September 17, 2013

Rose Pauly Sings Abscheulicher - Fidelio

Rose Pauly (1894-1975)
If you've watched the video I created for my Kickerstarter campaign Hidden In Plain Sight: The Herman Klein Phono-Vocal Method, you heard Rose Pauly sing  part of Beethoven's Abscheulicher from  his great opera Fidelio. Harmonie Autographs and Music Inc graciously allowed me to use the audio. Truth to tell: I had never listened to Rose Pauly before. What a voice and technique! She just blew my socks off!

Since I used only part of the aria for the video, I thought you might want to hear the whole piece, and have included it below. You hear Pauly's glistening voice recorded via the electric process in Berlin  in 1927.

I encourage you to click on the link to Pauly's name above, since there is excellent biographical information at Cantabile-Subito. If you haven't spent some time there, I encourage you to do so. It's a great source of information on singers within the Old School.

Regarding resources on Pauly: There is an excellent bio which you can find here. Her Wikipedia page in German is also quite good, while those who require the English translation  can find it here. If you want to hear more of her voice, ArkivMusic has this recording, while the Opera Quarterly has an interesting article which you can find here, though to read it properly, you will have to obtain an account or go to a library where you can read it via  a datebase called Jstor, which this writer has used quite a lot at the New York Public Library.
Pauly as Elektra

Speaking of which: I was at the NYPL the other day, and was shocked to find that most the reference materials that were housed in a room at the 3rd floor research division had been removed. In speaking to a librarian, I was told that a only few of them would return. To access them in the future, I would need to put in a call slip. "Are you kidding?" I thought, but didn't say. "Those are resources that I and others use over and over again, and were placed in their own room by a very smart librarian." I thought that too, but kept my mouth shut. The librarian I made the inquiry to was as shocked as I, which I could plainly see by the deer-in-the-headlight look on his face. What are they putting in the room instead of books? Tables and chairs. Are they going to need them? I doubt it. It's not like the research division is overflowing with people. I know: I am there quite a bit. However, they may have other plans afoot that I haven't seen yet. Right now, there is a Cafe on the ground floor where part of the the circulating collection used to be. Where has that gone? I have no idea.

There's a theme here, even though my part about the library is trivial compared to the life of Rose Pauly. What is that theme? Knowledge and access to it. Pauly studied with Rosa Papier-Paumgartner, who had been a student of Mathilde Marchesi, herself a student of Manuel García. When you listen to Pauly, you really do hear the technique of the García School. That is what jumped out at me. You hear a highly placed voice, one that is full and rich in compass, and seems to come right from the face. That's the García technique in of the mouth of a dramatic soprano. It's also a technique that is being displaced by newer methods. Take it out of sight, put it in another room  - a conceptual one if you will -  one where Old School teachings are discarded as obsolete - and  it as good as gone.




Photographs courtesy of Harmonie Autographs and Music Inc.

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