Monday 2 June 2008

So it isn't just me

On Saturday morning, Berta Joncus discussed recent Handel recordings on the CD Review programme on BBC Radio 3. Here selection of recordings included Handel's Alcina from the Bavarian State Opera under Ivor Bolton and Danielle de Niese's recent recital record with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants. Joncus played de Niese's account of Tornami a vagheggiar and compared it with the same aria from the Bavarian State Opera recording. She complained that de Niese's version was slower and heaver than the Bavarian account, suggesting that de Niese sang this music with an essentially 19th century type technique, adding that on stage de Niese's personality was dazzling so that you forgave her these musical issues, but that on disc the problems were more noticeable.

It was interesting to hear somebody articulate what I had felt about de Niese's singing. As soon as Joncus made her comments I realised that it made a great deal of sense to me. There are number of singers on the circuit, David Daniels is another, who often seem to attach the baroque repertoire in the same way that they would sing Rossini. It seems that for much of the time this goes uncommented.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:40 am

    You don't precisely define the "problem" of singing Handel with a "19th Century technique" (whatever that might be). If you mean that de Niese and David Daniels sing legato and allow their voices to vibrate naturally, I can only wonder why you think it a problem. Some of us would rather not hear the vibratoless marcato yodeling usually passes for Baroque singing, and we find the tendency of the newer singers like de NIese and Daniels to engage in something more or less recognizable as mainstream operatic singing anything but a problem!


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