Vibrato: Idle Thoughts

I must say, having listened recently to Benjamin Britten’s recording of The Dream of Gerontius that like cholesterol there is good and bad vibrato. Yvonne Minton (what a beautiful voice) represents the good creative use of vibrato whereas Peter Pears represents the bad, using it permanently. Actually performances of Elgar’s music seem to suffer from excessive vibrato generally. Did he ask for it in scores? But of course Roger Norrington went too far the other way and played Elgar with no vibrato at all … with horrendous results.

I know that Pears’ voice is like Marmite – you love it or you hate it. But comparing his performance with (for instance) a more recent Gerontius release (from CBSO/Oramo), I much prefer the passion of Pears to Lavender who (with a rather all-purpose, non-expressive vibrato) sounds rather like a rather annoyed accountant, rather than a human being about to meet his maker.

Bad vibrato is the all-time killer for me as far as musical enjoyment is concerned (it keeps me away from a lot of opera).

Classical Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Vibrato: Idle Thoughts”

  1. I’ve missed this blog!

    I remember seeing and hearing Gerontius for the first tlme live at the Royal Festival Hall with Janet Baker. This was some time in the early 1980s. When my companion realized it was my first experience of it, he said to me “I envy you that.” It was a wonderful evening. I didn’t like Pears’ voice till I saw a remarkable DVD performance of him in Billy Budd as Vere. Now I’m sold on him. I’m a late comer to Pears, but was always on the dark side with Marmite.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: