Newsletter of the Jussi Björling Societies of the USA & UK


The Bjorling Sound, Jussi Bjorling


Now that The Bjorling Sound has been published, it is up to others to comment on its contents. And the more commentary there is (whether positive or negative) the happier I will be, for I always intended it to be an open-ended book, requiring an active response from readers, as part of an ongoing collective effort to understand Bjorling the artist. I have done my best to describe as precisely as possible the experience of listening to what I consider to be Jussi's finest recordings, and I naturally hope that the book will prove reasonably interesting even to opera-lovers who have only heard a handful of those recordings. Yet its credibility can ultimately be tested only if readers are inspired to do a certain amount of (re)-listening themselves. And I hope that some of them at least will be curious enough to seek out the recordings by other tenors that I refer to for comparative purposes. For I found that it was only through comparison that I was able to identify what makes Bjorling so special, describing the specifics of phrasing but also various aspects of vocal technique. In writing about this controversial subject I have tried to adopt terminology whose usefulness has been tested by time. But whether my words are clear or not, I am reasonably confident that the musical examples will shed some light on the matter-although I am fully aware of the subjective nature of any listening experience.

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