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Fleming's New "Knoxville, Summer of 1915" Doesn't displace Upshaw, IMHO

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Posted on January 7, 2017 at 11:35:51
jdaniel@jps.net
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I've heard Fleming live, (Rusalka, final performance before the SF Opera closed for remodeling), and her voice is as creamy and beautiful as they come, but for Barber's Knoxville, I still prefer Dawn Upshaw's more pain-speakin', down-home country girl approach to the piece.

I realize that Barber wrote with Steber in mind and that she took a relatively "big", operatic approach to the piece, but considering the text, it's just hard for me to imagine Aida prattling on about garden hoses, or Brunhilde speaking of nothing all.

Recording is OK, strings and voice get a little hard at points.

 

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RE: Fleming's New "Knoxville, Summer of 1915" Doesn't displace Upshaw, IMHO, posted on January 7, 2017 at 14:04:46
Ivan303
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OK, but it's the only copy of Knoxville, Summer of 1915 I own and I'm a Samuel Barber fan.





 

RE: Fleming's New "Knoxville, Summer of 1915" Doesn't displace Upshaw, IMHO, posted on January 7, 2017 at 15:29:44
pbarach
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Location: Ohio
Joined: June 22, 2008
I don't like Fleming's recording either. My favorite is Leontyne Price, Thomas Schippers, New Philharmonia. Second choice is Roberta Alexander, with Edo de Waart and a Dutch orchestra. Upshaw's voice just doesn't soar and lacks the floated pianissimo singing (e.g., "...one blue dew") that I want to hear in this music.

Alexander is IMO a grossly under-appreciated singer. Her discs of Barber and Ives songs are top-notch.

 

I had that Alexander CD, namely for the 3 orchestrated songs--gems. , posted on January 7, 2017 at 15:50:38
jdaniel@jps.net
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Sure on this Shining Night, and Nocturne are just gorgeous as orchestrated.

 

RE: Upshaw is my choice, too, but, posted on January 8, 2017 at 09:33:00
Travis
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  Since:
May 13, 2008
there is one point where the engineers mis-underestimated the levels on Upshaw's voice. It always bugs me when it comes around.


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