Thesis / Dissertation

Waking the Dead Diva: Recovering the Expressive Sound World of Forgotten Nineteenth-Century Singers

David Vincent Greco, Jane Davidson (ed.)

Published : 2020


Nineteenth-century singers were fundamentally defined by their powers of expression. What today constitutes “acceptable” performance practice of music from this period bears little resemblance, and in some cases, none, to the rich palette of expressive devices that once preoccupied the nineteenth-century singer. Early recordings from the phonographic catalogue preserve some of the greatest voices from the nineteenth century. They expose a hidden world of elaborate and un-notated expressive practices that challenge well established truths concerning the performance of music from this period. Far from contradicting written evidence, early recordings often paint a more complex picture concerni..

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