This is the Presentation of the Rose from the 2nd Act of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. It is a wonderful recording with two singers in their prime. I did a fairly in depth write-up of Lemnitz just yesterday, and I feel no need to repeat it. The issues that I brought up will always be issues and as, it turns out, for Cerbotari too.
I will write something on Cebotari as she was such a wonderful singer, and unfortunately heavily involved with the Nazis. This must be a theme this month. She was taken young by liver cancer, and her children were adopted by the English pianist Clifford Curzon.
Now, I never, well almost never, do this, but I am going to give you a recording for comparison. DiDinato and Damrau, the Presentation of the Rose. I am doing this to drive home a point. These women are world famous singers, and this is just small, little blog with an opinion. If you do take the time to listen to both recordings, I would like you to notice the lack of pressure on Lemnitz’s and Cerbotari’s voice and the terrible amounts of pressure and pressured vibratos in DiDinato and Damrau. As I wrote before, I have an opinion, and that is the reason that I primarily write about dead people. Dead people who were good if not great singers. We don’t have any living ones today.
With respect to the Cerbotari and Lemnitz duet, Cerbotari is warmer than most Sophies that we have today, and yet she still manages to have a beautiful and warm production. The blend between them seems effortless, and it is a heartfelt operatic moment. I could comment on Cerbotari’s placement, but anyone who has been reading this blog knows that air is placed into the resonating cavities not by pushing through the vocal cords (which will only end by ruining your vocal chords) so that the air can flow freely and unimpeded. This is the part of singing that we have lost today.