Thanks. That was fascinating. I have been struggling with a certain Chopin nocturne and something in one single phrase of the "abbracciami" aria made me think "That's it!" Of course to work it out at the keyboard is another project but at least I had a clear idea. Then at this week's lesson my teacher said that was the best I had ever played anything for him (that nocturne). Then of course being typical Chopin it left me feeling that it was further away than ever. But anyway.
It’s interesting how this singer moves around while singing as if that helps her capture or embody a certain sound.
It reminds me of an anecdote from one of my former teacher’s voice students. (Teacher’s diploma is in piano performance, but most of her professional life was spent singing soprano roles and giving recitals.) One day after a piano lesson, my teacher showed me a CD of one of her former voice students and asked if I would like to listen. “Sure” (thinking oh dear, I will be embarrassed and have to suffer politely through an I’ve-always-wanted-to-record-a-CD amateur project). The voice I heard blew me away—very warm, plush, effortless high notes, and most of all strong and very consistent. “How did she not become a professional?” I asked. It was due to a certain emotional/physical fragility; a career in performance is not for everyone, especially with a late start in life.
My teacher said that this lady had no upper register when she started teaching her. I couldn’t believe it. Teacher said, “I knew there was something there, it just wasn’t coming out.” So one day she tried something different. She explained to the student what she had in mind. Then she got the lady to take her hands, and they danced around in circles in the teaching studio, just singing silly songs and squawking away, both of them being totally ridiculous. And then bingo, out came this superb clear high note that startled the student so much that she stopped in her tracks and looked stunned. My teacher wasn’t surprised at all. She knew there was a fine soprano voice in there. It just had to be physically knocked loose from whatever was keeping it earthbound, so it could sail away into the stratosphere…
Thanks again for posting this. I love seeing and listening to virtuosos from any field. I've been listening to a lot of Jimi Hendrix lately too.