J. B. Steane Singers of the Century, Vol. 3

ISBN 13: 9781574670578

Singers of the Century, Vol. 3

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9781574670578: Singers of the Century, Vol. 3
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(Amadeus). The subjects of this third volume range from survivors of the so-called Golden Age of the 1890s, such as the formidable Lotte Lehman, to those whom the 20th century has bequeathed to the 21st, such as Cecilia Bartoli and Ian Bostridge. This is a personal selection that includes many of the great names, including Melchior, heldentenor of the century, and Gigli, the most popular Italian singer of his generation. The entire series (for this is the final volume) ends with a chapter on Caruso, still widely regarded as the greatest of all.Steane's critical essays seek out the special qualities of each singer and relate them to wider concerns in music and in life. His eloquent descriptions of the nuances of the vocal art are wonderful examples of the best kind of music appreciation. HARDCOVER.

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About the Author:

John Steane, who writes for Gramophone, Musical Times, and Opera News, is the author of The Grand Tradition: Seventy Years of Singing on Record, 1900-1970 and Voices, Singers and Critics. He resides in Coventry, England.

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If a doubt about greatness may arise with Renée Fleming in view, how much more insidious and insistent are the whisperings or, worse, the indulgent silences that may now attend the name of Enrico Caruso. He is acknowledged of course: every anthology of voices on records, even if it ignores all the other marvellous singers of his time, has to have its token Caruso. People will say 'I suppose he must have been wonderful really', meaning they can't quite see it. Or 'Of course it's a terrible recording but it gives you an idea', meaning you would hardly play it for pleasure. Others will probe ('But was he really so great? Wasn’t it just that in those days...'). Some will chip away at the edges ('Not much of an actor was he?'). Some will condescend amiably ('Completely natural, instinctive gift', meaning he was a peasant), or informatively ('His singing killed him you know. Oh yes, burst a blood-vessel poor chap'). I remember Compton Mackenzie, with faith, hope and charity in his heart, writing 'every day, somewhere, somebody will hear his voice for the first time and say "This was a singer"' (The Gramophone, July 1924). And I wish I could be sure of such a future, or even such a present.

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9780715629895: Singers of the Century, Vol. 3

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ISBN 10:  0715629891 ISBN 13:  9780715629895
Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, 2000
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