Jon Vickers died yesterday, and I was traveling so I couldn’t write anything. To say he was a unique talent was a great understatement, but what moves me most about him was his willingness to put the music first to the sacrifice, some would say, of his vocal superiority. T
Well, if he had not done that, he would never have given us this beautiful gift. For all of the fantastic dramatic roles he portrayed, especially Peter Grimes and All the Wagner, I think that this is one of the most interesting and musical approaches to an aria. Positively surprising, human, and daring. Vickers sang this aria, which I’ve heard at least a million times, unlike anyone else, and is a testament to his unique artistry. Just like Ben Heppner redefined O Souverin for me, so Vickers redefined this aria. A very loving and vulnerable presentation, I can’t listen to this version without goosebumps for the last 30 seconds or so.