fredag, september 07, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti dead

Most of us now know that the great tenor is dead and this did not come as a surprise if one knew what kind of disease he was suffering from.

I have only heard him live once in my life, in Stockholm, at the Stocholm Globe Arena. It was in 1992 and he sang in a setting-up of Guiseppe Verdi's 'Requiem'.

The Russian conductor, Vladimir Fedoseyev lead the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Kringkastingsorkestret from Oslo and the World Festival Choir with 1800 singers! 

The other soloists were the magnificent singers Carol Vaness, Shirley Verrett and Franco de Grandis.

I remember being somewhat sceptical towards the acoustic conditons in the Globe Arena but when it came to the soloists, it functioned well. 
The choir however did not always sound well, but not because of them but because of the fact that there where "too many" singers in the choir and this became hard to moderate from an acoustical point of view.

Many critics say that Pavarotti should have ended his singing career earlier. 
This is probably right from an artistic point of view. On the other hand, if people still want to pay money in order to listen to an artist even if he is not at the peak of his career, who can blame him for continuing?
It's true that he reached his peak as a singer many, many years ago. He managed though to keep his voice in good shape even at this fairly high age for a singer. 
It is also hard for an artist to end his career and stop singing publically when - like in this case - his instrument always is within him.

One can always discuss if Pavarotti promoted opera as an art form or only Pavarotti as an artist? I think he managed both.

The problem is that this art form becomes more and more dependant on these world artists. People are eager to see a Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras, Bartoli, Nilsson, Callas or the like.
But the music, the drama, the passion of opera itself? When the audience after hearing a singer like this - when being at his best - arrive to an opera house with 'ordinary' opera singers, this can create a situation of disappointment.

Sometimes Pavarotti also sang songs together with pop artists (like Queen), songs that wasn't always suitable for his voice. In this case his judgment failed him. And again: He became rich by doing so and this was of course one driving force.

Recommended recordings would be those from the 1960's, 70's, 80's and early 90's.

A great opera artist is dead but still I hold Jussi Björling as the foremost lyrical-dramatical opera tenor of all time!

(Black and white photo of Luciano Pavarotti at The Royal Opera House in London and in the role of Manrico/?/ copied from:
(Pavarotti smiling copied from:
(Pavarotti in color, smiling copied from: