Barbra Streisand just turned 74, which may make her a grande dame to the generation in which she came of age and quite possibly a relic to a generation of millennials who may scarcely know her, except possibly as their grandparents’ Adele.
That is not an unfair comparison. You could say that Adele is the Streisand of our time, a performer who has the same stratospheric vocal talent Streisand has and draws on many of the same emotional wellsprings as Streisand. But one of the most notable things about Streisand is that there never was anyone like Streisand before Streisand. She arrived sui generis and rapidly proceeded to change entertainment as few performers ever have. [More]
I’m so sad to hear the news of the passing of dear George Martin. I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever. He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family. If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George. From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.
It’s hard to choose favourite memories of my time with George, there are so many but one that comes to mind was the time I brought the song ‘Yesterday’ to a recording session and the guys in the band suggested that I sang it solo and accompany myself on guitar. After I had done this George Martin said to me, “Paul I have an idea of putting a string quartet on the record”. I said, “Oh no George, we are a rock and roll band and I don’t think it’s a good idea”. With the gentle bedside manner of a great producer he said to me, “Let us try it and if it doesn’t work we won’t use it and we’ll go with your solo version”. I agreed to this and went round to his house the next day to work on the arrangement.
“Nel cor più non mi sento” is another standard from the beginning singer’s 24 Italian Songs and Arias. It was composed by Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816) for his opera La Molinara (1788). Paisiello is also known for his opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, which later was eclipsed by Rossini’s version.
Below is tenor Luciano Pavarotti singing “Nel cor più non mi sento” in October of 1989 with Leone Magiera on piano.
This version is sung by Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in a performance in Moscow in 1991.
“Caro mio ben” is a standard from the beginning singer’s 24 Italian Songs and Arias. It is attributed to Giuseppe Giordani (1744-1798). Here is mezzo Cecilia Bartoli singing her rendition in June 1998 with Jean Yves Thibaudet on piano.
This version is by tenor Luciano Pavarotti from a 1978 recital with John Wustman accompanying.
Mutopia Project.org has a link to a .pdf file of the sheet music for “Caro mio ben” in the key of D as well as a midi file.
In it he stresses the importance of knowing the details of a number of techniques of singing and compares vocal pedagogy to “a smorgasbord, from which one can sample foods both rich and simple; [but] not everything that can be ingested is equally nutritious.”
Miller acknowledges that studying with many famous teachers, attending numerous of their master classes or symposiums, and reading the latest “complete” vocal method may be beneficial. But he adds that “there comes a time when the singer or teacher of singing must stop shopping around and make a choice.” The right choice can only be made if “one is aware of what produces free vocal function.”
Certain sounds may be exciting to the listener but harmful to the singer. Miller continues the food analogy by saying if vocal sounds “are not based on reliable functional principles, they will make the voice sick, just as a continual diet of desserts will adversely affect the constitution.”