facinating sounds of historic divas.

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woodsyi

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facinating sounds of historic divas.
« on: 9 Mar 2010, 04:25 pm »
Last night, I am digging through my collection to listen to recordings of Amelita Galli-gurci, Alma Gluck, Emma Calvé, Nellie Melba, Geraldine Farrar, Rosa Ponselle, Lily Pons among others.  Using a top of the line TT set up to listen to LPs (which were remastered from early 78s) I can hear the beauty of the voices.  There were some amazing technical virtuosity in these singers. 

Who have you heard and who do you like?

TheChairGuy

Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #1 on: 9 Mar 2010, 06:10 pm »
Maria Callas...simply an angelic voice akin to what I hear in Bocelli's voice today.

I'm not sure exactly what that is that strikes me with both of them...but they share some similar quality to these (happy) ears.

I don't think any of her recordings were remastered from 78's...but the early ones (before she lost weight and a measure of her voice) were mono.

John

woodsyi

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Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #2 on: 9 Mar 2010, 09:06 pm »
Maria Callas...simply an angelic voice....

John

She is a feisty angel then.   :wink:  She has a steely strength to her voice that some times grates on me, especially in digital medium.  I like her as Tosca, Lucia and even Carmen but not as Mimi and really not as Cio Cio San. 

I wish I could have heard Galli-Curci in her prime.  She had an incredible control of her voice that soared pure - like Tibaldi except I would put Amelita Galli-Curci ahead of Renata Tibaldi.
« Last Edit: 10 Mar 2010, 01:29 pm by woodsyi »

no1maestro

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Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #3 on: 10 Mar 2010, 03:15 am »
You just had to write about Callas didn't you. :lol: I have tried to listen to her since the mid fifties and for some reason I just could never warm up to her voice or style. I wish I could give you a reason but for the life of me I can't put it into words. Just a month or so ago I picked up a cd of her various roles and I keep trying but it just doesn't take. I think a part of it is her image and the many horrible things written about her in the sixties plus the fans on the opposite side who thought she could do no wrong. I will always give her another listen but so far nothing to make me replay anything she has done.

lonewolfny42

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Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #4 on: 10 Mar 2010, 03:48 am »
I always liked Beverly Sills..... :thumb:

Rim...here's a site I came across that may interest you and others...

Click on the ladies... :wink:

http://www.divasthesite.com/The_Opera_Divas.htm

woodsyi

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Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #5 on: 10 Mar 2010, 03:09 pm »
Thanks Chris,

I put it on the links thread.  :thumb:

Of course, you like Sills.  She is a born and bred New Yawker.   :wink:

I like her too in light roles like Rosina in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia.


SET Man

Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #6 on: 28 Mar 2010, 03:54 am »
Last night, I am digging through my collection to listen to recordings of Amelita Galli-gurci, Alma Gluck, Emma Calvé, Nellie Melba, Geraldine Farrar, Rosa Ponselle, Lily Pons among others.  Using a top of the line TT set up to listen to LPs (which were remastered from early 78s) I can hear the beauty of the voices.  There were some amazing technical virtuosity in these singers. 

Who have you heard and who do you like?

Hey!
 
     Your thread reminded me that I do have two maybe three 78rpm discs of Amelita Galli-Curci. Here are two played on my 1902 Victor Type "E"....

"Proch's Air and Variations"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMVY9DkiKQY

"Lakme Dov'e I'Indiana bruna" (Bell Song)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-k8Je9SF04

     These two are on 12" single sided Victor's Victrola Red Rebel... precursor of the later RCA Victor's Red Seal.... RCA bought Victor in 1929 :D These two that you've heard are from the acoustical process era played through an acoustical machine. There is something special and mesmerizing  hearing these old acoustical recording discs on acoustical machine.

     Anyway, I'm not sure about the exact date when these two were recorded and pressed. But I do know from research that Victor stop making single sided disc in 1924. So, they are from the period of 1910-1924 but more likely in late 1910's I think. :D

     I will look for the other disc of her and will try to put it up on youtube when I have time. :D

     BTW... please let me know how the video play. Dose it run smoothly , freeze or? Sound OK? I'm still puzzled when is come to converting video for youtube upload  :scratch:

Take care,
Buddy :thumb:
   

lonewolfny42

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Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #7 on: 28 Mar 2010, 04:45 am »
Quote
BTW... please let me know how the video play. Dose it run smoothly , freeze or? Sound OK? I'm still puzzled when is come to converting video for youtube upload  :scratch:

They both "run" OK Buddy...the sound is definitely.....78.... :lol:

jimdgoulding

Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #8 on: 28 Mar 2010, 08:00 am »
Last night, I am digging through my collection to listen to recordings of Amelita Galli-gurci, Alma Gluck, Emma Calvé, Nellie Melba, Geraldine Farrar, Rosa Ponselle, Lily Pons among others.  Using a top of the line TT set up to listen to LPs (which were remastered from early 78s) I can hear the beauty of the voices.  There were some amazing technical virtuosity in these singers. 

Who have you heard and who do you like?
Lilly Pons lived in Dallas for awhile.  I had an uncle who was in love with her tho I think it was from a distance.  He used to wait on her in his gas station.  He may have dated her, however.  I was too young to remember for sure.  He was handsome.

Joan Carlyle, Mirella Freni and Christa Ludwig, of late.

SET Man

Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #9 on: 29 Mar 2010, 06:12 pm »
They both "run" OK Buddy...the sound is definitely.....78.... :lol:

Hey!

     Thanks Chris. :D I think my computer is getting old.  :icon_lol:

     Yeah, sound like old acoustical 78 for sure. :lol: Can't get any direct than that... from the singer via horn and sound tube to the cutting head. But there are unique charming quality to it. :D Of course it sound better in person. :wink:

Take care,
Buddy :thumb:

woodsyi

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Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #10 on: 29 Mar 2010, 07:07 pm »
Buddy,

I like them.  I know what you mean when you say they sound better in person.  I have played some of the earliest 78s on a Basis table with Grado ball point cart and they retain that special je ne sais quoi of the performers.  If I had a player like yours, I would play my 78s more but it's a PITA to set up to play 78.  I already run 2 TT's and neither does 78.  I had to special order a pulley for the third table to play 78.  There isn't enough torque on the motor to start the platter and I have to give it a nudge to get going.  Then there is the whole EQ curve you have to figure out, too.   

Anyway, I like them, especially the bell song.  Put some more on.  :thumb:

SET Man

Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #11 on: 30 Mar 2010, 04:33 pm »
Buddy,

I like them.  I know what you mean when you say they sound better in person.  I have played some of the earliest 78s on a Basis table with Grado ball point cart and they retain that special je ne sais quoi of the performers.  If I had a player like yours, I would play my 78s more but it's a PITA to set up to play 78.  I already run 2 TT's and neither does 78.  I had to special order a pulley for the third table to play 78.  There isn't enough torque on the motor to start the platter and I have to give it a nudge to get going.  Then there is the whole EQ curve you have to figure out, too.   

Anyway, I like them, especially the bell song.  Put some more on.  :thumb:

Hey!

     I don't have modern TT set up to play these old 78s. But sometime wish I had one. :D Playing 78s on our system will take a right set up, TT that can run at 78s, cart for 78s and a phono pre that can by pass the RIAA EQ. I have been thinking about that, I think that a simple head/mic pre-amp might work for this.  :scratch:

    Playing these old acoustical 78s on my acoustical talking machine can be a PITA too also. :lol: I didn't include the winding part on the video :lol: Luckily this machine can play a full 12" on on winding and two 10" with some winding left to spare with it dual springs motor :D And I only can play 78s that were made for acoustical machine, pretty much any 78rpm discs made before 1935, after that they switched to softer disc for electronic pick up. Especially those made before 1925 are perfect for my machine. They were using acoustical process until 1925 than everyone switched to electrical process recoding. Oh! Did I mention that I have to replace the steel needle after each play?  :icon_lol: But that's how people listen to these acoustical process discs back than. :D

      Anyway, glade you like them. I do have another 78 of Amelita and will put it up when I can. BTW.... do you like Caruso? :wink:

Take care,
Buddy :thumb:

woodsyi

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Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #12 on: 31 Mar 2010, 12:02 pm »
Yes,

The more I hear Caruso, the more I appreciate his amazing voice.  He had an amazing projection of both voice and emotion.  I can still feel the emotion; wish I could lift several layers of veil on the recording to hear his voice better.  It's like listening to him from several rooms away.  It's really a shame that the nascent recording technology can only give us a poor shadow of his voice, but I guess we should be glad that we have anything at all.  It's on top of my wish list of things I would like to see if I had a time machine.

Rob Babcock

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Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #13 on: 31 Mar 2010, 12:36 pm »
Guilty...Callas still leaves me weak in the knees... :oops: :o :thumb:

woodsyi

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Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #14 on: 2 Apr 2010, 03:02 pm »
Guilty...Callas still leaves me weak in the knees... :oops: :o :thumb:

I hear you.  The worship of (opera) divas among men (especially gay men) is a well known phenomenon.  My knees go week for Ileana Cotrubas.  It's like this.  Some can't stand her breathing flaws but I think it adds to her charm.  Something clicks and I resonate.  Whatever she sings is golden to me.  I don't with Callas but you do.  That's cool.  :thumb: Makes you wonder if Rupert Sheldrake has something going with his theory on Morphic Field and sound might just be a component of it.

You have to listen to some analogue recordings of her singing.  I can really tell a difference for better -- softens the steeliness.

Rob Babcock

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Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #15 on: 11 Apr 2010, 06:48 am »
I hear you.  The worship of (opera) divas among men (especially gay men) is a well known phenomenon.

Hey, just what are you implying? :nono:


 :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

roymail

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Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #16 on: 21 Apr 2010, 02:17 am »
Buddy, really enjoyed the youtube videos.  Like the way you started showing the record label, then spinning, then playing.  Wow, she can sing!  :o

Oh! Did I mention that I have to replace the steel needle after each play?  :icon_lol: But that's how people listen to these acoustical process discs back than. :D

I did not know that, and I don't think we've ever replaced ours on the stand up Victrola.  Sorry, to be so off topic.

SET Man

Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #17 on: 21 Apr 2010, 04:38 am »
Buddy, really enjoyed the youtube videos.  Like the way you started showing the record label, then spinning, then playing.  Wow, she can sing!  :o

Oh! Did I mention that I have to replace the steel needle after each play?  :icon_lol: But that's how people listen to these acoustical process discs back than. :D

I did not know that, and I don't think we've ever replaced ours on the stand up Victrola.  Sorry, to be so off topic.

Hey!

    Thanks, yes you have to replace the steel needle after each play. Reusing needle will result in record wear... yes used needle will literally eat the record.  :icon_lol:

    New needles can be found on places like eBay for $4 for a pack of 100. :D

http://cgi.ebay.com/100-NEW-PHONOGRAPH-NEEDLES-VICTOR-VICTROLA-3-99-/320482481632?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4a9e3e95e0

    I've bought some form this seller before. Keep in mind that it is easier and cheaper to place needle than the record :wink:

    BTW... I just remembered that I started a thread about antique talking machine a while back of which I haven't gone back to write more about it....

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=53881.0

   Yeah, we are a bit off topic here talking about the tech side of the machine. So, if you or anyone want to talk about these antique talking machine both musical, technical and support can post there. :D

Take care,
Buddy :thumb:

jimdgoulding

Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #18 on: 8 Jul 2010, 04:53 pm »
You just had to write about Callas didn't you. :lol: I have tried to listen to her since the mid fifties and for some reason I just could never warm up to her voice or style. I wish I could give you a reason but for the life of me I can't put it into words. Just a month or so ago I picked up a cd of her various roles and I keep trying but it just doesn't take. I think a part of it is her image and the many horrible things written about her in the sixties plus the fans on the opposite side who thought she could do no wrong. I will always give her another listen but so far nothing to make me replay anything she has done.
What struck me dumb about her singing from a 1953 Angel mono recording of Tosca is her dynamic range, the dark purity of her middle and lower register, and the drama in her singing.  She projects.  I imagine this latter quality was something special in her live performances. 

jerryleefish

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Re: facinating sounds of historic divas.
« Reply #19 on: 15 Jun 2012, 05:15 am »
An interesting  observation is Tabaldi and Callas. The former having a sweeter
voice. Wonderful sound for Puccini. Callas could be shrill in the upper range but no diva could match her acting and stage presence.