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Teresa Stich-Randall (Soprano)
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See: Teresa Stich-Randall - Short Biography

 

Teresa Stich-Randall

Donald Dougherty wrote (December 20, 2000):
This post has nothing to do with pianism, but since all group members are sophisticated music lovers I wondered if any of you knew the whereabouts of Teresa Stich-Randall, formerly principal soprano at the Vienna State Opera, now retired. I contacted Jacob Harnoy, who compiled her wonderful discography, but he doesn't know how to reach her. I heard a rumor that she had retired to her childhood home in West Hartford, CT, but she isn't listed in the book; and besides, West Hartford isn't as nice as it was when she was a young girl. I would dearly love to write her a fan letter. She was a great artist, much appreciated in Austria and France, but not very much in her own country. She was the greatest Donna Anna I have ever seen (at the Met) and probably the greatest Fiodiligi (also at the Met). Many people thought her voice weird because she sang without vibrato, but she had great musical intelligence and was a superlative interpreter of Mozart, Bach, Handel, Haydn and Schubert. She also sang the part of Sophie in von Karajan's great recording of Rosenkavalier. Her records are hard to find today except on EMI France.

Andrys wrote (December 20, 2000):
[To Donald Dougherty] One of my favorite old LP's is one with highlights from the St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) led by Wöldike. Her style of singing fascinated me and I liked hearing the actual pitch after years of hearing wobbling around the center but she definitely was unusual sounding and some would not like it. She was almost a precursor of the counter-tenor sound.

Here's what I found: http://www.town.new-hartford.ct.us/hsprstich-randallrec.html

These are newspaper articles (scanned) which you might enjoy. The very last one was in 1983 when she visited, and it mentions she lives in Vienna. So I searched an Internet directory and found this public listing:

Stich-randall Teresa 4
Operng 32
Wien 1040
Phone: 43-1-5870437

Donald Dougherty wrote (December 20, 2000):
[To Andrys] Many thanks for the great material you sent me on TSR. I don't think she lives any longer in Vienna, but I may be wrong. As a principal soprano at the VSO, she was entitled to a sumptuous apartment on one of the Ringstrasses. Perhaps she still teaches there. I shall persevere.

Andrys wrote (December 20, 2000):
I know she's not a pianist but I wanted to add that people might want to read
http://www.town.new-hartford.ct.us/hsprstich-randall1982decwc.html
just for the good music story that it is.

Also, I had thought from her voice on the 1963 recording that she was an older singer, I don't know why. Just sounded so 'mature' even without a wobble. But the 1982 photo, almost 20 years later (unless they were using a younger photo, which many performers seem to do) indicates otherwise.

We now return you to your regular programming.

Arri Bachrach wrote (December 20, 2000):
[To Andrys] Most distressed to hear a vibrato referred to as a "wobble"- I, as well as most professional bassoonists employ a vibrato most of the time on sustained notes - I would be most chagrined if a fellow musician came over to me and commented about my vibrato as a "wobble"- when I hear that, then it is time to quit!!!

Donald Dougherty wrote (December 20, 2000):
[To Arri Bachrach] TSR was born in 1927, so she is now 73.

 

Teresa Stich-Randall

April Stich wrote (August 1, 2001):
Very interseting conversations....I too am looking for my Aunt Terry. correction...Teresa Stich-Randall was born in New Hartford, CT

I haven't seen or heard from her in years (since I was in college) and have wondered how she was. Last I knew she was living in either New Hartford, or Winsted....then I heard she had returned to Europe. I'm curious and would love to contact her.

 

Teresa Stich-Randall

Carol Peter wrote (September 27, 2002):
I just listened to Ms. Randall sing a beautifully haunting rendition of "Salve Regina". Few vocalists today or at any other time for that matter have been more clearly perfect in her musical skill and more moving in her emotional delivery. That you obviously superior musicians should even refer to her supposed lack of vibrato is telling of your shortsighted demeanor toward genuine and in my opinion historic talent. Ms. Randall lacked no ability to top a note, follow a signature nor read inflections. She is just about the most clear and beautiful voice I've ever heard and her interpretation of music is phenominal.

I hope that in your searching you will find her for she is an icon of American history who has obviously been diregarded by her own people. Put it on the web if you find her and let us know where appreciative people like me can buy her music.

Aryeh Oron wrote (To Carol Pter):
[To Carol Peter] I share your appreciation of TSR.

 

BWV 51; Stich-Randall, M. Andre, Ristenpart - Help!

James Bell wrote (December 3, 2004):
For several months i've tried unsuccessfully to obtain a copy of this particular recording of "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen" on CD (I have the LP):

Bach, Cantata BWV 51 (the "Magnificat" may also be on this CD)
Karl Ristenpart, conductor
Le Sarre Chamber Orchestra
Soprano: Teresa Stich-Randall; Trumpet: Maurice André
Accord

It's #9 on this page at the Bach Cantatas website: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV51-Rec2.htm

Have been watching ebay and have several classical CD companies "watching" for it. if anyone has any tips on how i might best procure such a long out-of-print CD, I'd very much appreciate if you'd let me know.

thanks!

Bob Henderson wrote (December 4, 2004):
[To James Bell] I can't help with the search but I can recommend enthusiastically this performance to list members. It is a desert island disc for me. Ristenpart is to me is a neglected genius. I didn't know the performance was available on CD. Fortunately my LP is in good shape.

Also highly recommended his "Wachet Auf".

John Reese wrote (December 4, 2004):
[To Bob Henderson] I've got that LP! Good one. When I was studying music at the University of Texas, there was talk of bringing Stich-Randall in as a voice professor -- apparently, the deal fell through. It may have been just as well; her style of singing might have been at odds with the heavy, operatic vocal technique that was emphasized there at the time (and probably still is).

 

Soprano Teresa Stich-Randall

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 23, 2007):
Soprano Teresa Stich-Randall died in Vienna on Tuesday July 17, 2007, at the age of 79.
She was a great Bach singer, as her many recordings (mostly from the 1950's and 1960's) testify.
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/Stich-Randall-Teresa.htm

RIP

 

Stich-Randall has died

Malvenuto Cellini wrote (July 23, 2007):
http://www.mundoclasico.com/noticias/vernoticia.aspx?id=f923a557-994e-42ca-a5e8-5ab910a34b05

Malvenuto Cellini wrote (July 23, 2007):
Our member Matthew Westphal compares her style to Emma Kirkby, YIKES, no way.

"Her singing, by no means to every opera lover's taste, was marked by light tone and accurate pitch with minimal vibrato; she could thus be seen as a forerunner of the period-performance movement exemplified (among singers) by Emma Kirkby. One might even suggest that Stich-Randall was born about 20 years too early".

Here's the problem, Matthew and All,
the various variables you list DO NOT constitute a singer.
I guess there is always the "je ne sais quoi". This was an exciting singer.

Matthew Westphal wrote (July 2, 2007):
Malvenuto Cellini says:
< Our member Matthew Westphal compares her style to Emma Kirkby, YIKES, no way. >
Well, well, my dear Mal, I congratulate you on your speed - that obituary only went up a few minutes ago.

For those interested, the obituary is at: http://www.playbillarts.com/news/article/6830.html

Well, yes, of course - that goes without saying for any musician. And, of course, any given listener will find his or her own "quoi" in any given artist, and others won't always understand why.

Stich-Randall's "Jauchzet Gott" was the first one I ever heard, back when I was a kid, and I remember it fondly.

< The various variables you list DO NOT constitute a singer.
I guess there is always the "je ne sais quoi". >
Remember, Mal, I was not writing that obituary for us - i.e., for a group of self-selected people who gather over the Internet for the sole purpose of discussing Bach. I was writing for a general classical music-oriented readership with widely varied interests and areas of knowledge; many Playbill Arts readers will never have heard of Teresa Stich-Randall or will only dimly remember her.

I needed to communicate some idea of her place, in terms of basic sound and style, on a spectrum of sopranos that would run all the way from, say, Gwyneth Jones or Astrid Varnay to Renée Fleming to Kathleen Battle to Ruth Holton to ... oh, I don't know, Shirley Temple.

In the most immediately audible sense, those traits I mentioned -

< "Her singing, by no means to every opera lover's taste, was marked by light tone and accurate pitch with minimal vibrato; >
are those associated with period-performance singers, and the single singer most identified in the wider public's mind (to the extent that the wider public even cares) is Emma Kirkby. Her name functions as a sort of shorthand, almost. (Besides, it gives me an excuse to link to an article about her and thus maybe get some extra page views.)

Of course those traits by themselves don't make an artist. That's just the kind of issue that music lovers discuss in forums like this one. But it's not really appropriate for a news-oriented obituary.

Nevertheless, I am very happy indeed that you noticed the article so quickly and cared enough about it to post to the list.

Malvenuto Cellini wrote (July 24, 2007):
Matthew Westphal wrote:
< Well, well, my dear Mal, I congratulate you on your speed - that obituary only went up a few minutes ago.
For those interested, the obituary is at:
http://www.playbillarts.com/news/article/6830.html >
Dear Mat (seems to go with Dear Mal:-),
I of course intended to include the URL. In the midst of copying a little of your words while using webmail, I not only forgot to paste in the URL (for which I apologize) but I forgot simultaneously to put on the timer for the rice and all along I was listening to a CD of Lotte Lehmann (oh, the ability to multi-task).

Finding your piece was very easy. A number of singers with major careers have died in the last couple of weeks. I have noticed on Google that putting in the singer's name generates everything but an obituary or even a death announcement but putting in "Stich-Randall obituary" (for example) soon generates such pieces as yours.

< Well, yes, of course - that goes without saying for any musician. And, of course, any given listener will find his or her own "quoi" in any given artist, and others won't always understand why. >
Yes, this is a subject unto itself, what makes listener X or Y fascinated with musician A or B. Really a very interesting matter.

< Stich-Randall's "Jauchzet Gott" was the first one I ever heard, back when I was a kid, and I remember it fondly. >
Mine also, the Ristenpart. And of course the Woldike MP (BWV 244) and Händel's (Priestman) Rodelinda (both of these also with Hilde Rössl-Majdan).

<< The various variables you list DO NOT constitute a singer. I guess there is always the "je ne sais quoi". >>
< Remember, Mal, I was not writing that obituary for us i.e., for a group of self-selected people who gather over the Internet for the sole purpose of discussing Bach. >
I thought, Mat, that we were predestined rather than self-selected. Oh, I do not mean those of us who participate in these lists but those of us who respond to this music."Predestination" for sure.

< I was writing for a general classical music-oriented readership with widely varied interests and areas of knowledge; many Playbill Arts readers will never have heard of Teresa Stich-Randall or will only dimly remember her.>
The Renée Fleming crowd?

< In the most immediately audible sense, those traits I mentioned -
<< "Her singing, by no means to every opera lover's taste, was marked by light tone and accurate pitch with minimal vibrato; >>
< are those associated with period-performance singers, and the single singer most identified in the wider public's mind (to the extent that the wider public even cares) is
Emma Kirkby. Her name functions as a sort of shorthand, almost. (Besides, it gives me an excuse to link to an article about her and thus maybe get some extra page views.)
Of course those traits by themselves don't make an artist. That's just the kind of issue that music lovers discuss in forums like this one. But it's not really appropriate for a news-oriented obituary. >
Here is my problem, Dear Mat. To me (and to many others) Ms. Kirkby exemplifies something or some place where the Hippies have gone wrong. To me she exsanguinates the music of Bach or Handel and this is something that Stich-Randall certainly did not do.

Recently on the advice of some discussion on this quiet list I purchased the R.King recording of Handel's Joshua. While I found many aspects of the story-line/libretto and of the music of much interest, I did find Kirkby to drain her character of blood.

OTOH to me S-R is a passionate singer. A passionate singer lets one know that she/he is hotly engaged in her character and the protrayal of said character in singing-depiction. This passionate singer in her heat will tell me, the listener, I am aflame, come have have an orgasm(-like) reaction while listening.

OTOH Kirkby tells me, the listener, I am wearing a chastity belt. Don't you, the listener, get any ideas of arousal.

< Nevertheless, I am very happy indeed that you noticed the article so quickly and cared enough about it to post to the list. >
I have listened to S-R for a long, long time and I appreciated your article as I usually do appreciate them to the extent that I have seen them and I do apologize again for failing to include the URL.

Bradley Lehman wrote (July 24, 2007):
< Here is my problem, Dear Mat. To me (and to many others) Ms. Kirkby exemplifies something or some place where the Hippies have gone wrong. To me she exsanguinates the music of Bach or Handel and this is something that Stich-Randall certainly did not do.
(...)
OTOH to me S-R is a passionate singer. A passionate singer lets one know that she/he is hotly engaged in her character and the protrayal of said character in singing-depiction. This passionate singer in her heat will tell me, the listener, I am aflame, come have have an orgasm(-like) reaction while listening.
OTOH
Kirkby tells me, the listener, I am wearing a chastity belt. Don't you, the listener, get any ideas of arousal. >
There's really no need to insult the taste of those of us who have been enjoying Emma Kirkby's artistry for a very long time. I've been listening to her fat least 22 years.

Back in the early 1990s I played harpsichord in a masterclass she led, and I got an introduction to her teaching style there. She was (and I believe still is) involved with Alexander Technique: http://www.alexandertechnique.com
as it applies to performance manner and stage presence. Maybe this relaxation method accounts for some of the things you don't fancy in her singing?

On that same occasion I had lunch with her, and got to ask her all sorts of things, finding her to be delightful and charming. She was remarkably poised, gentle, and at ease. The ideas in Anthony Rooley's book Performance: Revealing the Orpheus Within go along with all this, as well: Amazon.com

Want to hear Kirkby at some of her expressive best? Listen to the album "Olympia's Lament" which has a set of solo madrigals by Monteverdi and d'India: Amazon.com

Malvenuto Cellini wrote (July 25, 2007):
[To Bradley Lehman] I both respect the ears and perspective of those others who have been predestined to have an ongoing and profound interest in this music and in general I respect the efforts of most all artists who devote their time and energies to this music, hardly the most popular of even the not-so-popular world of Classical Music.

I do not abhor any fellow music-lover, whether deeply informed or one who "simply" deeply loves and responds to the music.

If you have been following the thread and I am sure that you have, you shall have noticed that my objection was to Matthew's attempt to offer what he terms the wider Classical Music public of the particular attributes of the late Theresa Stich-Randall BY OFFERING a COMPARISON with the voice and singing style of Emma Kirkby.

To me this was a mis-guided attempt. Let us say that each lady brought her own attributes to the table and that in my opinion these attributes cannot be compared in terms of vibrato, legato, portamento and other such rubrics. These types of comparisons miss a great deal.

Matthew's further explanation that he was informing this wider uninformed public that TSR was not, let us say, of the Fach and singing school of Astrid Varnay did not do much to convince me.

Now I long have a 2CD DHM set Lamento D'Arianna, Anthony Rooley with Ms. Kirkby and others. I am not sure whether this is the same album to which you refer. Probably not. At the time I purchased this set, I had had for a while a similar set with others, Benita Valente comes to mind (I cannot check the details at the moment). I totally found the Rooley set a good change from the earlier set.

There are many questions here and, IF there is no further interest, I do not intend to continue the thread.

May I repeat that, If you believe that I abhor or hate Ms. Kirkby or (far less) the reviewer, that would be a misimpression.

My only, my one and only point was that informing the greater audience that on a scale from Varnay et al. > Kirkby, TSR would be near Kirkby, well that was not in my opinion helpful.

This does not mean that I harbor any negative feelings toward the reviewer who has always been a fine gentleman and scholar and never abusive toward any other viewpoint or the holder of such a viewpoint. It is a good and worthy thing to offer and discuss such musical reactions without acrimony and meanness. Matthew is a model citizen, as a few have written me and with which perspective I totally concur.

As to insulting Ms. Kirkby, again, I have given my impression of her style and no doubt amongst us elect there are many who are enthralled by her. Of course I do not hate anyone who does not share my own response. I simply do not find her approach to music, to the extent I have heard it, very moving at all.

Neil Walker wrote (July 27, 2007):
I cannot contribute to the debate on Stich-Randall's singing compared to that of Emma Kirkby, as I do not have any Stich-Randall recordings -- somehow, I have missed out on her, despite a fairly extensive vinyl and CD collection.

Is anyone willing to recommend a few representative recordings of Teresa Stich-Randall?

I would like very much to compare her singing to that of Kirkby and several others.

Thanks very much.

Bradley Lehman wrote (July 27, 2007):
[To Malvenuto Cellini] Following the discussion a few days ago, I made myself a burned compilation CD of the three soprano arias in the St Matthew Passion (BWV 244), plus the recits that precede two of them. A total of five movements per soprano, about 18 minutes of music each.

- Teresa Stich-Randall [Wöldike 1959] age 41
- Emma Kirkby [Cleobury 1994, in Brilliant Classics box] age 44
- Elisabeth Schwarzkopf [Klemperer 1961] age 45
- Barbara Schlick [Herreweghe 1984] age 41
- Jo Vincent [Mengelberg 1939] age 41

Of those five, if I focus only on the singer and ignore everything else (which I find almost impossible to do)...and if being viscerally moved by the vocal tone production is the single thing that matters...my own favorite is Stich-Randall, then Vincent, then Kirkby. Schlick and Schwarzkopf both seemed to me blander and more generic here.

But if we're looking for stylistic integrity, expressive intensity with both the text ("italicizing" it for meaning and grammar) and melodic line (plus a bit of ornamentation), Kirkby's is the clear winner for me, among those five. Her treatment of weak syllables, singing them more lightly in intensity and with more rhythmic freedom for contrast against stronger syllables, is exemplary. She also takes more freedom with small scoops of pitch (a short-range portamento) to emphasize some of the strong syllables. Her consonants are crisp and her vowels
interestingly varied, both in pronunciation and vibrato. Excellent control and well-thought-out interpretation, all around.

I enjoyed all five of these, among others. And I'm perhaps biased by the fact that the Stich-Randall/Woldike recording is the one I grew up with, first getting to know the piece. It hits me with sentimental value.

I liked the phrasing and expression of Herreweghe's instruments best. The instruments and the bass line expression are some of the most important things to me as a listener. Schlick's photo in the booklet is viscerally pleasing, too. :) But at least in this recording her diction isn't clear enough. :(

Mengelberg's orchestra has the strongest intensity, and the rubato is amazing. Vincent uses portamento that I find immediately attractive and tasteful, but I don't like her several too-fast and uniform trills. Being the same every time they don't seem to integrate well into the melodic line.

Yesterday I enjoyed reacquainting myself with Vincent's performances of Mahler 2 (with Klemperer) and 4 (Mengelberg). I unfortunately don't have any other Stich-Randall performances on CD other than the Wöldike
recording of the St Matthew.

Malvenuto Cellini wrote (July 28, 2007):
Correction of misstatement [was: Stich-Randall]

The other day in response to Brad's adduction of lamento d'olimpia (which I do not have), I referred to the Rooley album with various and numerous lamenti and pianti (some various transformation's of Monteverdi's sole surviving aria from his lamentably lost opera [what a loss indeed]) and suggested that I had an earlier performance of the same material with Benita Valenti.

After long searching for the album under Monteverdi, I found it under Handel bc. it was a mismemory by me.

I was referring to the Parrott 1989 Händel Carmelite Vespers (in which Kirkby participates) and the 1986 recording of the same material under the title Roman Vespers under Michael Korn (in which Valente participates).

When I first acquired the Parrott, I was delighted with its whole flavor compared to the Korn. This has little to do with one singer but with the total take on the set of works.

Thank you,

Malvenuto Cellini wrote (July 29, 2007):
More on Stich-Randall and Kirkby

I listened yesterday to the Hyperion CD of Monteverdi Sacred Music with Kirkby, Partridge, and Thomas, with The Parley of Instruments. I really must avoid Monteverdi with English singers (Thomas was impressive and I am elsewhere fond of Partridge).

Today St. Paul Sunday (the radio program) had Ms. Kirkby and Fretwork in English stuff and no, it's not to my taste.

I forgot btw that Matthew is a major fan of Ms. Kirkby's (see his various editorial reviews on Amazon.com) and that therefore he was attempting to pay Theresa Stich-Randall a compliment.

Right now I put on a miracle:
In 2004 the Decca Remastering label Retrospective put out the 1955 Moralt recording of Mozart's Great Mass. The conducting and chorus and orchestra are amazing. We get an Austrian repertory company of that time including Stich-Randall, Rössl-Majdan, Kmennt, and Raninger.

The remastering is superb.

I had never had this previously and I fear that it is already out of print. If you can hear Stich-Randall on this and think of Kirkby, you and I do not hear the same (or live on the same planet and I really do believe that Matthew and others and I do live on the same planet).

Let me repeat: You can love and respond to either or both; you cannot associate them. This is simply not something I can understand. The fact that I deeply respond to one and not at all to the other is taste, not to be argued.

Harry W. Crosby wrote (July 30, 2007):
This brief discussion of two sopranos and of listener preferences led me inevitably to think of the phenomenon that has overtaken me, to wit, my growing admiration for Ruth Holton.

I do not contend for one moment that she has become my "favorite" Bach soprano. That implies that there is, out there somewhere, a singer who would strike me as best at any and all. But Ruth Holton has made me understand how intensely I can be affected by a singer paired with material that, in my perception, she/he rather magically
realizes, realizes in it a potential that I had not really anticipated. Many of Holton's arias and nearly all of her
recitatives surpass what I had ever known or imagined. Her voice carries me off into dizzyingly high places in such a natural, unforced, dare I say angelic way.

Some arias simply are not within her powers, clearly, but I have found it simple to isolate them so that I do not, as it were, ask her to go there. Nevertheless, all that which does work for her --- IMO, at least --- is one of the principal reasons why a rather large number of the Leusink cantata recordings top my ratings.

I do not ask anyone to share or refute any of my reactions. I know from reading old reviews at this site that several of you have found La Holton woefully under-equipped. That's OK; different strokes for different folks, as the sage hath said.

Neil Mason wrote (July 31, 2007):
Harry W. Crosby wrote:
< I do not contend for one moment that she has become my "favorite" Bach soprano. That implies that there is, out there somewhere, a singer who would strike me as best at any and all. But Ruth Holton has made me understand how intensely I can be affected by a singer paired with material that, in my perception, she/he rather magically realizes, realizes in it a potential that I had not really >anticipated. Many of Holton's arias and nearly all of her recitatives surpass what I had ever known or imagined. Her voice carries me off into dizzyingly high places in such a natural, unforced, dare I say angelic way. >
May I just say that my personal reaction to Holton depends on my mood on any particular day.

I always admire her, but only sometimes enjoy her.

 

Teresa Stich-Randall: Short Biography | General Discussions

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