Thursday, December 10, 2009

For he is like a refiner's fire

I've been going through a baroque phase lately and it's totally distressing me.

My favorite as of late is Vivica Genaux, this tomboyish Alaskan mezzo. She seems to have moved away from her short hair and pants role in the last few years, but boy, can she nail the fioratura. Not only can she sing a legato, her range is incredible. Not in the link I posted, but in another version of
Qual guerriero in campo armato on youtube she sings from G3-C6. Seriously, people.

She does this wierd jaw-moving thing when articulating doesn't seem to be in rhythm, so I don't know what to make of it. She's fierce nonetheless.


craiger said...

What's up with mezzos and weird jaw movements e.g. Cecilia Bartoli? So many directions for a childish dirty joke here, but I'll refrain.

Ed Grow said...

I think any nonfunctional physical manifestation during singing is a crutch for an imperfect technique. I love Cecelia, and although her coloratura is extremely precise, the way in which she generates the machinegun chicken articulation is somewhat off-putting.

However, Genaux seems to be in a class of her own. It looks like she is singing "fufufufu" with lower jaw movement when it sounds just like "ah-ah-ah-ah-ah". Totally mystery.

That being said, coloratura in general eludes me, so I shouldn't be one to criticize. Love.

Garet said...

The ability of both of you to string together technical terms I couldn't possibly give two shits about is extraordinary.

craiger said...

I've often been amazed at the lip action on Colm Wilkinson at the end of this song:

Check out right after the 3:00 mark. How does he keep the same timbre while changing his embosure that much? (How was that technical stream Gar Gar)? =)

Ed Grow said...


Hmm. My guess is total hard palate resonance that bypasses the embosure. Anyway, that was pretty awesome, and we know how fond I am of most musical theater.


[Must. Contain. Intellectual. Snobbery.] Don't you ever get tired of mucking around with the rest of the uncultured swine?

ozacosta said...

You know those people who listen to bands that are so cool that no one has ever heard of them? You're sort of like a combination of that and its exact opposite.

Ed Grow said...

Thanks (?), Jeremy. I knew you'd understand.