So, is soprano Lisa Davidsen ...

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So, is soprano Lisa Davidsen ...

Post by Lance » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:58 pm

… going to be the new Flagstad in our own time? Thoughts? I see she has a new recording on Decca/Wagner and Strauss. I haven't heard it yet.
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Re: So, is soprano Lisa Davidsen ...

Post by John F » Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:49 pm

Nobody will ever be a "new Flagstad," of course. But from what I've heard of Lisa Davidsen on YouTube, she's going to be a very important singer. As I wrote last month:
John F wrote:Lise Davidsen is the real thing - not a Brünnhilde but what used to be called a jugendlich dramatischer soprano, or spinto in Italian. Elisabeth [in "Tannhäuser"] is perfect for her at this stage, but whether her singing and acting develop the dramatic intensity and complexity of other memorable sopranos of the type such as Leonie Rysanek (not to mention Maria Callas) we'll have to wait and see.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX5aOFhrvN0

No doubt she'll be pressured to take on the heaviest dramatic soprano roles for which I believe she's not suited, not yet anyway. Here's hoping she gets good professional advice and heeds it.

For a NY Times joint interview with Davidsen and Christine Goerke see here:

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=50196&p=497055&hil ... en#p497055
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Re: So, is soprano Lisa Davidsen ...

Post by maestrob » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:57 am

Her Strauss album has received mixed reviews on amazon, mostly because of Salonen's conducting (He's not my favorite conductor either.). I've put the release on hold for September purchase: will let you know when I hear it. Even the finest artist can be spoiled by a weak conductor, and I fear that may be the case here. Stay tuned.

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Re: So, is soprano Lisa Davidsen ...

Post by barney » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:03 pm

I post again the SMH review I put up on the Lise Davidsen and Christine Goerke on Wagner thread. She is not ready yet for Brunnhilde, but comparisons with Flagstad are not unreasonable.

Sydney Morning Herald review of Davidsen's debut album. She is a special talent.

WAGNER/STRAUSS (Decca)
4.5 Stars
Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs is one of the incomparable song cycles in the soprano’s repertoire, and I am not sure that Lise Davidsen is wise to have ventured here in her debut CD, titled simply by her name. It is the relatively weak link in an otherwise superb CD. Few first CDs have generated such excitement – she became the first soprano to debut at No. 1 in the classical chart in Britain, while Gramophone called her one of the greatest vocal talents to have emerged in decades. In highest praise, she matches her late Norwegian compatriot, Kirsten Flagstad, for power and purity. The album has two arias from Wagner’s Tannhauser, one from Strauss’s Ariadne, and several Strauss songs, all sung splendidly. It is easy to see why Davidsen is considered the next great Wagnerian soprano: a huge voice that cuts through the orchestra with impeccable control and purity, amazing richness and evenness throughout the register, allied with sensitivity and shape. But in the Four Last Songs, she faces intense competition from the greatest sopranos of the past 70 years, and I find her a little cool in these achingly lovely songs of farewell. Superb accompaniment from Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia.

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Re: So, is soprano Lisa Davidsen ...

Post by John F » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:31 am

barney wrote:She is not ready yet for Brunnhilde, but comparisons with Flagstad are not unreasonable.
Apart from their both being Norwegian sopranos, I don't see it. Flagstad's voice was made for the big Wagnerian roles; she was singing Isolde in her 30s and after her sensational Met debut in 1935 as Sieglinde, her next roles there in that season were Isolde, Brünnhilde (Walküre), and Brünnhilde (Götterdämmerung). Sumptuous as her voice was, it was also sufficiently penetrating to cut through the Wagner orchestra in full cry. Davidsen is also in her 30s but has never sung Flagstad's core repertoire, describing herself as a "lyric dramatic soprano"; I don't hear the penetrating overtones in her voice that Flagstad, Varnay, Nilsson, and the great ones of that type all had.

What's the point of such a comparison anyway, apart from wishful thinking? The great singers of history were all inimitable, and we're not so rich in sopranos of her type that we should be impatient for her to move on to a different repertoire which, presently anyway, appears not to suit her voice.
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Re: So, is soprano Lisa Davidsen ...

Post by barney » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:49 am

John F wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:31 am
barney wrote:She is not ready yet for Brunnhilde, but comparisons with Flagstad are not unreasonable.
Apart from their both being Norwegian sopranos, I don't see it. Flagstad's voice was made for the big Wagnerian roles; she was singing Isolde in her 30s and after her sensational Met debut in 1935 as Sieglinde, her next roles there in that season were Isolde, Brünnhilde (Walküre), and Brünnhilde (Götterdämmerung). Sumptuous as her voice was, it was also sufficiently penetrating to cut through the Wagner orchestra in full cry. Davidsen is also in her 30s but has never sung Flagstad's core repertoire, describing herself as a "lyric dramatic soprano"; I don't hear the penetrating overtones in her voice that Flagstad, Varnay, Nilsson, and the great ones of that type all had.

What's the point of such a comparison anyway, apart from wishful thinking? The great singers of history were all inimitable, and we're not so rich in sopranos of her type that we should be impatient for her to move on to a different repertoire which, presently anyway, appears not to suit her voice.
The point of the comparison is to provide a context for those who haven't heard her but might be interested. She is not like Flagstad yet, but might become so in time, and in the meantime she has some of the same qualities. We learn by analogy, John, so those who know Flagstad might find the comparison illuminating, both where Davidsen resembles her, and where she does not.

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