Bernstein daily: The French take back Candide

The amazing Patricia Petibon:

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  • whats so great about her and this? I paused this at 1:15 and stopped because she sounds like a whaling cow.

    in my humble opinion, which no one will care about, Natalie Dessay is unmatched in this song.

  • whats so great about her and this? I paused this at 1:15 and stopped because she sounds like a whaling cow.

    in my humble opinion, which no one will care about, Natalie Dessay is unmatched in this song.

  • Please be considerate and less harsh, because Patricia Petibon’s husband, Didier Lockwood, a respected jazz violinist, just passed away a week ago.
    I wonder why this YouTube from Candide of her was today’s subject.
    Her recent role of Blanche in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites was spectecular and deeply moving.

  • I agree with all of the above. I kept looking at that trembling tongue and forgot about what she was singing. And yes, her enunciation was horrid. But let’s cut her some slack — she just lost her husband, Didier Lockwood, a marvelous jazz violinist, who died a few days ago at 62. Barbara Cook, of course, set the standard. Personally, I got a kick out of Kristin Chenoweth’s zany performance in that televised “Candide.”

  • I listened to Petibone doing this aria. One of the reasons her diction sounds so bad is that the recording is totally over reverberant. This to me is a major flaw with nearly all new classical vocal recordings today. They distort the voice and make it sound much bigger than it is. And most of the “re-mastering” of older recordings have added excessive reverb (what the recording industry calls “improved” or “enhanced”). Recordings should be as accurate as possible without a lot of electronic ‘gimmicks” added. Most concert halls have some natural reverb (which can change with the size of the audience or no audience), but rarely as over reverberant as the final recording.

    I have done several live concert recordings which have been praised and appreciated by the performing artists. WITHOUT BEING OVER REVERBERANT. (Except where I could not get my mics in close enough – as in some echoey churches).

    Toscanini set the standard for absolutely no reverberance at all in the infamous Studio 8H built to his specifications. This is totally in the opposite direction and I believe is just as wrong as no reverb at all.

    Who is to say just how much reverb is enough or too much? My feeling is to have just enough to still make the artist(s) and recording sound as natural and as accurate as possible – obtaining all of the artist’s values and what makes them so excellent in the first place.

    Yes, Barbara Cook, I believe, still sets the standard with many fine artists following.

  • Sure, let’s judge a soprano on one badly filmed and recorded, reverberating youtube video. I have heard her live, and can confirm that she is an excellent soprano in the hall (or on good recordings). Now, her extravagant acting may not be to everyone’s taste, and I can understand that. But saying she is “whaling” based on one low-quality Youtube is quite a bit too much.

  • In our part of the southern Pacific Ocean we find this unkind and cruel criticism typically of the northern hemisphere, from whence wars and genocide are regularly exported. Isn’t it closer to the truth to say that mostly you are all less educated in music than Petibon, have given less pleasure to the world, and are well known only in your own bedrooms? Our mothers here tell us that if you having nothing nice to say then say nothing. I am lying in the dark listening to her singing Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, dark and mysterious; pure beauty. I will freshen my brain-palate with her Satie songs, witty, and sophisticated. Then to finish before I sleep some Spanish melancholia. This is a woman whose hard work, discipline, wit and cleverness makes my 70 year old bones creak in gratitude for life. She is a fantastic virtue in the world. Tell yourself you have equal virtue in your cruel comments

  • @ Akona Te Mahi Pai: I couldn’t agree more with your remark of the wise words mothers (and fathers?) taught theirs children, although that is universal.

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