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Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 05 Jan 2016, 21:00
by Lambert
Who can list the most important differences? I am talking about the so-called old school versus modern classical voices. Are there important differences or is it just nostalgia? :?:

Re: Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 05 Jan 2016, 21:01
by Jimlejim
Can of worms.

Re: Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 05 Jan 2016, 21:23
by shutko
There's a decline in great singers, that's what I can see. I would love someone to explain some fundamental differences though between both periods, why doesn't a Ponselle or a Pertile come from nowhere today?? From what I noticed with the rapid popularity increase of lieder there is a more emphasis on placing the words rather than creating a seamless legato. People are singing Verdi like they would sing Schubert.

Re: Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 05 Jan 2016, 22:14
by antfreire
There is a notable difference between singers pre Caruso and post, particualrly tenors and baritones. Just listen to De Lucia or Battistini and compare them with Caruso or Zenatello or Stracciari and the difference is obvious. But I don't think there is much difference between a singer of the thirties and fourties with today singers. Altough they had , in those days more liberties and could make a different style to the next singer which today is more difficult due to the tiranny of conductors. But it is difficult and like someone said opening a can or worms to make comparisons of different times. A sportman today does not play like in the good old times of the turn of the century 19/20. Actors don't act the same. Soldiers don't fight the same, so why singer should sing the same?

Re: Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 05 Jan 2016, 23:23
by shutko
antfreire wrote:There is a notable difference between singers pre Caruso and post, particualrly tenors and baritones. Just listen to De Lucia or Battistini and compare them with Caruso or Zenatello or Stracciari and the difference is obvious. But I don't think there is much difference between a singer of the thirties and fourties with today singers. Altough they had , in those days more liberties and could make a different style to the next singer which today is more difficult due to the tiranny of conductors. But it is difficult and like someone said opening a can or worms to make comparisons of different times. A sportman today does not play like in the good old times of the turn of the century 19/20. Actors don't act the same. Soldiers don't fight the same, so why singer should sing the same?
Because it sounds nicer and produces impeccable vocal art and if anything the singing hasn't been the same due to a less critical mentality that leads to very sloppy renditions... Whether we like it or not if we turn on the radio to a new Met broadcast, the voices are not what they used to be in quality.

Re: Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 06 Jan 2016, 15:03
by antfreire
"""""the voices are not what they used to be in quality."""""
Rossini said that much before you, and Caruso, and Melba, etc. etc. etc.

Re: Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 06 Jan 2016, 16:46
by shutko
True.... :? :? :?

Re: Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 07 Jan 2016, 07:08
by Nonde
Tell me a pre-50's tenor who can beat Juan Diego Florez in Rossini...

Re: Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 07 Jan 2016, 08:10
by shutko
Nonde wrote:Tell me a pre-50's tenor who can beat Juan Diego Florez in Rossini...
Which roles do you mean? If we are speaking William Tell then there are many examples of tenors who sang Arnold much better than Florez, take Martinelli, Lauri-Volpi, O'Sullivan or Filippeschi (kind of an intermediate). If Florez keeps singing Arnold it won't be a surprise to hear his voice go out, he was never meant to sing the role. Take it from the tenor who created Arnold (Adolphe Nourrit), Nourrit created the tenor parts in Les Huguenots, Robert le Diable and La Juive as well. None of these are lyric tenor parts that should be sung as such.

Of course if you mean lighter Rossini this post is mute...

Re: Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 07 Jan 2016, 12:35
by LaGioconda
I´ve always wondered, how people can say that "modern" singers have better singing technique than the "old" ones. Don´t agree at all!!
For me the most obvious difference is the handling of the passaggio.

I´d say 90% of all singers - no matter which voice category, but especially tenors and baritones - put way too much weight on the middle voice and try to push that broad dark, heavy sound way up to the top. Usually the lighter tenors do a better job at it, but as soon as they go into heavier roles, they do the same. Hardl any tenors who not only manage but who really excel in the heavy repertory.

Thinking of tenors like Richard Tucker for example.

All this squeezing and pushing makes painful listening and these singers soon loose vocal flexibility and an easy, ringing top.