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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:58 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 360
Location: British Columbia, Canada
gramophone-georg wrote:
Viva-voce wrote:
There's a lot more I could write about this and in greater detail, given enough time and space, and my energy level at the moment. But I've tried to convey some of what I was trying to say on this subject, without rambling on too long. But I hope it is helpful in addressing your request :)

Steven


I'll add to that.

Without Caruso, I don't think that either the Victor Talking Machine Co. OR any of the opera stars you mentioned would have come into such international prominence. Here we are 145 years after his birth and he is still resonating through the ages being discovered by new generations.

Caruso's records have real presence... pretty much unique to an acoustical era vocal star. I can't think of another tenor that quite gives the power plus the feeling of a Caruso.

I think Mario Lanza tried and came close... but they were from two different eras... when Caruso came up, sure, you could get celebrity status as an opera star, but first and foremost was always the trade of singing, which was unceasing work. When Lanza came in, instead of being a serious opera tenor he opted to go total celebrity... not that Lanza didn't work at it, too, but a lot of what he sang is trite by today's standards, and while both died too soon Caruso's death was unfortunate where Lanza's was self inflicted... he lacked the discipline to take care of himself. Then too, Lanza had a powerful voice but we never heard him through the medium of 1900s recording technology. Would he have stacked up?

I've enjoyed many other tenors besides Caruso, but it's him they are always chasing.

Plus... Caruso was pretty much the original rock star. :)


Thank you--very well said!


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:56 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:18 am
Posts: 836
gramophone-georg wrote:
Plus... Caruso was pretty much the original rock star. :)


If Caruso was the Beatles, then John McCormack was the Rolling Stones. McCormack enjoyed also enormous popularity at the same time as Caruso, with a completely different style of interpretation and voice. What both had in common was the ability to reproduce well their voices over the primitive acoustic system and allow listeners to understand lyrics and musical nuances, on top of mythical stage presences. McCormack survived Caruso for about 20 years and recorded prolifically almost until his death, but today he is essentially forgotten, while the name Caruso still enjoys some recognition among the (older) general public. My guess for that is repertoire: Caruso recorded many more pieces that became perennial, and on those he more or less set the standard against which other singers would measure up. In addition, pop artists contributed to keep his name alive making songs named after him (Joan Baez and Lucio Dalla in the 80s). Bets are off if Caruso will survive the Generation-X filter.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:18 pm 
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Victor V
His epigrams are all his own, the man's an epigramophone!
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 2174
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
Today's classical crossover singers think that they invented the genre, but Caruso and McCormack were doing it 100 years ago and more, Caruso with his Neapolitan songs and McCormack with his Irish ballads. The two men were good friends with a mutual respect for their art.

The great opera singers of Caruso's generation were the international superstars of the time. By contrast some of today's so called opera singers have never performed in opera. They just sing operatic arias as part of their act.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:32 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
Posts: 1830
Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
CarlosV wrote:
gramophone-georg wrote:
Plus... Caruso was pretty much the original rock star. :)


If Caruso was the Beatles, then John McCormack was the Rolling Stones. McCormack enjoyed also enormous popularity at the same time as Caruso, with a completely different style of interpretation and voice. What both had in common was the ability to reproduce well their voices over the primitive acoustic system and allow listeners to understand lyrics and musical nuances, on top of mythical stage presences. McCormack survived Caruso for about 20 years and recorded prolifically almost until his death, but today he is essentially forgotten, while the name Caruso still enjoys some recognition among the (older) general public. My guess for that is repertoire: Caruso recorded many more pieces that became perennial, and on those he more or less set the standard against which other singers would measure up. In addition, pop artists contributed to keep his name alive making songs named after him (Joan Baez and Lucio Dalla in the 80s). Bets are off if Caruso will survive the Generation-X filter.


I do like McCormack also- I have some of his early operatic discs- but sorry, in vocal power and control there's just no comparison. If Caruso fails to survive the Gen X filter, I think serious opera itself will go with him.

One thing I have observed, however, is that we always expect far worse than we actually get in each succeeding generation.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:43 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:33 pm
Posts: 2530
Location: Near NY's Capital
gramophone-georg wrote:
One thing I have observed, however, is that we always expect far worse than we actually get in each succeeding generation.


Very true. In the last few years, I've noticed an increased interest in things like Caruso in an entirely new generation of collectors. I've been happily passing along spares of his (and many others) to them whenever someone drops by for a visit. I doubt he or McCormack will be "forgotten".

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:06 pm 
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Victor V
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epigramophone wrote:
Today's classical crossover singers think that they invented the genre, but Caruso and McCormack were doing it 100 years ago and more, Caruso with his Neapolitan songs and McCormack with his Irish ballads. The two men were good friends with a mutual respect for their art.

The great opera singers of Caruso's generation were the international superstars of the time. By contrast some of today's so called opera singers have never performed in opera. They just sing operatic arias as part of their act.


But if want does want to maintain a career as an opera singer, I think in some ways the demands are greater now. In Caruso's day, travel was slow, they weren't expected to jet around here and there, so that allowed them to rest their voices, and they could even spend a large chunk of their career singing in one house, like Caruso did at the Met.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:10 pm 
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Auxetophone
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:01 am
Posts: 2454
Location: Ferndale, MI
Wolfe wrote:
epigramophone wrote:
Today's classical crossover singers think that they invented the genre, but Caruso and McCormack were doing it 100 years ago and more, Caruso with his Neapolitan songs and McCormack with his Irish ballads. The two men were good friends with a mutual respect for their art.

The great opera singers of Caruso's generation were the international superstars of the time. By contrast some of today's so called opera singers have never performed in opera. They just sing operatic arias as part of their act.


But if want does want to maintain a career as an opera singer, I think in some ways the demands are greater now. In Caruso's day, travel was slow, they weren't expected to jet around here and there, so that allowed them to rest their voices, and they could even spend a large chunk of their career singing in one house, like Caruso did at the Met.


I know many opera singers and they are constantly in different states, and sometimes countries from day to day. It's very demanding!
Brandon


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:51 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 360
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Yes, Brandon, it is very demanding, and has gotten more so over the years. It's a much tougher profession than it used to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:46 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:24 pm
Posts: 99
gramophone-georg wrote:

I do like McCormack also- I have some of his early operatic discs- but sorry, in vocal power and control there's just no comparison. If Caruso fails to survive the Gen X filter, I think serious opera itself will go with him.

One thing I have observed, however, is that we always expect far worse than we actually get in each succeeding generation.


McCormack's Il Mio Tesoro, from 1916 ain't too shabby, but hey, YMMV, and that's fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:18 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 360
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Rastus10 wrote:
gramophone-georg wrote:

I do like McCormack also- I have some of his early operatic discs- but sorry, in vocal power and control there's just no comparison. If Caruso fails to survive the Gen X filter, I think serious opera itself will go with him.

One thing I have observed, however, is that we always expect far worse than we actually get in each succeeding generation.


McCormack's Il Mio Tesoro, from 1916 ain't too shabby, but hey, YMMV, and that's fine.


Yes he's definitely another one of my faves. Such legato, beauty of tone, breath control, style, and the way he communicates the text. Sure his upper notes occasionally sound over-parted in the heavier operatic repertoire he recorded, but so much else is so satisfying!

Steven


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