High pitches

I was looking for a metaphor for “extreme performance” for a piece I’m writing for a client and these two examples came across my mind. To be understood, the two videos must be watched in sequence; start with the “Hallelujah”: it’s a tough piece, full of treacherous flourishes and modulations and the Soprano must hit an impressive high C in the finale. Not something anyone can do.

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Now watch this other video where the same singer, Diana Damrau, sings another of Mozart’s best-known pages, “Die Holle Rache” – but this time she must go three pitches above to a stratospheric high F (that’s F6, yes). Is it just me, or she makes me think she could go even higher? Is she a sfogato ?

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That to me embodies extreme performance, when the extraordinary is done with such ease to make it look (or better, sound) ordinary.
Amazing.

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2 thoughts on “High pitches

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