August 1, 2010

Christa Ludwig, Raul Gimenez, Susan Chilcott

Christa Ludwig, Mezzo Soprano
Lied: Cäcilie, R. Strauss
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Notice that not only are the technical challenges of the lied ironed out, but the legato and direction of the phrases help the breaths that she takes. It appears that she is more concern with how the line is moving and rather than how to move it; there is a difference. Let her performance show that how we breathe directly effects how we sing.

*Lied is the German word for song and is a separate genre than an opera aria.

Raul Gimenez, Tenor
Tancredi: Rossini
Aria: Pensa Pensa...
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One of my favorite Rossini tenors, Raul Gimenez is really know for his brilliant coloratura. But listen to what makes it effective: it is accurate and not rushed. He deliberately sings each of the notes and avoids being technically distracted by the orchestra. At every moment he dictates how the voice will flow out. Listening closely, one can tell that his coloratura means something to the character.

*Coloratura refers to the fast notes that elaborately ornament the melody he sings.

Susan Chilcott, Soprano
Cosi Fan Tutte: Mozart
Aria: Per Pietà
Link: Click here

Never have I heard a performance of this aria more pure and more honest than this. Chilcott takes the listener on such a musical and emotional journey. I do not see or even hear "Susan," but instead I completely see the character that is created and sympathize with her situation. One does not need to even speak one word of Italian to know how this young character feels. Rest in peace Susan, you are extraordinary.