer & Tetrazzini...

Don't we have to deal somehow with de Lucia, Bonci, and Anselmi (arguably the three supreme tenori di grazia of their time)? And---her records notwithstanding---Adelina Patti? All made records in the early period. Jean de Reszke didn't, but Mapleson caught a few measures of him around 1902 and so should he qualify?

Closer to home: Thomas Hampson, Ian Bostridge, Stignani, Lisa della Casa, Theresa Stich-Randall, Caniglia, Warren, Steber, Domingo (the only tenor after de Reszke who ranged from Eduardo to Tristan with honor and success), Tebaldi, Barbieri...

I fear I've wandered over 111 years of singing and all categories and made a mess...

Added in edit: Miguel Fleta. It's said that even Schipa did not match Fleta's filature...

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011 2:45:44 PM PDT
D. M. Ohara says:
Fleta's filature was sometimes overdone.
And how could I have left out Schipa!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011 3:23:59 PM PDT
Dan, I was so sure Schipa was on ALL the previous lists I didn't add him either!

Posted on May 25, 2011 4:14:08 PM PDT
John Ruggeri says:
For the coloraturas I agree with Larry about Pagliughi and would add Selma Kurz, Maria Ivogun, Galli-Curci. Maria Barrientos, Luisa Tetrazzini, Antonina Nezhdanova and Sutherland. Most happen to be "Ancient Ones".

But most of my vocal faves are pre-1980.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011 4:22:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2011 4:26:02 PM PDT
John Ruggeri says:
Mezzo and/or contralto types I would add. Ebe Stignani, Margarete Klose. Giulietta Simionato, Marian Anderson.

For lied only Elena Gerhardt.

Posted on May 25, 2011 5:52:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2011 6:09:07 PM PDT
I am reading this post for the first time, wow, mind boggling. Off the top of my head, some personal favs. not mentioned, Mark Reizen ,Andre D'Arkor ,Marcel Journet , Rita Streich, Montserrat Caballe, De Los Angeles,Elisabeth Grummer, John Charles Thomas, my mind is blank, all of those amazing early Russians and French singers.Pavel Lisitsian, Nadeshda Obukhova.

Posted on May 25, 2011 6:31:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2011 9:22:15 PM PDT
John Ruggeri says:
I apologize for any duplicates

Some more names: Giannina Russ , Emmi Leisner , Hina Spani, Anita Cerquetti [ short but glorious career } , Renata Tebaldi IMO the most beautiful voice of all, Nellie Melba none better as a pure singer, Nadezhda Obukhova. Georges Thill, Ernestine Schuman-Heink, Serge Lemishev.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011 9:41:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 8, 2011 9:01:36 PM PDT
John Ruggeri says:
Piso Mojado says:
John's post reminds me that I forgot to comment on Lieder vs. Opera singers. Many of my favorites are singers who sing both. In general I prefer voices of what we think of as the Lieder type ... many are on my list ... always with exceptions. There's also the matter of sheer size. Lieder are usually sung in smaller halls. The large opera houses, again generally speaking, require larger voices to fill them, but there are many examples of singers with well-focused but what are thought of as smaller voices being very successful in opera houses.
-------------------
Piso:
I had a thought -- OMG 2 in one day. There ought to be a special place in the musical heavens for the large voice singer who can sing songs without sounding sappy, That crown IMO belongs to Kirsten Flagstad whose voice could fill any hall whether singing full out or piano. Most of her recorded work is opera but the Mahler, Brahms, Strauss. Scandinavian songs she sang even in her later years say to me she could have been among the greatest pure lieder singers ever.

I do not know any soprano who could have done justice to these disparate Richard Strauss' pieces as KF does. Besides when asked whose voice she thought was the greatest a certain Joan Sutherland said "That's easy deary, Flagstad".

KIRSTEN FLAGSTAD "OREST.....OREST" FROM ELEKTRA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz-w-P3LxRo&feature=fvst

Kirsten Flagstad "Cacilie" by Strauss
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIFWR8lJKsU

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2011 1:43:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 26, 2011 2:08:39 AM PDT
No, Piso, I'm not going to "kill" you for your admirable list. My own list would be a little different but certainly no better than yours.

When you think about it, the recorded archives of singing from about 1895 to the present include a remarkable number of fine performers in a surprising diversity of styles.

LARRY

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2011 7:57:27 AM PDT
Ahmad says:
did we have a game before on Best Male Voice? if not, then why not start a new game, but with details, voice type, era....etc.

feedback please.

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2011 10:26:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 26, 2011 10:51:19 AM PDT
Piso Mojado says:
John Ruggeri -- Flagstad certainly could, and is one of the biggest voices to record Lieder successfully. Hans Hotter is another, when in good voice and shape, also Kurt Moll, the German bass who recorded Loewe's Lieder, and Alexander Kipnis (added later with thanks to John Ruggeri). Hotter recorded a lot of Lieder, Schubert song-cycles, Brahms Four Serious Songs, Richard Strauss, Hugo Wolf, Beethoven, Hans Pfitzner, Carl Loewe, and I think also Schumann. Helen Traubel recorded a few, but I need to hear them again. Lauritz Melchior also. Jessye Norman (Four Last Songs and Alban Berg Lieder) and Margaret Price (Liszt Lieder, Three Sonnets of Petrarch, &tc.). These were all big voices.

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2011 10:37:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 11, 2011 10:03:07 PM PDT
John Ruggeri says:
Piso et al

Bass Alexander Kipnis was another large voice and a great lieder singer.

Posted on May 26, 2011 10:50:15 AM PDT
Piso Mojado says:
I meant to name Alexander Kipnis and forgot to. Con permesso, I'm going to add him to my list, thanks, John.

Posted on May 26, 2011 3:51:30 PM PDT
Piso,
One other that springs to mind, opera/lieder exponents,
Marilyn Horne -Ruckert Lieder ''Um Mitternacht''
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PsLSxYYtrY&playnext=1&list=PLAC5DD834BD9A0FA9
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  52
Total posts:  7225
Initial post:  May 25, 2011
Latest post:  Sep 3, 2014

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