Make a turn or a shake or an appoggiatura as they do; make your portamenti
as lightly, as delicately, and with as much reticence.
After her mother's death, and before her marriage, Filippa went to live with messer Manno Temperani, but "behaved in such a way that they couldn't wait to get rid of her" (fece ta' portamenti
, che parve loro mill' anni de levarsela dinanzi, Ibid.).
Brooks Toliver seeks an authentic song style among the recorded singers closest to the composer--Mary Garden, Maggie Teyte, Jane Bathori, Ninon Vallin, and Claire Croiza--and reaches the conclusion that, beyond certain commonalities (such as fast tempos, a lack of synchroniz ation between voice and piano, scoops and portamenti
, and undramatic diction), Debussy expected interpretive liberties above all.
Styles are different: folk and Celtic twilight (Bax); laid-back, occasionally ambling, lyricism (Dyson); Bliss's hyperactive, colourful virtuosity (written for Anglo-Italian fiddler Alfredo Campoli) and Veale's almost Malcolm Arnold-like mixture of romanticism, the soloist's swooping portamenti
written into the score, and abrasiveness.
All the portamenti
and rubati might sound old-fashioned to some, but I regret the pendulum has swung too much away from such qualities.
These tensions may be brought into relief with portamenti
, particularly in the zona di passaggio or when extending into higher pitch range.
Gloriously, Carlo Rizzi was back in the pit, and - judging from some lip-smacking 'portamenti
' - living every bar.
A modern listener might (and often should) take issue with an early-century singer's stylistic excesses when singing Verdi, but the listener should also acknowledge and applaud the many vocal virtues (such as seamless legato, the correct use of portamenti
and use of mezza voce) that were among the singer's technical and interpretative arsenal.
Un-fazed by demanding cadenzas, swooping portamenti
, exacting double-stopping, almost inaudible harmonics, relief came at last with exquisitely gentle long velvety phrases.
Earlier we had been given an Elgar Serenade for Strings of exquisite fragility, with some natural, eloquent 'portamenti
', and a stunning reading of Britten's Rimbaud song-cycle 'Les Illuminations', Jenkinson's expertly-trained players relishing this compendium of Britten's highly personal string-orchestra style, and soprano Claire Prewer a brilliant vehicle for the music's often near-cabaret settings, her resourceful timbres many-coloured as she dug deep into the character of these almost surreal poems.
When she returned for Leh[sz]r's Hungarian Fantasy (a reading of vibrant sweetness and with the most tasteful portamenti
you could wish for) things began to change.
This was music-making of grand gestures: of generous vibrato, cello strings buzzing against fingerboards and gloriously big, expressive portamenti
. Combined with brisk tempi, the result was a performance of operatic range.