Norman Lebrecht on shifting sound worlds
This is how a label tell you it has spent a lot of money on a signing. No mention of his more contentious views.
Hmmm…I knew about this tenor but had never heard him sing, before. Quite frankly, if DG’s promotion is representative of his work, I don’t honestly see what all the fuss is about.
Graf Nugent, I fully agree with the way you qualify your judgement: “if DG’s promotion is representative of his work”. I am fully with you about this clip.
And yet I would blame DG. How do they expect us to judge based on soundbites? I think DG’s promotional clip is a disgrace.
Actually I have a lot of respect for Beczala, primarily because of his performance as Tamino, which I got to know from a DVD of a Paris 2001 Magic Flute conducted by Ivan Fisher.
As for his “contentious views”, I think they were primarily candid criticisms against clueless opera directors, of which there is an abundance these days. Oh, and his favorite director is Zefirelli – good!
Never heard him sing before??????????
And you want me to believe it?
I don’t mind if you don’t like Mr. Beczala, it’s individual and very subjective – me, for example, I never liked Mr. Pavarotti
But to say that you’ve never heard him singing says something about you!
And what does it say about me, precisely, Mr. Jaworski? What divine law have I broken by not having coincided with his art before now? Am I obliged to listen to every flash-in-the-pan stage performer just to garner your approval?
By the way, I don’t want you to believe anything. In fact, I don’t recall having asked anything of you.
Couldn’t agree more. I love opera and regularly attend my local opera house, but I have neither the time nor the money for travelling around just to listen to someone who might indeed be a good singer. And I have quite a lot of opera recordings on CD, but having among them already, say, three outstanding Traviatas, I don’t see why I should buy a fourth one just because the cast is said to be quite good.
Furthermore, I just don’t like recital CDs because I prefer enjoying operas as a whole. The same applies for youtube clips.
So, if Mr. Beczala one day happens to sing at my local opera house or if I happen to coincide with him somewhere else, I’ll be happy to attend the performance. And maybe I decide some day to buy one of his CDs (I just checked his website: Król Roger looks interesting indeed, though I feel no need for just another Traviata, Don Giovanni or Beethoven 9th). And if not: I’m sure Mr. Beczala will successfully further pursue his career anyway.
Some of the best singers are not opera singers. Montserrat Figueras was arguably the world’s greatest soprano while she was alive, and didn’t to my knowledge ever sing opera: no one else could hold a candle to her interpretive abilities. One can take an interest in singers without necessarily being an opera afficionado.
I still don’t get why all the fuss about Montserrat Figueras… She had a NASTY habit of singing FLAT… I would much rather visit the dentist… UGH
And most singers today sing sharp, so there! If they’re accompanied on a piano or instruments tuned to equal temperament, the major thirds are all noticeably sharp, particularly those of the tonic and dominant triads. These sharp intervals sound just as nasty if you’re used to hearing pure thirds, as having to listen to ‘flat’ thirds if you’re used to tempered ones. And don’t forget that equal temperament has only been in general use for about 150 years.
Author, novelist, broadcaster, cultural commentator.
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