Sunday, March 23, 2008

Controversy

Jonas Kaufmann's album is controversial, it seems.

One of the reasons I posted the discussion of the I Puritani mad scene contest is to try to make clear that different performances of the same piece can be all over the map. Just the selection of performances of this particular aria are amazingly varied. I also tried to make clear that my own particular reaction to a performance is a matter of my own particular taste. I have modified this entry to include Bartoli, Callas and Dessay. I didn't post it to create in anyone the desire to fly off and start ranting about how horrible any particular performance is.

What usually happens is that things go on a certain way until someone unusual comes along and changes it. Maria Callas was such a person. We think today that a performance of Callas's repertoire must resemble Callas's performance, or it is incorrect. The truth is that before Callas no one sang things the way Callas did. Does that mean everyone else was wrong?

With their astoundingly different voices and performances I think both Netrebko and Dessay are heart singers and bring true feeling for the music into their work. They are the people I want to hear. And I completely love the fact that Cecilia's version resembles nothing you've ever heard before.

If anyone out there knows what they are saying about Jonas, links, etc., please let me know.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Everything about Jonas eventually lands at www.jkaufmann.info his Unofficial Website. Reviews in German and English if they originated that way.

Smorg said...

I like how you mention that certain ways of singing a role comes and go. Lots of opera fans today seem to mistake their favorite singers' way of doing things for established tradition and are so intolerant of other artists who do it differently. As long as if fits the rest of the music, individuality is a virtue, I think. :o)

Cheers,
Smorg