Monday, June 23, 2008

Tenors

If I am to continue blogging, I must follow my heart wherever it leads. To my very great surprise it appears to be leading me toward tenors, specifically the DG collection Masters of the Voice: Tenor.

My old favorites are here. Jussi Bjoerling sings the Ingemisco from the Verdi Requiem, a recording that I practically grew up with. And who can resist the young, bright voiced Luciano Pavarotti singing La Donna e mobile? Or Carlo Bergonzi singing Come un bel di di maggio? It is a joy to hear Jon Vickers sing Wintersturme from Walkuere.

But new pleasures are also here. My greatest professional success probably came in performances of Mendelssohn's Elijah. It brings always a special feeling. But Anthony Rolfe-Johnson, one of the top 20 tenors on the Gramophone list, is a great pleasure. This piece is the peak experience of that other romanticism, the one that is only medium sized instead of grandiose, the true romanticism of Schumann, Brahms and Mendelssohn, the peaceful, interior romanticism. Sorry, I got carried away. He sings "If with all your heart ye truly seek me." It's a bright, English sound, rather suitable for Mozart, but full of feeling.

It's an interesting collection. Andreas Scholl is NOT a tenor by any stretch of the imagination. What could they be thinking?

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