Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Top Twenty What?

Even worse than last year's BBC Music Magazine's list of top twenty sopranos is this year's top twenty tenors. (Here in ascending order.)

20. Sergey Lemeshev
19. Wolfgang Windgassen
18. Alfredo Kraus
17. Anthony Rolfe Johnson
16. John McCormack
15. Franco Corelli
14. Peter Schreier
13. Juan Diego Florez
12. Carlo Bergonzi
11. Tito Schipa
10. Peter Pears
9. Nicolai Gedda
8. Jon Vickers
7. Beniamino Gigli
6. Lauritz Melchior
5. Jussi Bjoerling
4. Fritz Wunderlich
3. Luciano Pavarotti
2. Enrico Caruso
1. Placido Domingo

You might as well put Anna Netrebko on the list.
Really? Really, guys? My first problem is having Alredo Kraus 18th and Franco Corelli 15th. Those two would be in my top 5, at least Corelli would. Where's Di Stefano? Where's Tucker? Del Monaco? Martinelli? It's appalling that they would exclude these singers!
I would tweak the top 5 there, too. Domingo is my favorite tenor, but I would put Caruso and Pavarotti above him. If not, then at least put Pavarotti above him. Also, I'd rather have some one like Gigli, Bergonzi, or Corelli instead of Wunderlich.

Here's the list of top 20 sopranos:

20. Elly Ameling
19. Rosa Ponselle
18. Renata Tebaldi
17. Christine Brewer
16. Elisabeth Schumann
15. Karita Mattila
14. Gundula Janowitz
13. Galina Vishnevskaya
12. RĂ©gine Crespin
11. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
10. Emma Kirkby
9. Kirsten Flagstad
8. Margaret Price
7. Lucia Popp
6. Montserrat Caballé
5. Birgit Nilsson
4. Leontyne Price
3. Victoria de los Angeles
2. Joan Sutherland
1. Maria Callas

At least I agree with most of this. Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland in the top 2, fine. But I would have Sills, Tebaldi, and (if I was picking out of this list) Caballe as the rest of the top 5. It's almost comical to me that they would leave out people like Beverly Sills, Mirella Freni, Renata Scotto, and Zinka Milanov. To replace some of the people they did put in, but I don't believe they should have, I would put Aprile Millo, Renee Fleming, Jeritza, Pasta, and te Kanawa.
Many of the sopranos deserve to be on the list, but not exactly in that order. Tebaldi number 18? Rosa Ponselle number 19? Something is not right.

I hate these kind of lists. They're never done right. Well, it can never be done right because everyone has their own opinion. However, when you skip people like Corelli or Sills, it's a real crime.

Happy Listening!! =)


Claude Michaud said...

I will have Tebaldi and Milanov
in the top 5 - Also Corelli.
The choice is not that great.
Tebaldi and Milanov are great sopranos.

Anonymous said...

I would put Renee in the top 10 for sure. She's amazing.

Ilaria said...

what??? no Di Stefano in the list??? OMG. who writes these charts?? they're completely useless to me...
As a Callas lover, I agree her as number one (lol) but Tebaldi should have been way higher...and what about Mirella???

Anonymous said...

Preposterous. Ponselle is the greatest soprano of all time. Callas, Pavarotti, Schwartzkopf are of the same opinion.
19th? Don't be silly.