Monday, June 28, 2010

Philip Langridgea unique English tenor

By Rupert Christiansen Published: 10:43AM GMT 08 March 2010

English tenors are a really special breed, and the great infancy of the obvious ones have been hatched from the same mould, nurtured by church band school, open school, and an Oxbridge college chapel. The receptive to advice they have is purify and honeyed - or skinny and genteel, according to taste. Without most vibrato, a clever tip C, or a absolute chest register, they have their outcome by glorious musicianship and enunciation. Their repertory focuses on antique song and Britten, but they dont sing Puccini or Wagner, and in opera, their behaving skills lend towards to be singular to the unhappy and effete.

Philip Langridge, who died from cancer at the week end at the age of 70, wasnt similar to that. He was a abbreviation propagandize boy, who never went to university, and his voice had an earthier essence and his singing a rougher corner than the run of English tenors. He sang Britten superbly, but he didnt have the sort of coherence and neatness of technique or virginity of timbre to surpass in the baroque: his gift was opera, and the melodramatic representation of strong, formidable and even unusual characters, voiced in abrasive, blunt music. Orpheus in Birtwistles epic The Mask of Orpheus, Aschenbach in Brittens Death in Venice and Captain Vere in his Billy Budd, the title-role in Mozarts Idomeneo, Loge in Das Rheingold, Zivny in Osud it is for vividly melodramatic interpretations such as these, sung with red-blooded commitment, that he will prolonged be remembered.

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Philip Langridge was the nicest man or so he seemed to me, when I met him a integrate of years ago for a long, vehement and really beguiling interview. And for someone with his astonishingly prolonged and abounding career, he was surprisingly uncertain of himself and not in in any sort of vanity. He had no airs, no illusions about himself and positively no enterprise for any sort of excellence solely that that came by you do great work. His decades of experience and munificence of suggestion done him a glorious teacher, and an additional dolour of his genocide is that students will be deprived of his support and wisdom..