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Thread: New MARIA CALLAS box set......

  1. #1501
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marschallin Blair View Post
    Though one wouldn't intuitively 'suspect' it, Mr. Mitchell is a very busy man. . .

    Hey, wasn't Tom Cruise- ""Maverick""- a red-blooded 'Mr. Mitchell' as well?

    Um hummmm- you get the point. ;D
    Maverick was actually played in the movie by Mel Gibson. The original was James Garner.

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    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Maverick was actually played in the movie by Mel Gibson. The original was James Garner.


    'Top Gun,' David. Top Gun.

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    Senior Member Diminuendo's Avatar
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    If you haven't checked turnipoverlord on YouTube yet do it now. There are new videos.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/turnipoverlord/videos
    "First I sing loud. When I start to run out of breath I sing softer" Giuseppe Di Stefano on his Faust high c diminuendo

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  5. #1504
    Senior Member Azol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diminuendo View Post
    If you haven't checked turnipoverlord on YouTube yet do it now. There are new videos.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/turnipoverlord/videos
    Dammit, 1960 Poluito has such superior sound I can't believe it! Somewhere should be a website saying which edition of each opera offers best sound possible to-day - there are so many now and labels were too greedy about it... putting out every questionable source they could get their hands on...

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Duplicate post!!

  7. #1506
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azol View Post
    Dammit, 1960 Poluito has such superior sound I can't believe it! Somewhere should be a website saying which edition of each opera offers best sound possible to-day ...
    Hey Azol, you might check out divinarecords.com for an article by R. Seletsky who does just that. But it's a few years old and we hope he's updating it soon. Also, go to eBay and see ArsVocalis' shop - he has very good reissues of BJR recordings on CD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAS View Post
    Hey Azol, you might check out divinarecords.com for an article by R. Seletsky who does just that. But it's a few years old and we hope he's updating it soon. Also, go to eBay and see ArsVocalis' shop - he has very good reissues of BJR recordings on CD.
    This Callas forum has become quite a veritable "monster" of a thread, running up to more than 100 pages and more than 1,500 posts, thus making it pretty perplexing to search through what has been said and discussed. Anyway......RES has mentioned in post #1225 (page 82) that he will update and revise his "Callas on CD: RES' choices" list at some point. For the live Callas materials, Divina Records and arsvocalis (on ebay) are now the best channels guaranteeing the best sound sources and the most scrupulous and meticulous transfers.

    Here's what RES had said in that post:

    Quote Originally Posted by RES View Post
    Dear niknik,
    It's true that I haven't attended to a necessary revision of my 10-year-old preferences which Pablo published on his site. I will do it at some point. Briefly--and I think most people here have already come to this conclusion: for live Callas, get Divina wherever possible. Second to that are the transfers being done by 'arsvocalis' and offered on ebay; he's a fine Callas and opera scholar with an excellent and perfectionist perception of sound. Moreover, he and I do consult on various matters. After that, some of the new, inexpensive Myto 'Historical Line' offerings are excellent. I especially think of the 1955 RAI NORMA (#00140), 1953 Scala TROVATORE (finally at pitch: #00314), 1961 Scala MEDEA (again finally at pitch--though 'arsvocalis' is better). Some of the Mytos are from the BJR LPs like 'ars vocalis': 1951 Aida ('arsvocalis' is better though), 1952 Traviata and Rigoletto (which 'arsvocalis' has not done), and Scala Macbeth: though this has some problems, it is a good choice while waiting for Divina. Most of the remaining Mytos seem to be clones of old Melodram releases--with added track divisions; but for several, like Florence MEDEA and 1957 BALLO, I would recommend Golden Melodram instead (again, until 'arsvocalis' does them); Lisbon TRAVIATA is much better on Pearl; and the Pristine 1959 Covent Garden MEDEA is taken from a newly-discovered better source--only get it in mono, not the engineer's 'ambient stereo' which is inauthentic. 1951 VESPRI is best on Testament: though missing the overture, it's on two discs and is taken from a private recording made by the house for Walter Legge; nothing compares to it. For studio recordings, the new Warner Callas box would appear to be the ultimate statement. Personally, however, I find that a few of the 1985-94 EMI versions are more moving or satisfying: 1953 LUCIA (W. Germany 1989 'EMI-Angel' pressing), PURITANI (W. G. 1986 'EMI-Angel' pressing), FORZA (W.G. 1987 'EMI-Angel' pressing), TURCO (German--*not* W. German--1992 'EMI Classics' [not 'Angel'] pressing), MANON LESCAUT (W.G. 1985 'EMI-Angel' pressing).
    Meanwhile, since it costs sellers' fees to list items on ebay for direct purchase by customers, arsvocalis has to take off his listings after a certain period of time. But if you are interested in a particular Callas live material that had been available before (such as the 1960 POLIUTO, which arsvocalis' transferred from the BJR LP, which is precisely the sound source used by turnipoverlord for his YouTube upload) but are off the listing at the moment, you can always approach him via the "contact seller" link available on ebay and he will make one copy available for you to place order.

    By the way, as revealed by arsvocalis' reply to DA, which DA has very kindly shared somewhere in this thread, we can anticipate arsvocalis to release his transfers of the 1952 Mexico TRAVIATA and RIGOLETTO, as well as the 1952, 1954 and 1956 RAI recitals in the not-too-distant future, while the 1957 Scala BALLO is not too far down the road.
    Last edited by Panorama; Jun-18-2015 at 21:33.

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  11. #1508
    Senior Member Azol's Avatar
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    Which leads me into another question: I own a red Membran 64-CD boxset (30 complete operas), but I could not find any information what were the sources Membran used for each opera. Especially Il Trovatore which sounds close to EMI but contains an unpleasant high-pitched sound similar to TV-set flyback transformer (!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azol View Post
    Which leads me into a question: I own a red Membran 64-CD boxset (30 complete operas), but I could not find any information what were the sources Membran used for each opera. Especially Il Trovatore which sounds close to EMI but contains an unpleasant high-pitched sound similar to TV-set flyback transformer (!)
    Membran should have been avoided at all cost!!! It's a Germany-based pirate that used previously available CD or LP as its sources for a lot of historical live and studio recordings (many of them had been released by this unscrupulous pirate under the DOCUMENTS label) and released repackaged clones in often indifferent and shoddy transfers.

    You might wish to consider selling the Membran set off on ebay, or exchange it on Second Spin for some amount of money.

    My apologies if this revelation has shocked you, but one has to beware of the pirates out there who has been trying to cheat money out of unsuspecting customers.

    Correction, added subsequently: as the Callas materials are all out of copyright, I came to realize it is more correct to describe those who sell indifferent and shoddy transfers of the live and studio materials of Callas and other artists in the historical classical recordings category as "shoddy, even unscrupulous merchants" instead of "pirates".
    Last edited by Panorama; Jun-19-2015 at 04:54.

  13. #1510
    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azol View Post
    Which leads me into another question: I own a red Membran 64-CD boxset (30 complete operas), but I could not find any information what were the sources Membran used for each opera. Especially Il Trovatore which sounds close to EMI but contains an unpleasant high-pitched sound similar to TV-set flyback transformer (!)


    Just cross the finish line with the 'arsvocalis,' Divina Records, Pristine XR, and Warner transfers- belles of the ball all. ;D

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  15. #1511
    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Is the "New Maria Callas box set" thread the most popular thread on a single artist at Talk Classical? It has to be!

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    - That was an involuntary vocalization of pure joy, by the way.

    I'm so happy that a TC friend got me into Divina- and then I did my small part to spread the utter joy and dramatic genius to others. . . and that others are doing their part to impart and enthuse and share their experiences with still others . . and I just see this cascading and bifurcating, and trifurcating, and radiating outward into the world around me.

    You know those perfect azure summer sky days where everything feels 'right'?- well, this is one of them for me right now- 'squared'- since I reflected on all of the beautiful posts on this thread.

    I kiss <spoken with slow, deliberate, rounded elocution> EVERY. . . SINGLE. . . CALLAS FAN. . . HERE.

    Mwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAh!

    To all of you! Cheers!

    Last edited by Marschallin Blair; Jun-18-2015 at 22:34.

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  17. #1512
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panorama View Post
    Membran should have been avoided at all cost!!! It's a Germany-based pirate that used previously available CD or LP as its sources for a lot of historical live and studio recordings (many of them had been released by this unscrupulous pirate under the DOCUMENTS label) and released repackaged clones in often indifferent and shoddy transfers.

    You might wish to consider selling the Membran set off on ebay, or exchange it on Second Spin for some amount of money.

    My apologies if this revelation has shocked you, but one has to beware of the pirates out there who has been trying to cheat money out of unsuspecting customers.
    The boxes of Membran I have are not bad. At the price you don't expect top quality transfers. It's not actually a 'pirate' as the recordings (to my knowledge) are out of copy-write. One point, if it's a pirate, then surely if we sell it off we are pirates too?

  18. #1513
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    The boxes of Membran I have are not bad. At the price you don't expect top quality transfers. It's not actually a 'pirate' as the recordings (to my knowledge) are out of copy-write. One point, if it's a pirate, then surely if we sell it off we are pirates too?
    Yes DavidA, you do have a point there. I keep forgetting that the Callas studio and live materials are out of copyright, at least in EU. So the issue is about the source used and the quality of the transfer. I didn't buy the Membran, by the way.

    If I have never read RES' articles, I would not have become so fussy and particular over source and quality of transfer. But after reading RES' articles, I became sharply aware that shoddy and indifferent transfers can do a great disservice to Callas, as well as many other artists in her era and the era before that.

    In the end, whether you, Azol and others (who have already gotten the Membran set) are keeping the set in your respective collections is entirely up to you.

    Latest: RES has just come in and commented on the Membram set - see post #1515 & #1516 below.
    Last edited by Panorama; Jun-19-2015 at 04:55.

  19. #1514
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marschallin Blair View Post


    Is the "New Maria Callas box set" thread the most popular thread on a single artist at Talk Classical? It has to be!

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    - That was an involuntary vocalization of pure joy, by the way.

    I'm so happy that a TC friend got me into Divina- and then I did my small part to spread the utter joy and dramatic genius to others. . . and that others are doing their part to impart and enthuse and share their experiences with still others . . and I just see this cascading and bifurcating, and trifurcating, and radiating outward into the world around me.

    You know those perfect azure summer sky days where everything feels 'right'?- well, this is one of them for me right now- 'squared'- since I reflected on all of the beautiful posts on this thread.

    I kiss <spoken with slow, deliberate, rounded elocution> EVERY. . . SINGLE. . . CALLAS FAN. . . HERE.

    Mwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAh!

    To all of you! Cheers!

    MB darling, we share your joys Yes I think this thread is becoming a bible for people looking for the best sound for the live and studio Callas materials.

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  21. #1515
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    Re: Membran. Their live ones are often clones of 1997 EMI (thefts themselves of older transfers), e.g., their tinny Scala Traviata, which even has the exact timings and tracks divisions as the 1997 EMI. Interestingly, Membran Vestale is the best sounding around (EMI did not do this one)--not saying all that much as the source is horrible--but it's considerably better than the muddy, inarticulate, and inappropriately touted Skira/Scala Memories set, which is glitzy-packaged, awful sounding, overpriced garbage.
    Last edited by RES; Jun-19-2015 at 04:26.

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