Re: A word of Pippo's Don Alvaro
- From: tapefanatic@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: 11 May 2006 19:17:00 -0700
Leonard had recommended this recording, and a friend let me hear it
(Florence - know as Flo to her friends - 1956) with Tebaldi, Geulfi Neri
Melchiore Luise and Barbieri and conducted by Santini.
I was just blown away by Di Stefano's performance, and frankly the other
elements of the evening fade in the memory compared to him. Leonard's right
that he's a bit over-parted in this, particularly in the first scene, I
think, where, where the voice really seems to blanche above the break.
I think the overparting, to whatever degree, is perhaps more
significant to fans who can't enjoy a "lyrical" Alvaro.
One wonders, also, if Pippo may have known of the damage-potential to
his naturally lyric voice, one of the most beautiful of its kind, - and
yet decided to go ahead, while he felt he could, and tackle some roles
that, - whatever would happen later on- were so *right* for him,
musically and dramatically.
throughout the evening he seems to become a much stronger singer, and it's a
riveting performance, unique, perhaps, in terms of the intensity he brings
to it. Rather than comment on the specific elements, I'd say that the thing
that seems to set him apart from almost any other tenor of my experience in
the post WW period is the nuance and life he gives to the text.
For these reasons, among others, it would have been a shame had he
deferred to the "more sensible" opinions, and forbade himself this sort
of repertory. A dissent: The "Otello" with Gobbi is universally
considered a disaster. His voice at that point had lost some of the
smoothness to be heard in this Forza, - yet, the recording's still
worth hearing, IMO.
For the most
part, imho male singers rarely bring the same kind of identification with a
role to the stage that female singers do - perhaps it's a fear of expressing
too much emotion, some sense that to be male is to be macho and loud and
forceful only, or a fear of giving up an identity to assume another, but
even really good male interpreters tend to operate, imo, within a fairly
circumscribed ambit of emotion. It's not that they can't pour out intensity
(sometimes), but that the range of feelings expressed in the voice, and in the text, is rather limited. (Not to say that most female singers do >better,
but the ones that do, do much better).
Di Stefano is the exception, I think. His emotional immediacy with the
words - not just the angry words, or the curse - is pretty rare; Vickers, I
suspect, is the one singere of our time who isn't afraid to express a
certain kind of angst or vulnerability, but still Pippo is much more
observant of the individual words. I think in an earlier era, you could have
someone like a De Lucia who wouldn't be afraid to express a more complex set
of feelings, but for various cultural reasons, I think, them days is largely
Tebaldi, by the way, is not having a good voice day - it's a little steely
and labored - but she deliberately makes up for this with a lot more
intensity on her part - it's more of a purely gutsy approach than I normally
think of with her, and perhaps part of what she's doing is acting off of
In any case, I should pay more attention to the rest of the remarkable cast,
but that's what lingers in memory, and I hope you take an opportunity to
hear this if you can.
Among Pippo's performances, it's a Pip! - In the most positive of
senses, of course.
- A word of Pippo's Don Alvaro
- From: REG
- A word of Pippo's Don Alvaro
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