Tuesday 17 June 2008


A comment on one of my previous posts responds to my comments about singers like Danielle De Niese and David Daniels. My references to technique were mostly about the way that they sing fast notes, passage-work. My preference is for fast, light even passagework in Baroque opera. De Niese and Daniels both seem to use uneven stresses on notes, De Niese's passage work is heavier and more emphatic than I feel is necessary in Handel. Daniels seems to shape his semiquavers in groups which seem to be entirely 19th century in manner. To a certain extent they are responding to the likings of people like my anonymous commenter.

I must confess that I also find too much vibrato rather uncomfortable when used in passagework, it gets in the way of the runs. Also my correspondent refers to singers singing legato and letting their voices vibrate naturally. Unfortunately for me, there is a fine dividing line between a natural vibrato and a wobble which obscures the fundamental pitch of the note, thus obviating any feeling for legato.

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