[78-L] Older musicians

Erwin Kluwer ekluwer at gmail.com.invalid
Fri Apr 3 21:23:43 PDT 2015

The famous Adelina Patti example: from an tecital at an advanced age:

"She was reckless enough to include an old-horse, ‘Il bacio.’ There were
notes that simply could not be reached, scales and roulades that creaked at
the hinges. It promised to be lamentable. But we reckoned without Patti.
When she approached a passage where she apprehended difficulty, or perhaps
disaster, she employed her fan with telling results. She would start the
scale or arpeggio with aplomb, the fan in her outstretched arm slowly
unfolding. This would continue to register beyond which lay danger. Then
with a sudden gesture, the arm would fly up, the fan snapped shut with a
click, the audience would burst into a tumult of applause drowning out both
orchestra and voice, and triumph greeted a fioritura or a high note that
was never heard."


On Friday, April 3, 2015, Kristjan Saag <saag at telia.com.invalid> wrote:

> This is halfway off-topic; still I think the 78 list is where to ask the
> question, because many of the artists we deal with have had long careers
> and many of us list members have genuine knowledge of making music, not
> only listening to it.
> So here's my question: do you know of any particular strategies for
> older musicians to compensate for playing/ singing techniques that are
> more difficult to use when getting older? I can think of singers who
> chose to omit certain high notes, others who find that their vibrato
> sounds more restrained and are more careful to use it, instrumentalists
> who choose alternative ways of holding the bow or playing a difficult
> passage on the piano etc. Any example would be appreciated.
> Kristja
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