Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Luciano Pavarotti

Dr. Bob Prescribes Luciano Pavarotti

Yesterday’s Music History Monday post celebrated the 14th anniversary of Luciano Pavarotti’s appearance at the opening ceremony of the XX Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. It made sense then, that today’s Dr. Bob Prescribes post should feature a Pavarotti recording. Alas, or in the parlance of Italian opera, Ohime!, what seemed simple turned out to be anything but. Here’s the problem, in the form of a confession. I adore Pavarotti’s voice the way a 16-year-old does his first great love: utterly, absolutely, unquestioningly, and completely. I know that some folks believed he demeaned himself and his art in his later years doing cross-over work and singing in stadiums, but I’d point out that even the best of us will get a bit incontinent with age. We should pay Pavarotti’s incontinence no mind, because he left behind such an amazing recorded and video legacy as to make our minds reel and yes, our bladders weak. My problem: which of all my favorite Pavarotti recordings to recommend? I spent half of a day listening (and weeping over his voice) until I came to the only possible conclusion: I will not choose just one recording but instead list four of my favorites, […]

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Music History Monday: It Ain’t Over Until the Fat Man Sings!

We would note two major events on this day from the world of opera. We will mark the first event in a moment; the second event – which constitutes the body and soul of this post – will be observed only after we’ve had a chance to do some prep. We mark the birth on February 10, 1927 – 93 years ago today – of the glorious soprano Leontyne Price. (More than just a soprano, Price in her prime was a lyric-spinta, or “pushed lyric soprano”, meaning that she had all the high notes of a lyric soprano but could also push her voice to realize dramatic climaxes without any strain. The great lyric-spinta roles include Aida, Desdemona from Verdi’s Otello, the Marschallin from Richard Strauss Der Rosenkavalier, and Floria Tosca.) Every inch the true diva (in the best sense), Price is alive and we trust well at her home in Columbia, Maryland. Happy birthday, you stunning goddess you.  Preliminaries A “malaprop” (or “malapropism”) “is the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, sometimes humorous utterance.” “Gibberish” (a.k.a. jibber-jabber or gobbledygook) is a tad different; it is defined as […]

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