第十三篇 No.13:

Callas as Violetta:

A Computer-Assisted Study on Her Recorded Performances of La Traviata

 

ABSTRACT

Maria Callas is generally recognized as one of the greatest sopranos of all time and one of the best interpreters of Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata. On the 40th anniversary of her death, this paper explores all seven recorded performances of La Traviata by Callas using the latest computer visualization and quantitative analysis tools including Vmus.net. In comparison with her predecessors, contemporaries and successors, as well as among the seven performances themselves, Callas’s interpretations reflect several distinctive characteristics, such as a unique and original flexibility of timing and dynamics, a long-range hearing and planning of related themes, and a remarkable control of timbre and breath. It is obvious that Callas had already achieved a very high standard by the time of her first recording in 1951 and that her interpretation evolved and matured over the next seven years, demonstrating her endless pursuit for musical authenticity and dramatic realism.

  1. Introduction

Maria Callas (1923–1977) is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time and is still known as La Divina (The Divine One). For the past half century, her name has always been associated with one particular opera role: Violetta in La Traviata by Verdi. Her Wikipedia page is illustrated with a stage photo of her as Violetta (see figure 6), while on the Wikipedia page of La Traviata, the same photo appears. Callas performed La Traviata sixty-three times and left seven complete recordings and several short video clips (Table 1).

On the 40th anniversary of her death, these audiovisual documents, some of them once forgotten, are ready to be analyzed with the latest computer-based tools such as Vmus.net[1] and Sonic Visualiser, through which we might be able to make it clearer than ever why Callas is still recognized as among the finest Violettas and how her interpretation evolved and matured over the seven years of her golden age. At the same time, this research also attempts to demonstrate how to utilize the MIR (Music Information Retrieval) data meaningfully in music and musicological investigations, one of the common difficulties in these related fields.

 

想要了解更多?请点击:Callas as Violetta: A Computer-Assisted Study on Her Recorded Performances of La Traviata

 

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