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Thread: Maria Callas' Recorded Legacy

  1. #5176
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callasfan View Post
    True, the overall sound quality cannot be improved. It just can't be done. But the offending voice can be painstakingly removed by looking at a spectrum of the audio and locating that voice. It then needs to be replaced with something that repairs the hole in such a way that the gap isn't noticeable, be it with room tone or another small piece of the original program material. I did this with the prompters and audience noise in Aida, and it is a very time intensive process. A five minute block of audio could take up to 10 hours to process properly.
    Callasfan,
    I appreciate all of the work you've done with the Callas LPs that you've transferred to YouTube, and keeping her name and recordings alive. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Callasfan View Post
    True, the overall sound quality cannot be improved. It just can't be done. But the offending voice can be painstakingly removed by looking at a spectrum of the audio and locating that voice. It then needs to be replaced with something that repairs the hole in such a way that the gap isn't noticeable, be it with room tone or another small piece of the original program material. I did this with the prompters and audience noise in Aida, and it is a very time intensive process. A five minute block of audio could take up to 10 hours to process properly.
    In terms of historical recordings, I find the overall sound quality of the Callas 1952 Armida as presented on Divina Records (DVN-16) quite acceptable for listening. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for other Callas broadcasts such as Alceste and La vestale from 1954 where the very painful overload distortion makes for a very trying listening experience! Armida is free of this extreme distortion. The main problem is simply the intrusive speaking voice that shouldn’t be there. Removing this offending voice would make for a consistent listening experience and reveal more of the Callas interpretation (as performed in this complete radio broadcast).

    Sounds like a laborious, but fascinating job to extract the unwanted voice from the 12 minutes of sound. This would perhaps require up to 30 hours of work! Looking forward to purchasing the new Callasfan restored edition of Armida!

    Paul

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    Senior Member niknik's Avatar
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    I find Warner's edition of Armida the best effort until now although it is unacceptable that Warner went with the easy way to cut the 12 problematic minutes and not with the attempt to fix them.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by niknik View Post
    I find Warner's edition of Armida the best effort until now although it is unacceptable that Warner went with the easy way to cut the 12 problematic minutes and not with the attempt to fix them.
    I have both the Warner and the Divina pressings and I see from my review on my blog that I preferred the Divina. To my ears, the voices were much more clearly captured in the Divina version. The Warner isn’t bad, but possibly in an attempt to provide a more comfortable listening experience, they have removed some of the presence of the voices.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    I can say with certainty that Warner used a poorer source for both their Aida and Sonnambula than they claim. Most proper Callas devotees would take "best available sources" to mean BJR or better. But I suppose Warner can say this in all truth if the only sources that are available to them are same old flawed sources EMI was using.

    In Aida, at start of "Possente Fthà", the radio announcer talks over the start of the music. In the EMI release, they looped a matching section of the music over the voice to cover it, as they didn't include the radio announcements (either they didn't have access to them because their source was incomplete, or they cut them to save time - as it is, with the announcements included, the last track of Act 2 won't fit on the first CD). The warner issue does the same thing. Neither of them have the same amount of higher frequency content that the BJR LPs have.

    The Warner Sonnambula still has the same false Act 1 duet ending that the EMI release had. Whether they are exactly the same, I cannot say. To be honest, I haven't properly listened to either since I found my LP copy, which has much better sound than both.

    I can't see how any release could be better than a Divina Records release. Pablo has the original masters. And he does impeccable work.
    Audio restoration is a hard, long process when done well. Warner doesn't restore. It may fiddle with some balancing here and there, and I can appreciate they way they packaged the CDs, but it feels like they're just squeezing money out of her memory without properly honouring it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallace View Post
    Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for other Callas broadcasts such as Alceste and La vestale from 1954 where the very painful overload distortion makes for a very trying listening experience!
    Paul
    That kind of distortion is virtually impossible to manually remove. Perhaps some kind of advanced AI program could do something with it at some point in the future. It's a shame. And it frustrates me that more attention wasn't given to recording her live works.

    It's like they didn't realise what they had in their hands with her.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callasfan View Post
    That kind of distortion is virtually impossible to manually remove. Perhaps some kind of advanced AI program could do something with it at some point in the future. It's a shame. And it frustrates me that more attention wasn't given to recording her live works.

    It's like they didn't realise what they had in their hands with her.
    Some did. Some didn't. She had to put up with quite a lot of carping from critics even in her vocally respendent days. Some of the contemprary reviews are quite comical now, even of the famous De Sabata Tosca which Alex Robertson compared unfavourably to the rather mediocre Erede version with Tebaldi, Giusppe Camporaand Enzo Mascherini. I doubt that recording would come near the top of many people's recommendations now.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    I’m assuming that this will be released by Pristine tomorrow!

    https://youtu.be/SNhPN8nJ-sM

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    Hey everyone,

    I have opened a Sellfy store to provide digital downloads. At the moment, only the Aida is available, but more will come. I have just released a preview video of my work on the 1955 La Sonnambula on my youtube channel:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhneU8Gggnw

    My Sellfy store can be found here:

    https://callasfanrecords.sellfy.store/

    Downloads are 16/44.1 FLAC files packed into a RAR file. I will continue to sell CDs on ebay for those that prefer physical media.

    John

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callasfan View Post
    Hey everyone,

    I have opened a Sellfy store to provide digital downloads. At the moment, only the Aida is available, but more will come. I have just released a preview video of my work on the 1955 La Sonnambula on my youtube channel:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhneU8Gggnw

    My Sellfy store can be found here:

    https://callasfanrecords.sellfy.store/

    Downloads are 16/44.1 FLAC files packed into a RAR file. I will continue to sell CDs on ebay for those that prefer physical media.

    John
    Thanks. I am not a fan of downloads, so I would go for CDs - I’ll watch eBay for your new releases.

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  21. #5186
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAS View Post
    New Callas Book


    Attachment 157044

    I hesitated to start a new thread for this book. It is called Cast a Diva (clever, no?), The Hidden Life Of Maria Callas. It purports to be a better biography of her. The cover in itself is vulgar in its paparazzi-like image. Can the content be more serious?

    Here’s the blurb on Amazon.co.uk on the author, who presumably specializes on “daring aristocratic women.” You’ve been warned!

    Attachment 157045
    The Maria Callas Magazine’s July 2021 issue (no. 93) carries a review of the book Cast A Diva. It doesn’t convince me to read it, but thanks to the publisher, Karl von Zoggel, for sparing us the task!

    I photographed the relevant pages, if anyone is interested.

    E9CBE394-D673-42E5-AF23-22318C8823FF.jpg A5C1C433-D172-4C5B-812A-51A8573E4032.jpg

    I hope readers are able to zoom in and read it, otherwise please let me know and I will scan it into my PC abd re-post it.

    M

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  23. #5187
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    They could always join the club and receive the magazine 3 times a year?
    http://www.callasintclub.com/home.htm

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  25. #5188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bayreuth62 View Post
    They could always join the club and receive the magazine 3 times a year?
    http://www.callasintclub.com/home.htm
    Yes, indeed, Bayreuth62!

  26. #5189
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    44 years since she’s been gone!

    4D8E263D-5A5A-4C55-B8E2-16107EDF2FFA.jpeg

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  28. #5190
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    An interesting article on a forthcoming Museum for Maria Callas in Athens, Greece, slated to open in 2023, the centenary of Callas’s birth (2 December 1923)

    D6365F82-0575-44B4-8AB7-CDE29F398A8E.jpg D7F3C668-E765-4C4C-90D3-268147B37D3C.jpg
    Eight sumptuous costumes donated by the Teatro alla Scala to the museum.

    Click twice to augment the photos.
    Last edited by MAS; Sep-21-2021 at 08:00.

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