Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Italian Tenors

I forgot to pay my cable bill, so I am researching the contents of all the video tapes I have around the house.

Here is an extremely interesting film called “Pavarotti and the Italian Tenor.” I would have to say I have probably never seen this before, but everything I thought is now confirmed. All music is of a time and place, and Luciano’s place is Modena. In the film he is shown singing with the Modena Rossini chorus, both as a young man and at the time the film was made.

I have been worrying about Italy. Is the tradition of Italian music carrying forward into the present and future? Are young people joining the Rossini choir in Modena?

Enrico Caruso, Beniamino Gigli, Tito Schipa and Giuseppe di Stefano are Luciano’s models, and films of each were shown. Pavarotti father and son quarrelled: the father preferred Gigli, but Luciano liked di Stefano. Luciano Pavarotti does not read music and often learns pieces by listening to these singers perform them. He is as far into being an Italian tenor as it is possible to get. There are films of a very young Luciano. Astounding.

This is where music comes from.

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