Belcanto (from Italian bel canto "beautiful singing") describes a singing technique , aesthetic and singing style in music that emerged in Italy at the end of the 16th century in connection with monody and opera . Important elements of the bel canto are the softness of the tone, balanced vocal registers over the entire range of the voice, the legato , the messa di voce , the appoggiaturas and portamenti as well as the agility of the voice and consequently the decoration of the song with coloratura , fioritures and trills . The decisive basis for this is a good breathing technique - the canto sul fiato - and the technically correct projection of the voice into the room.
Until around 1840, bel canto was decisive for singing, especially in Italian music and opera. Basically, the aesthetics and technology of Belcanto have also been adopted in other European countries - especially in Germany - but the standards were mostly not as high as in Italy. In France, Italian singing (and castrato singers ) was rejected from the creation of French opera under Lully around 1670 until the early 19th century.
“The art of expressing the slightest gradations, of dividing the tone in the finest possible way, of making imperceptible differences perceptible, of connecting the voices to one another, of setting them apart, of amplifying and reducing them; the speed, the fire, the strength, the unexpected outcomes, the variety in the modulations, the skill in the appoggiatures, passages, trills, cadenzas ...; the fine, artificial, sought-after, polished style, the expression of the gentlest passions, sometimes brought to the highest degree of truth; are therefore nothing but miracles of the Italian sky, which are excellently performed by a few singers who are still alive. "
The term “Belcanto” itself only dates back to the 19th century and at that time was either used nostalgically in memory of better, earlier times with higher singing standards and greater art of singing, or polemically and derogatory z. B. by proponents of romantic or veristic opera (in the sense of Verdi , Puccini et al.) Or another national style (especially a German musical drama with simple or purely dramatic singing).
The term belcanto is also used as a collective term for opera composition from around 1810 to 1845 in Italy. The most important representatives of this school were Gioachino Rossini , Vincenzo Bellini and Gaetano Donizetti , although the latter two were already beginning to demand a drama that contradicted the very principles of bel canto. With the operas of Giuseppe Verdi and even more of the verismo ( Puccini , Mascagni , Leoncavallo, etc.), the bel canto was completely displaced because the drama and volume increased even more and the singers had to assert themselves against an enlarged orchestra.
Jürgen Kesting defines Belcanto as a "[singing] style that needs a certain technique in order to be realized, or as a technique for a style". The term "bel canto" is often applied to singers who only have a beautiful voice and a classical singing technique, without being able to sing (or be able to sing) works of the bel canto epoch or the bel canto style.
The period from the 17th century to the beginning of the 19th century is considered to be the heyday of ornate singing (Canto fiorito ) . Even in the polyphony of the Renaissance , sweet, lovely and elegant singing was required (“Ars suaviter et eleganter cantandi”), whereby “elegant” meant the ability of a singer to play long notes, e.g. B. in cadences, to play around and to adorn. Early evidence of a highly virtuoso solo singing in Italy can already be found in the last quarter of the 16th century in the solo madrigals and ensembles. B. Luzzasco Luzzaschi composed for the famous Concerto delle donne at the court of Ferrara , a trio of three singers who accompanied themselves on harp , theorbo , lira and harpsichord ; and also in the intermedi to Bargagli's comedy La pellegrina , which was performed in Florence at the end of 1589 as the climax of the splendid wedding celebrations of Ferdinando de 'Medici with Christine de Lorraine . From this score, the introductory solo number “Dalle più alte sfere” for the famous singer Vittoria Archilei (by Antonio Archilei?) And the “Godi turba mortal” by Cavalieri in the last intermediate stand out as belcantist ; this was sung by one of the numerous castrato singers (Italian: Evirati ) in the role of Jupiter .
Already at this time, improvised decorations and playings (diminutions) played a major role. Giulio Caccini's publications Le nuove Musiche (Florence 1601) and Le nuove musiche e nuova maniera di scriverle (Florence 1614) can be seen as milestones in Belcanto . However, these were intended as a template for less ornamented singing, since many singers already exaggerate when improvising ornamentation. From this it becomes clear that the ideal of the historical canto di garbo (graceful singing) is not only about as many decorations or pure demonstration of virtuosity, but on the one hand the greatest possible elegance and beauty and on the other hand the most expressive use of the voice. In addition to “diverse colors and shades of color” and a “devoted ecstasy of lyricism”, this also includes ornamentation that is used according to the mood of an aria or certain words and is intended to increase and deepen the expressive content. The ornaments must therefore inevitably turn out differently for sad, pathetic or enthusiastic love arias than when expressing anger, revenge or joy.
The bel canto played a decisive role in the history of the opera from the start, where not only recitative singing but also ornate singing was used. A famous example is the lament of the protagonist in Monteverdi's opera L'Orfeo (1607), for which the composer provided both a simple and an exemplary ornate version. The simple version, however, was not intended as an alternative to the ornate version, but rather as a starting point for gifted singers' own fioritures.
Monteverdi and other contemporaries left numerous descriptions of voices in their letters, from which it emerges that there were already "large" voices at that time, which were suitable for filling large spaces such as churches and theaters, and by no means only narrow, slender voices, which are more suitable for the chamber (and which were particularly popular in the early music scene in this type of repertoire in the 20th century). Such great voices, who must have possessed a perfect technique of projection - in addition to all the other arts of bel canto - included e.g. B. also the two singers Adriana Basile and Leonora Baroni , although they did not appear in the opera, but exclusively in concerts (they mostly lived in Rome, where women were forbidden in opera).
However, the aesthetics of bel canto permeated all Italian music, not just opera. The castrati , whose technical and vocal abilities have remained legendary to our days, were considered the ideal type of Belcanto singer . Originally they were mainly active in the church sector, where their unearthly beautiful singing evoked the singing of angels. Monteverdi also provided significant examples in the field of church music, e. B. in his Marienvesper (1610), where in addition to the sopranos there are also highly virtuoso tenor parts. In Allegris Miserere , the improvised ornamentation of the castrati of the Sistine Chapel , which seemed to echo straight down from the sky, was the delight of the audience from the 17th to the 19th centuries. A famous example of bel canto in church is Mozart's motet Exsultate, jubilate (1773) for the soprano Venanzio Rauzzini .
The castrati, with their apparently angelic singing, appeared more and more in opera in the 17th century and there, too, reinforced the element of the “wonderful”, which already played a major role in baroque opera. Together with the female voices, they gradually replaced the lower voices, especially the tenor voice, which was hardly used between 1650 and 1770, at least in solo singing. Rodolfo Celletti speaks in this context of a rejection of “vulgar” (= common) voices, to which he primarily counts the baritone tenor and to a certain extent the bass.
The voices of falsetto ists (often called countertenors today) used in church music in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, unlike castrato (and female) voices, which were called voci naturali (natural voices), did not meet the standards of the baroque bel canto, were considered unnatural and were not used in opera (in contrast to today).
While the vocal technique in terms of agility and coloratura was already fully developed before 1600, the scope of the voices was gradually expanded. The castrati were probably leading the way, who also often worked as singing teachers (such as Pistocchi , Tosi and many others) and passed on their knowledge and skills to other singers. Although in the notated music z. For example, in the soprano a range up to g '' was the norm, as early as the middle of the 17th century there were also parts that go up to a '' or even c '' '. While in the late Baroque, at the time of Handel, there were still many alto or mezzo-soprano voices and it was considered an advantage if a castrato or a prima donna could expand their voice downwards, in the second half of the 18th century there was a particular preference for as much as possible high voices, which were then often led to above the c '' '. The most famous examples are Mozart's part of the Queen of the Night ( Die Zauberflöte ), which has to rise several times to the glistening f '' ', or some arias that he composed for Aloysia Weber and which even require a high g' '' (e.g. . "Alcandro lo confesso" KV 294 & 295 (1778), "Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio!" KV 418 and "No, che non sei capace" KV 419 (1783)).
"Because I love that the aria is as accurately appropriate for a singer as a well-made dress."
This famous remark by Mozart reflects a generally prevailing principle of bel canto: arias and opera parts were written for a singer, in the best case all advantages and abilities of the singer were shown in the best light, disadvantages were avoided, hidden or veiled as far as possible. When a singer sang a pre-existing part that was written for someone else, e.g. B. had a slightly different scope, it was easy with the help of the usual improvisation to simply move a few places up or down. Perhaps the best-known example of this is Rossini's role of Rosina from the Barber of Seville and from it in particular the popular aria “Una voce poco fa”, which was originally composed for a mezzo-soprano, but in the 20th century it was almost exclusively performed by high coloratura sopranos corresponding additional ornaments was sung in height.
Conversely, it would not have been desirable, for example, for a low mezzo-soprano to constantly wrestle high notes, which were actually intended for a higher voice, because this leads to a tense singing that contradicts the bel canto principle of a soft tone and beautiful voice, and because it also threatens early voice damage. When in doubt, composers were asked to write a completely new aria that better suited the voice of the new interpreter, so Mozart and his colleagues left numerous inlay arias for works by other composers. And Handel reworked entire operas for a new production with other singers. Some singers also had a so-called aria di baule (= suitcase aria), i.e. H. a favorite aria that they mastered particularly well and always had with them, and which in the extreme case they wanted to sing in every opera; z. B. was the aria di baule of the famous soprano Luigi Marchesi "Mia speranza pur vorrei" by Sarti .
For various forms of arias in Belcanto, see: Aria # Geschichte und Formen
Last climax and end of bel canto
With the disappearance of the castrati from the opera stages as early as the end of the 18th century, opera developed after 1810 in which greater realism and the drama of the now often tragic-fatal plot were in the foreground. The model for this was the French opera, which from the beginning (already with Jean-Baptiste Lully ) rejected castrato singing and, above all, demanded a tragic declamation, and which Belcantist, Italian side accused as early as the 17th and 18th centuries of being singers would scream ; In addition to this, however, there was in particular the so-called revolution or horror opera by Luigi Cherubini , whose drama had a strong influence on Beethoven , but gradually also on Italian music after 1810.
Bel canto experienced a final high point with Gioachino Rossini and all his Italian contemporaries in the 1810s and 1820s, who wrote an emphatically virtuoso music full of coloratura. On the other side of the early 19th century for the romantic bel canto but also very soft and graceful melodies of a great sweetness ( dolcezza ) characteristic, such as through a sophisticated use of Provision is reached and by a sometimes thirds - and sexten - "Blissful" accompaniment (especially in duets) and a "sweet" instrumentation that works a lot with solo instruments (such as flutes). The greatest master of such arias was Vincenzo Bellini , who knew how to make his melodies particularly long and expressive.
With regard to the instrumentation, Italian composers such as Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti were often accused of using the orchestra only “like a great harp” (e.g. by Wagner). In reality, the orchestral sound was already before and even more so with Rossini and a certain influence of German and French composers, such as B. Giovanni Simone Mayr , enriched by wind instruments and therefore more weighty and louder. This applies particularly to the use of brass and percussion such as drums , cymbals and timpani for dramatic climaxes. Rossini's instrumental roles are also often of great virtuosity, especially the woodwinds . In spite of this, in Italy a “primacy of the voice” was retained and efforts were therefore made not to cover up the voices. For this reason, orchestral accompaniment was written as transparent as possible in solo numbers and recitatives, which guarantees a relatively large intelligibility of the text and enables sublime singing even with the finest nuances, shades and pianissimo culture according to the traditional ideals of beauty of bel canto. This also applies to the early Verdi until around 1855.
From 1830 onwards, the Canto fiorito, which was perceived more and more as mannered and artificial, gradually had to give way to a “more natural”, “more realistic” style of singing, and the singers' opportunities for improvisation were increasingly restricted. With Bellini, and even more so with Donizetti, this applies above all to the male voices, i.e. tenor and bass registers. In a transitional phase, women's roles were given coloratura until the 1850s. However, in combination with the demand for increased excitement, volume and drama already in Bellini's Norma , but especially in the early Verdi, this led to “hybrid” vocal parts in the so-called soprano drammatico d'agilità ( dramatic coloratura soprano ), the very highest and most thorough make dangerous demands on the singers. Verdi was known as “Attila of Voices” and was often accused of ruining the voices of his singers, including those of his later lover and wife Giuseppina Strepponi , the first Abigaille in Nabucco (1842).
Some singers trained at this time held on to certain principles and techniques of bel canto until the first years of the 20th century, so that some early gramophone records and phonograph cylinders also reveal the tradition of bel canto and are a valuable source.
Music example: Bellini's Sonnambula with Adelina Patti
Adelina Patti (1843–1919) is perhaps the oldest singer from whom sound recordings were made. When she was born, the actual epoch of bel canto was on its last legs. It is known that she sang the aria of Rosina from the Barber of Seville to Rossini at one of his Saturday soirees in Paris . Her interpretation of Amina's Aria finale from La Sonnambula (The Night Walker) shows some typical features of traditional Belcanto:
- Her singing is almost without vibrato and therefore appears very pure, clear and basically simple. The emphasis is on the melody line . There are only a few places where she lets herself be carried away to small or minimal vibrations, for emotional reasons or in favor of an emotional effect. A side effect of the fairly smooth tone is the fact that even small imperfections or fluctuations in pitch can be heard much more clearly than with a trained "permanent vibrato", as it did not appear until the 20th century; In the early 19th century, even small vibrato vibrations or uncleanliness were seen as incipient signs of voice aging and deterioration (e.g. von Stendhal in Isabella Colbran ). However, this is not a problem with Patti (on the whole), although she is over 60 years old here.
- The melody (and the text) is shaped in a sublime way using subtle dynamic shading and messa di voce ; there are also emotional inflexions.
- The musical design means also include additional improvised or quasi-improvised ornaments, which are used here sparingly but skillfully to support the expression of the aria. Particular mention would be here z. B. a small chromatic line shortly after the expression "... il pianto mio ..." (my crying, my tears), which does not come from Bellini, but from Patti.
- Patti has a nice trill: one of the most important characteristics of a good singer in bel canto. However, Tosi and his German translator Agricola have already warned that one should not lose oneself in the trill, that is, that one should not endure it for too long. This is a common mistake made by coloratura sopranos in the early 20th century, and even after 1960 by singers like Beverly Sills and Joan Sutherland . Patti is just about acceptable here.
- For bel canto - and especially for the late phase of the 19th century - a fairly free approach to tempo, i.e. rubato , is typical. This is controlled by the singer, the accompaniment has to follow any delays and pause if necessary.
- The way Patti sings the small (mandatory) Cadenza is striking: the runs are very fast, almost rapid. At least in this recording, this is the only negative point, because here it falls out of role and expression and it would be desirable if the cadenza sounded a little more improvised .
- 16th century: Giulio Caccini , Luzzasco Luzzaschi
- 17th century: Giacomo Carissimi , Francesco Cavalli , Antonio Cesti , Antonio Lotti , Domenico and Virgilio Mazzocchi , Claudio Monteverdi , Carlo Pallavicino , Luigi Rossi , Antonio Sartorio , Agostino Steffani , Alessandro Scarlatti , Alessandro Stradella and many others
- 18th century: Tommaso Albinoni , Giovanni Battista Bononcini , Antonio Caldara , Domenico Cimarosa , Baldassare Galuppi , Georg Friedrich Händel , Johann Adolph Hasse , Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , Giovanni Paisiello , Nicola Porpora , Alessandro Scarlatti , Antonio Vivaldi and others. v. a.
- 19th century: Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini , Gaetano Donizetti , Saverio Mercadante , Giovanni Pacini , Giuseppe Verdi (until approx. 1855, with reservations see above)
Great Belcanto singers
- Evirati (castrato): Domenico Annibali , Antonio Bernacchi , Caffarelli , Giovanni Carestini , Domenico Cecchi "il Cortona" , Girolamo Crescentini , farfallino , Farinelli , Baldassare Ferri , Gioacchino Conti , Luigi Marchesi , Matteuccio , Nicola Grimaldi "Nicolino" , Gaspare Pacchierotti , Senesino , Siface , Giovanni Battista Velluti , Loreto Vittori
- 17th century: Vittoria Archilei (late 16th century), Adriana Basile , Leonora Baroni , Antonio Borosini , Francesca Caccini , Maria Maddalena Musi , Margherita Salicola , Barbara Strozzi , Vittoria Tarquini
- 18th century: Angelo Amorevoli , Marianna Benti Bulgarelli , Faustina Bordoni , Francesco Borosini , Caterina Cavalieri , Francesca Cuzzoni , Anna-Lucia de Amicis , Élisabeth Duparc ("La Francesina"), Margherita Durastanti , Annibale Pio Fabbri , Adriana Ferrarese del Bene , Caterina Gabrielli , Aloysia Lange , Elisabeth Mara , Antonia Merighi , Antonio Montagnana , Anton Raaff , Anna Strada del Po , Santa Stella , Vittoria Tesi , Luisa Todi
- 19th century: Teresa Belloc , Angelica Catalani , Laure Cinti-Damoreau , Isabella Colbran , Sophie Crüwell , Giovanni David , Joséphine Fodor , Filippo Galli , Manuel Garcia the Elder. Ä. , Giulia Grisi , Luigi Lablache , Jenny Lind , Adelaide Malanotte , Maria Malibran , Henriette Méric-Lalande , Andrea Nozzari , Giuditta Pasta , Adelina Patti , Rosmunda Pisaroni , Giuseppina Ronzi de Begnis , Giovanni Battista Rubini , Henriette Sontag , Fanny Tacchinardi-Persiani , Eugenia Tadolini , Adelaide Tosi , Mattia Battistini ,
- 20th century, 1st half (technique and style only rudimentarily Belcanto, repertoire mostly no actual Belcanto): Alessandro Bonci , Miguel Fleta , Giacomo Lauri-Volpi , Rosa Ponselle , Tito Schipa , Joseph Schmidt , Ferruccio Tagliavini , Richard Tauber , Luisa Tetrazzini ,
- 20th century, 2nd half: June Anderson , Jaume Aragall , Francisco Araiza , Gloria Banditelli , Cecilia Bartoli , Renato Bruson , Montserrat Caballé , Maria Callas , Natalie Dessay , Mariella Devia , Montserrat Figueras , Edita Gruberová , Thomas Hampson , Marilyn Horne , Alfredo Kraus , Nelly Miricioiu , Luciano Pavarotti , Ernesto Palacio , Katia Ricciarelli , Dorothea Röschmann , Lucia Valentini Terrani , Frederica von Stade , Joan Sutherland , Mária Zádori
- 21st century: Daniela Barcellona , Romina Basso , Piotr Beczała , Patrizia Ciofi , Laura Claycomb , Diana Damrau , Natalie Dessay , Joyce DiDonato , Elīna Garanča , Karina Gauvin , Vivicagenaux , Juan Diego Flórez , Roberta Invernizzi , Sumi Jo , Simone Kermes , Dominique Labelle , Sara Mingardo , Anna Netrebko , Olga Peretyatko , Sandrine Piau ,
- Johann Agricola: Instructions for the art of singing (translation of Tosis Opinioni de cantori antichi e moderni…, 1723). Reprint of the 1757 edition, ed. v. Thomas Seedorf . Bärenreiter, Kassel et al. 2002.
- Patrick Barbier: Historia dos Castrados (Portuguese version; title of the French original: Histoire des Castrats ), Lisbon 1991 (originally Editions Grasset & Fasquelle, Paris, 1989).
- Peter Berne: Belcanto. Historical performance practice in Italian opera from Rossini to Verdi. A practical textbook for singers, conductors and répétiteurs. Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft, Worms 2008, ISBN 978-3-88462-261-2 .
- Giulio Caccini: Le nuove Musiche (Florence 1601) and Le nuove musiche e nuova maniera di scriverle (Florence 1614). Facsimile edition by SPES (studio per edizioni scelte), Archivum musicum 13, Florence 1983.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, ISBN 3-7618-0958-1 .
- René Jacobs : “There are no more castrati, what now?”, Booklet text on the CD: Arias for Farinelli , Vivicagenaux , Academy for Early Music Berlin, R. Jacobs, published by Harmonia mundi, 2002–2003.
- Hugh Keyte: "Intermedien (1589) for La pellegrina ", text on the LP: Una Stravaganza dei Medici. Intermedi (1589) per "La Pellegrina". Andrew Parrott (conductor), Taverner Consort, Choir & Players. EMI Reflexes 47998 (1986).
- Cornelius L. Reid : Bel Canto. Principles and Practices. 3rd printing. The Joseph Patelson Music House, New York NY 1978, ISBN 0-915282-01-1 .
- HC Robbins Landon (Ed.): The Mozart Compendium - his life his music , Droemer Knaur, Munich 1991.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, pp. 114-116.
- That only changed with Rossini , who had a strong influence on French opera.
- "artificial" is an ancient expression in the sense of "artistic".
- Here after: René Jacobs: “There are no more castrati, what now?”, Booklet text on the CD: Arias for Farinelli, Vivicagenaux, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, R. Jacobs, published by Harmonia mundi, 2002–2003, p 46-47.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, p. 20.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, p. 16 f and p. 194-200.
- Jürgen Kesting : The great singers. Four volumes. Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-455-50070-7 , Volume 1, p. 40.
- example by Hermann Finck in Practica Musica (Wittenberg 1556) or by Adrianus Petit Coclico in Compendium musices descriptum (Nuremberg 1552). Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, pp. 21-22.
- Hugh Keyte: "Intermedien (1589) for La pellegrina ", text on the LP: Una Stravaganza dei Medici. Intermedi (1589) per "La Pellegrina". Andrew Parrott (conductor), Taverner Consort, Choir & Players. EMI Reflexe 47998 (1986), (without page numbers).
- Presumably by Onofrio Gualfreducci. Hugh Keyte: "Intermedien (1589) for La pellegrina ", text on the LP: Una Stravaganza dei Medici. Intermedi (1589) per "La Pellegrina". Andrew Parrott (conductor), Taverner Consort, Choir & Players. EMI Reflexe 47998 (1986), (without page numbers).
- Giulio Caccini: Le nuove Musiche (Florence 1601) and Le nuove musiche e nuova maniera di scriverle (Florence 1614). Facsimile edition by SPES (studio per edizioni scelte), Archivum musicum 13, Florence 1983.
- That is an expression of Monteverdi. Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, p. 35 & p. 39.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, p. 15.
- Liliana Pannella: Basile, Andreana (Andriana), detta la bella Adriana. In: Alberto M. Ghisalberti (Ed.): Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (DBI). Volume 7: Bartolucci – Bellotto. Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Rome 1965.
- Liliana Pannella: Baroni, Eleonora (Leonora, Lionora), detta anche l'Adrianella o l'Adrianetta. In: Alberto M. Ghisalberti (Ed.): Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (DBI). Volume 6: Baratteri – Bartolozzi. Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Rome 1964.
- Celletti speaks of a "poetica della meraviglia" (poetics of the wonderful). Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, p. 14 & p. 17.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, p. 14. However, the question is whether, because of the many castrations of singing talented boys, there were simply hardly any good tenors and basses left.
- Falset voice, falsetto [ital.] Means: 1. ... (2. With adult singers, if instead of their proper bass or tenor voice they sing the alto or discant by forcing their necks together and forcing calls it an unnatural voice because of this. See: Johann Gottfried Walther: '' Musicalisches Lexikon '', 1732.
- René Jacobs : There are no more neuters: What now? , Booklet text for the CD: Arias for Farinelli , with Vivicagenaux , Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin , René Jacobs; harmonia mundi, 2002-2003. Pp. 45–51, here: pp. 47–48
- In church they could sometimes sing alto parts, especially in choirs (and again especially in Northern Europe, less so in Italy).
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, pp. 118-120.
- René Jacobs : “There are no more castrati, what now?”, Booklet text on the CD: Arias for Farinelli , Vivicagenaux , Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, R. Jacobs, published by Harmonia mundi, 2002–2003, p. 47.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, p. 119.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, pp. 111-112, and p. 120.
- HC Robbins Landon (ed.): The Mozart Compendium - his life, his music , Droemer Knaur, Munich 1991, p. 376 and p. 379 ff.
- HC Robbins Landon (ed.): The Mozart Compendium - his life his music, Droemer Knaur, Munich 1991, p. 174.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, p. 13 (sweetness of the timbre), p. 202 (on the tense singing in the romantic era)
- See for example: HC Robbins Landon (Hrsg.): Das Mozart-Kompendium - his life his music , Droemer Knaur, Munich 1991, pp. 374–382.
- Patrick Barbier: Historia dos Castrados (Portuguese version; title of the French original: Histoire des Castrats ), Lisbon 1991…, pp. 129–130.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, p. 195.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, pp. 193-198.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, pp. 198-200.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, p. 200 ff.
- Rodolfo Celletti: History of Belcanto. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 1989, p. 202.
- See: Jürgen Kersting: The great singers, 4 volumes, Hamburg 2008.