Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ombra mai fu

How about everyone singing "Ombra mai fu" from Handel's Xerxes.

In response to a complaint is this miraculously beautiful rendition by my favorite baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

It transforms into something completely different when he sings it.  He doesn't ornament.

Old timers who never ornament:

Jussi Björling who sings it like it was Puccini.

Kathleen Ferrier.

Enrico Caruso.

Éva Marton accompanied by harps.

Modern people who don't ornament:

Olga Borodina.

Jennifer Larmore.

Ornamenters and other free thinkers:

Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson. She ornaments just a bit.

 Renée Fleming

Joyce DiDonato

I enjoy the ornamenting, but I don't know if I'd want to grade them.


Anonymous said...

any reason you didn't include any men, e.g. fischer-dieskau (whose recording is in german, of course) or david daniels? no offense meant, but there are some pretty great recordings out there!
charlotte webb

Dr.B said...

It has been 5 years since I posted this, and I still find Lorraine to be the greatest of all.