Tenor: History of a Voice

John Potter

Tenor: History of a Voice

From its emergence in the sixteenth century to the phenomenon of the 'Three Tenors' and beyond, the tenor voice has grown in popularity and esteem. This book, which claims to be the first comprehensive history of tenor singing, presents interesting details about the world's great performers, styles of singing in different countries, teachers and music schools, the variety of compositions for the tenor voice, and more... 4.7 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
Tenor: History of a Voice

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Music, Stage & Screen
Format Hardback
Pages 306
RRP £20.00
Date of Publication March 2009
ISBN 978-0300118735
Publisher Yale University Press
 

From its emergence in the sixteenth century to the phenomenon of the 'Three Tenors' and beyond, the tenor voice has grown in popularity and esteem. This book, which claims to be the first comprehensive history of tenor singing, presents interesting details about the world's great performers, styles of singing in different countries, teachers and music schools, the variety of compositions for the tenor voice, and more...

Reviews

Standpoint

Ian Irvine

Potter is very good at the physicality of singing... There are also excellent chapters on national styles - French, Italian, German, English, Russian and American - and how they have grown out of very different vocal traditions and institutions... Potter's accounts of the lives and work of the great tenors are enlivened by entertaining anecdotes. I was particularly delighted to read of James Joyce's infatuation with the voice of his compatriot, John O'Sullivan.

01/05/2009

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The Financial Times

Andrew Clark

If you are looking for an opera fan’s guide to top romantic tenors, Potter’s book is not for you... Potter wears his scholarship lightly. He is especially good on the little-known Soviet tenors, on the lure of Björling and Gigli, and on the technical processes involved in moving seamlessly from chest to head voice and falsetto, citing Giovanni-Battista Rubini as an exemplar. He shows how the gramophone diluted individuality, and how rising internationalism destroyed national styles.

11/05/2009

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The Literary Review

Patrick O'Connor

The chapter on the prehistory of the voice is particularly lively, Potter explaining that the singers who gave us the word, the tenoristae of early church music, probably didn’t sound at all like what we would think of as a tenor. They were valued for singing low, for holding the line, and keeping the ensemble together... Potter supplies an extensive discography and filmography in his biographical list of tenors, which covers some seventy pages. Yet somehow the imagination leaps more readily towards those singers we cannot hear.

01/05/2009

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