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A little Sarah Brightman discussion :)

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:08 pm
by BuKiNisT
First post :)
I've got an issue in my mind regarding the subject...
Sarah, as a singer, seems to be held in really low regard in the classical (dare i say 'purist') community - and this is a thing that i can't fully understand.

Yes, she is a crossover artist - and many of the adaptations are positively awful - like those of Albinoni's Adagio or Beethoven's 7th Symphony Alegretto. Or the god-make-this-go-away mockery of Schubert's Ave Maria.

And yeah, one cannot deny that she's annoying with all this speak about herself having a gift from God ^_^.

But as far as the singing voice goes, it (from my limited undesrstanding), while definitely lacking some subtlety of the 'true' classical performers, is rich, of good diapason - and the control is pretty impressive, with confident coloratura.

So what is this strong disliking based upon?

Is there something about her voice that i don't understand?

Is her assumed inability to cover an audience without a microphone the case? I personally doubt that - considering the voice control.

Or the very fact of her being a crossover artist?

I myself can only feel pity that she's not working and developing as a classic artist, in the respective environment...

Sorry if i did a repost of a topic that's been talked out a dozen times :-)

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:51 pm
by Ralph
When we went to a charity preview of "Phantom of the Opera" my wife remarked that she thought Ms. Brightman was "Minnie Mouse on Quaaludes."

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:53 pm
by BuKiNisT
By that time, she was.
Go on.
:D

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:10 am
by GK
My wife likes her so we have her recordings playing around the apartment from time to time. I find her voice very pleasant much more so than the voice of a tenor she sometimes sings with--Andrea Bocelli.

Re: A little Sarah Brightman discussion :)

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:30 am
by karlhenning
BuKiNisT wrote:But as far as the singing voice goes, it (from my limited undesrstanding), while definitely lacking some subtlety of the 'true' classical performers, is rich, of good diapason - and the control is pretty impressive, with confident coloratura.

So what is this strong disliking based upon?

Is there something about her voice that i don't understand?
Having the gift from God is (happily) a commonplace.

The question is, what use do we make of this gift?

And you answer the question yourself:
BuKiNisT wrote:and many of the adaptations are positively awful - like those of Albinoni's Adagio or Beethoven's 7th Symphony Alegretto. Or the god-make-this-go-away mockery of Schubert's Ave Maria.
We cannot really be grateful for this kind of vandalism upon the past, can we?

De gustibus....

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:42 am
by PJME
For those who like her : that is no problem! It is always nice to have something to treasure.
But to me she belongs to the "cheap canary" variety. Karen Walker (Will& Grace) comes to mind....The more she tries to be serious,the more it becomes ridiculous.
Here again some "learning" may help. Listen to other singers - in the same repertoire, recorded without that overdose of echo, without amplification and over-orchestrated,electronically enhanced support. Go for early recordings from 1940-1950-ies. (Schwarzkopf, Guden,De Los Angeles....recently Anne Sofie Von Otter). Very often these singers have a simplicity of expression in the lighter repertoire (operetta,folksongs...) that makes for a more convincing result.....
Or still better: try to sing yourself!

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:20 am
by Susan de Visne
I think her voice is quite sweet, and would be all right in a choir - otherwise, no. Real singers don't need microphones, and a bit of good taste and humility doesn't harm, either.

I have been in a concert with Ms Brightman, and we, the humble choir members, were instructed by her and her entourage (which included Andrew Lloyd Webber at that time) that we must not bother them for autographs or anything. We thought that quite funny, as none of us had the slightest desire to! We didn't consider them real musicians. What really annoyed us was that the choirboy who sang the Lloyd Webber Requiem Pie Jesu with her at that concert DID want her autograph, and she refused to see him or give it to him. There was no reason whatsoever to be so unpleasant and arrogant. It didn't enhance my already low opinion of her.

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:09 am
by BuKiNisT
Hey, guys.
Thanks for the replies. I really only wanted to collect opinions - and yours shed some light :)

GK - agreed. Bocelli is rather awful.

Karlhenning -
We cannot really be grateful for this kind of vandalism upon the past, can we?
Agreed here as well. And we certainly aren't. I, though, tried to make clear that i wanted a discussion on subject's singing abilities - not personal qualities.

PJME
But to me she belongs to the "cheap canary" variety. Karen Walker (Will& Grace) comes to mind....The more she tries to be serious,the more it becomes ridiculous.
Here again some "learning" may help. Listen to other singers - in the same repertoire, recorded without that overdose of echo, without amplification and over-orchestrated,electronically enhanced support. Go for early recordings from 1940-1950-ies. (Schwarzkopf, Guden,De Los Angeles....recently Anne Sofie Von Otter). Very often these singers have a simplicity of expression in the lighter repertoire (operetta,folksongs...) that makes for a more convincing result.....
Or still better: try to sing yourself!
Well. It is rather the 'overdose of echo' and those other effects that have been mentioned that i don't don't have a clue about how they work, what they do and in what way they change what i hear from recordings - whether live or not. Because what i hear is just a very good, thoroughly developed voice.

And no, i've never been to any concert of hers so i can't judge on how it sounds live - that's one of the reasons i've opened this thread.

Susan de Visne - thanks.

Thanks again for your replies - but keep 'em coming if it doesn't yet bore you to death :D