Most beautiful obscure voice?

Discussion of contemporary singers: Jonas Kaufmann, Juan Diego Flórez, Anna Netrebko, etc.
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Jimlejim
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Most beautiful obscure voice?

Postby Jimlejim » 05 Jan 2016, 07:41

Most people will mention very obvious names, known for their sweet and beautiful voice, such as Beniamino Gigli. So what singers can you name that barely anyone knows who have a beautiful voice? My vote goes to to tenor José Mojica. He was actually pretty well known and played in movies, but I don't hear opera fans ever dropping the name. Listen to this enchanting rendition of "María la O"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4rZnnaBLns
Tenor freak. :D

oddjobman
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Re: Most beautiful obscure voice?

Postby oddjobman » 05 Jan 2016, 08:57

It's an unfair world. Artists whose career coincided with some internationally well received singers with recording contracts generally do not get the cover he/she deserved.
I admire Gianfranco Cecchele
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=944jq4AKKrs
He's been around for many years, sung in all the major houses in Europe, but was described as a not so well known tenor in Amazon's introduction to his Cavalleria Rusticana DVD.
Another name that sprung to mind is the Russian lyrical tenor Sergei Lemeshev
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJfmqkWeTOw
his beautiful voice and technique is every bit as good as his contemporary in the west, but he spent his career in USSR and is not generally known in the west

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Lambert
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Re: Most beautiful obscure voice?

Postby Lambert » 05 Jan 2016, 19:05


CVAULT1
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Re: Most beautiful obscure voice?

Postby CVAULT1 » 05 Jan 2016, 19:46

The tenor, Luigi Pontiggia, had a voice very much in the Gigli/Tagliavini mold, but he sang as a comprimario most of his career. Even in real "dog" performances, he was usually singled-out by reviewers for his excellent acting and beautiful voice. I have a Drury Lane "L'Amico Fritz" with him, and it is one of the greatest performances you'll ever hear. He could have become a star tenor, but maybe he just didn't have the temperament to live on that high a scale.


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Orestes
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Re: Most beautiful obscure voice?

Postby Orestes » 05 Jan 2016, 21:07


antfreire
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Re: Most beautiful obscure voice?

Postby antfreire » 05 Jan 2016, 22:43

The question says "that barely anyone knows. Is Tucker into that group? Perhaps in China. Anyways I have heard in my long years singers that really amazed me that were almost unknown. Giovanni Consiglio, Gacho Chako, Ruben Dominguez, and many, many more. I even knew people that could be the envy of Placido Domingo and never sang in a theater. In reference to Jose Mojica that Jimlejim mentions; the guy sounded (to me) like a baritone trying to imitate a tenor. He sang with a very high larynx and if reaching high for the note intead of the opposite. He retired in the peak of his carreer and became a franciscan monk. About twenty years later he came out and sang, as a priest and the voice was very baritonial.

TifosoBonisolli
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Re: Most beautiful obscure voice?

Postby TifosoBonisolli » 06 Jan 2016, 15:44

First of all, the beauty of timbre is certainly the most difficult, and probably the most useless aspect of a voice to discuss. The timbre is just a natural gift, not an achievement; whether a voice is beautiful or not doesn't say anything about the quality of a singer. It's a nice-to-have add-on goodie, not more than that. Plus its perception is entirely subjective; while it's true that experience teaches that many listeners will perceive a certain voice as beautiful or ugly, any specific listener may entirely differ from that judgement. For example, Jimlejim - as another current thread proves - perceives the voice of Alfredo Kraus as beautiful, which (as that same thread also proves) almost nobody does. That doesn't say anything against Jimlejim's perception since there is no "right" or "wrong" as far as vocal beauty. It just says plenty about how useful or not it is to discuss the beauty of voices - it all comes down to "I like" or "I don't like", no arguing possible.

Anyway, it's crucial not to confound the beauty of a voice (whether that perception is strictly individual or shared by a majority of listeners) with the quality of the singer, which is a mistake most often encountered, and also on this (albeit short) thread. As far as vocal beauty (always drawing on the experience how many people will likely agree that this or that specific voice is beautiful, and by no means claiming that this is the "right" perception), the majority of beautiful voices belongs to obscure singers, of course. After all, even the majority of *good* singers (with or without a beautiful voice) is obscure - every true opera lover knows that fame is most often totally erratic. This is all the more true for beautiful voices - since many singers with such voices are otherwise lacking any musical talent, vocal technique, interpretative skills and what more decides about the *quality* of a singer, many, many of them are justifiably obscure.

For example, the most stunning voice that I've ever heard live belonged to one of the worst singers that I've ever heard: US tenor Hans Aschenbach. He had absolutely no clue about singing, and so he lost his glorious voice in no time, but gosh! what a voice that originally was, large, ringing, with a good range (and top!) and, yes, a timbre that most people would be hard-pressed not to perceive as beautiful. Unfortunately, his technique made him become hoarse towards the end of act 1 (of any given opera) even in his short prime.

All that said, I'll name a few obscure singers whose voices are certainly, for lovers of "beautiful" timbres, worth checking out.

Tenors (in no particular order): Assis Pacheco, Carlos Mejia, Emilio Vendrell, Alessandro Granda, Roberto d'Alessio, Miguel Villabella, Carl Martin Öhman, Misha Aleksandrovich, Solomon Khromchenko, Arthur Cavara, Tengiz Zaalishvili, Vano Saradjishvili, Dušan Georgević, Mordechai Hershman (who might, for opera lovers, count as obscure), Lütfiyar İmanov, Juraj Hurny, Vasile Moldoveanu, József Réti, József Simándy (not obscure, I know, but if even top-level celebrities like Tucker and Lemeshev nominated?), Mirko Štork, Rashid Beibutov (not obscure anywhere in the former USSR, but probably yes anywhere else), Bülent Bezdüz, Richard Verreau, Hipólito Lázaro, Carlo Albani, Giuseppe Anselmi of course (not exactly obscure, but who knows?), Richard Crooks (obscure? not quite), Achille Braschi, Augusto Ferrauto, Salvatore Salvati, Giovanni Manuritta, Adolf Dallapozza, Salvatore Fisichella, Robleto Merolla, Ettore Parmeggiani, Giuseppe Radaelli, Gino Sinimberghi, Aimé Doniat, André Mallabrera, Louis Orliac, Jean Planel, Émile-Frantz Sardet, Herbert Ernst Groh (perhaps obscure for somebody, as well), Ernst Kozub, James Melton, Richard Leech (semi-obscure), Victor Verteneuil, Tibor Udvardy, John Gläser, Hans Buff-Gießen, Leonardo Aramesco, David Badridze. The most beautiful among these voices, for me personally? (Not to be confounded with "the best singer"!!!) Zaalishvili, Doniat, Sinimberghi, Orliac. If I had to single out one, it would probably be Orliac.

I'm getting tired after just one vocal key... if anybody is interested, I'll make lists for the other keys, as well, but for the moment, I'll stop. Not without saying, though, that the singular most beautiful voice, to my ears, considering both famous and obscure singers, is the one of baritone Georg Ots, who may sadly be obscure outside the former USSR, as well (though he is in fact one of the most famous singers of all times, of course): http://sovmusic.ru/m/lovelif4.mp3 ("Ja ljublju tebja, zhizn" by Eduard Kolmanovskij).

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shutko
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Re: Most beautiful obscure voice?

Postby shutko » 06 Jan 2016, 17:24

Louis Cazette was once an opera-comique tenor long ago. A very pretty lyric tenor...

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Jimlejim
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Re: Most beautiful obscure voice?

Postby Jimlejim » 06 Jan 2016, 18:31

TifosoBonisolli wrote:First of all, the beauty of timbre is certainly the most difficult, and probably the most useless aspect of a voice to discuss....by Eduard Kolmanovskij).
Holy crap! Awesome post! I'll have to take my time to work through that list!
Tenor freak. :D


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