as for Tebaldi, I never found Tebaldi's timbre particularly beautiful to begin with, so comparison doesn't mean a whole lot to me.
indeed. apples and oranges are quite different. that was my pointBite': that's articulation, and one needs it to illuminate the text. It could also be articulate and crisp but with a buttery quality--always as the music dictated. Price was pretty monochromatic by comparison. Again, I like Price, but this particular comparison is apples to oranges (or champagne to...)
PS: lol, no, I wasn't racially profiling I also describe Anna Moffo's voice that way (albeit a sweeter chocolate mousse. Moffo was a seductress while Price was a matriarch).
[Hearing Callas in Norma in 1952] "was a shock, a wonderful shock. You just got shivers up and down the spine. It was a bigger sound in those earlier performances, before she lost weight. I think she tried very hard to recreate the sort of "fatness" of the sound which she had when she was as fat as she was. But when she lost the weight, she couldn't seem to sustain the great sound that she had made, and the body seemed to be too frail to support that sound that she was making. Oh, but it was oh so exciting. It was thrilling. I don't think that anyone who heard Callas after 1955 really heard the Callas voice"
Last edited by Tuoksu; Jan-10-2017 at 09:27.
Callas' earlier career actually stretches back to 1939, when she sang Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana at the Olympia Theatre in Athens, quite a feat when still a student at the Athens Conservatory (15 years old - she was known to mature very quickly, in fact more quickly than most at her age back then)
She signed a contract with the Greek National Opera in Athens and officially started her career as a professional opera singer in 1940 (16 years old)
Her first major role at the Greek National Opera was Tosca in 1942 (18 years old)
Two further breakthroughs took place in 1944, with Fidelio and Marta in Eugen d'Abert's Tiefland (two heavy dramatic roles at the age of 20) at the Greek National Opera. Both received rave reviews in the press.
Not to mention several works from the Baroque era to the 20th-century in concerts and recitals.
Taking into account those years in Greece, her earlier career should count as 15 years (1939 - 1953), not just 4 years. It's just TOO bad that only the final 4 years of the earlier career (1949 - 1953) are documented in sound and available for posterity.
You should go and read up on Nicholas Petsalis-Diomidis's THE UNKNOWN CALLAS: THE GREEK YEARS for more details.
amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Callas-Greek-...unknown+callas
It's always best to do lots of homework.
Last edited by Panorama; Jan-10-2017 at 14:56.
Vocal purity. Leontyne Price.
Passion and convincibility. Maria Callas.
Plenty of room for both.
Price, is a great Aida, and her trovatore isn't too bad. She had an interesting voice, but she nowhere near matched Callas. What other soprano could match Callas though? Who could match her heartbreaking Violetta, which she sang along side a ferocious Medea, a divine Norma, a helpless Butterfly, a jealous Tosca or innocent Gilda? Between 1950 and 1959 Callas was unmatched. Price was certainly a great soprano but I find her voice, especially later in her career a bit odd. She had a longer career, however, to have achieved what Callas achieved in the space of nine year, from age 25 - 34 no less, is quite outstanding. For her main career her flame burnt brighter than all others.
“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”
Just to keep the balance - it's so easy not to when Callas is under discussion! - Price in her vocal prime had one of those voices that could just slay you with its radiant beauty. Her recordings of the songs of Samuel Barber, especially of "Knoxville, Summer of 1915," are superb, and essential in any collection.
The human voice at its finest has an intrinsic power to enchant and move us. The young Price, I think, had one of those voices, and in the right music (Barber, Gershwin, American music in general) she's pretty hard to beat.
While this is not directly related to the Price/Callas comparison, it does connect with the comments about Callas' short career which, as has been noted, was actually longer than she is often credited with. While she started very young, she did have solid training and technique which helped her when the voice started having problems. Let us not forget a Callas-wannabe, Elena Suliotis, who tried to do too much, too soon, and really flamed out.
As a personal aside, while I very much enjoy singers such as Kiri Te Kanawa who had vocal beauty to burn but was a tad short in the dramatic aspect, most of my favourites are singers where the dramatic ability and vocal beauty leaned more towards the former, e.g. Anja Silja, Hildegard Behrens, Gwyneth Jones, etc.