Luciano Pavarotti, one of the greatest tenors of all time, is dead at 71.
I never had much of an appreciation for Pavarotti until one day back at NEC when a friend of mine played three recordings of the same section from a Puccini opera. The difference in tone, control, phrasing, and musicianship that came out of Pavarotti’s voice was striking when compared to the other versions, and you could tell that this was a different “instrument” we were dealing with here. The man’s voice was like a cannon ��� projecting over an orchestra with ease and command. In my recording of the Verdi Requiem, his initial entrance completely energizes the mood of the piece and lifts you out of your seat when you hear it.
When I bow the double bass, I often think of an operatic voice and try to emulate that effect somehow. Pavarotti certainly comes to mind often (although my favorite sound is Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s…) Pavarotti was a model of the tenor voice to many, and a powerful musical inspiration to millions. Certainly a great legacy has been left by this master Tenor, and I am very grateful to have experienced his musicianship.