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

  1. #1831
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    Here's my two cents Bobleflaneur:

    1951: None -- there are limits to my tolerance for wretched sound, and every version I've sampled of this one exceeds them...
    See no problem with that, in fact I agree.

    1952: Opera D'Oro
    Upgrade to Myto, it has much better sound, you can listen to samples on the Presto Classical website and maybe other seller websites.

    1953: EMI 2007 (from a broken-up copy of the big box of studio recordings)
    That's one of the worst versions of that Traviata! I would upgrade to Warner Classics Remastered. (Some people will advise getting the Pristine Classical remaster, but others here don't like their methods and I have compared samples and can't tell much difference).

    1955: EMI 1990
    I prefer the remaster from the EMI 1997 Callas edition, but most people here will disagree with me. Either way the best version is on Ars Vocalis which uses a totally different source for the first half of the opera which is much clearer. Unfortunately it isn't available at the moment, you will need to wait a few months, so I would advise to hold on for the present.

    1956: None, but do I need it if I have 1955? I'm not a big fan of Raimondi.
    I don't think you need it if you have 1955. There are some sizeable excerpts on the above Ars Vocalis release mentioned above.

    1958 Lisbon: Mike Richter's from his CD-rom -- isn't this where the Pearl comes from? Is the Myto better? (I also have the EMI Callas Edition version, but...)
    Not sure about this, but Myto is meant to be the best commercial issue available at the moment. Comparing the Myto with the EMI 1997 version, the Myto sounds like a studio recording of the early 50s (it's that good!)

    1958 London: Virtuoso, which isn't bad. Is Myto substantially better? What about Idis, about which I've heard good things?
    The Myto is the best version currently available, I would upgrade to Myto.

    N.

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  3. #1832
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobleflaneur View Post

    1951: None -- there are limits to my tolerance for wretched sound, and every version I've sampled of this one exceeds them...
    1952: Opera D'Oro
    1953: EMI 2007 (from a broken-up copy of the big box of studio recordings)
    1955: EMI 1990
    1956: None, but do I need it if I have 1955? I'm not a big fan of Raimondi.
    1958 Lisbon: Mike Richter's from his CD-rom -- isn't this where the Pearl comes from? Is the Myto better? (I also have the EMI Callas Edition version, but...)
    1958 London: Virtuoso, which isn't bad. Is Myto substantially better? What about Idis, about which I've heard good things?
    Hi bobleflaneur,
    1951: I couldn't agree more. It's only on Myto and the complete source is a sonic catastrophe. Interestingly, several of Callas' arias were preserved in good sound and are presented at the end of the Myto and arsvocalis editions of the BJR 1952 Traviata. Thus,
    1952: You should have Myto or arsvocalis which, besides decent-sounding bonus tracks from 1951, also has a rare Callas interview between acts. Vocally, heavy Callas is incomparable, especially here; and it *is* full of nuance. She was a great musician. Od'O is in mediocre sound. Don't know how they managed that when the source BJR (Myto and arsvocalis) had is so good. Di Stefano fine and Campolonghi does his harmless best.
    1953: EMI 2007...hmmm. I guess Warner already owned Cetra. This would be a 1991 reverbed version, right? Get Warner 2014: the real sound, an excellent remaster. Callas is glorious but is short-circuited by mediocre colleagues and conductor. Still, it's the only studio Callas Traviata, and you should have the best master.
    1955 EMI, Membran, etc., all clones of Hunt, are terrible. They suppress the fact that the first half of the opera survives in good sound by using the awful source for it all. Arsvocalis' transfer from OOP Foyer at least gives one fine sound for Act I and Act II, sc. 1 (the old Cetra Opera Live LPs did as well), though the switch after that is a bit jarring. Still, you need this if you only have EMI (=Every Mistake Imaginable). Too bad Bastianini is emotionally disengaged in Act II, sc. 1 where Callas pours her heart out.
    1956: Only on Myto. Raimondi is more elegant than di Stefano but weak-sounding. Callas already sounds vocally troubled--a bit covered, with a few actual intonation problems here and there. Still, Callas is unrivaled in this role (actually, most roles). *And* Bastianini seems finally to be awake in Act II, sc. 1, so it may be worth it for that. Sound is fair: not as bad as 1955 Act II, sc. 2/Act III, not as good as Act I/II sc. 1 in the better source. Anyway, Myto slim-lines are cheap.
    1958 Lisbon. Mike Richter's CD-ROMS are a good attempt to correct RDP's stupid mis-EQ (and the source for Pearl, though Pearl producer Roger Beardsley didn't know it was Mike's re-EQ at the time, thinking it a still newer source than RDP. Long, bizarre story; PM me if you want to know it). Still strident and thin. The *1987*--*not* 1997 (ouch!)--EMI, from Kraus' analog tape made for him by RDP in 1958, while a tad muffled, sounds normal, and can often be found very inexpensively on ebay or amazon; Dutch pressing the best but they're all good. Very moving performance. Letter-reading the best: "Curatevi" has a heart-breaking irony in its delivery, unheard elsewhere. And Myto is cloned from the raw, mis-EQed RDP. Avoid.
    1958 Covent Garden: Did you notice that Virtuoso has a silence in the (admittedly wobbly) violin solo just before the letter-reading? The silence is a mastering defect. Myto/Mel is not troubled with this. Again, Myto is cheap; it's a clone of Mel with track divisions (Mel had none). An amazing performance overall. Sound is okay. Better might be coming...
    Last edited by RES; Aug-31-2015 at 22:02.

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  5. #1833
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    In the second hand shop the other day and listened to a bit of Callas' Chernier. People need to be warned that these live performances have wretched sound and can't be recommended to other than Callas fans or people wanting to hear Callas in the role.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    In the second hand shop the other day and listened to a bit of Callas' Chenier. People need to be warned that these live performances have wretched sound and can't be recommended to other than Callas fans or people wanting to hear Callas in the role.
    I think most people know. This is one of those that's unsalvagable sonically. Others include Vestale (though Membran is almost okay), 1951 Traviata, those '65 Toscas and Normas recorded from a seat in the house with transistor equipment smuggled in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    In the second hand shop the other day and listened to a bit of Callas' Chernier. People need to be warned that these live performances have wretched sound and can't be recommended to other than Callas fans or people wanting to hear Callas in the role.
    I BET it wasn't the Golden Melodram version which has quite tolerable sound.

    N.

  8. #1836
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    In the second hand shop the other day and listened to a bit of Callas' Chernier. People need to be warned that these live performances have wretched sound and can't be recommended to other than Callas fans or people wanting to hear Callas in the role.
    Frankly, Andrea Chenier has never been among my favourite operas and in this case even a performance with Callas in it won't make a difference. I also think Callas' talent is terribly wasted in the role of Maddalena, even her impassioned rendition of "La mama morta" is unable to alter this view. I will give it a pass when it comes to TC voting for this opera.

  9. #1837
    Senior Member bobleflaneur's Avatar
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    My thanks to RES and The Conte.

    I just sampled the new Warner 1953 online, and yes, it seems to be much better. Too bad they couldn't improve the Germont.

    I'll keep an eye out for the ebay issues of 1952 and 1955 that you mention. Perhaps they'll resume after the summer.

  10. #1838
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    Here is a very good news. It looks like our dearest and greatly missed Marschallin Blair is coming back soon from her long exile. Let's prepare to welcome her back to the forum.

  11. #1839
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panorama View Post
    Here is a very good news. It looks like our dearest and greatly missed Marschallin Blair is coming back soon from her long exile. Let's prepare to welcome her back to the forum.
    That's lovely news! Thanks for updating us. Marschallin has long been the life and soul of this thread. I enjoy her proverb-style commentaries especially. Looking very much forward to seeing her again here.

  12. #1840
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    Quote Originally Posted by plumblossom View Post
    That's lovely news! Thanks for updating us. Marschallin has long been the life and soul of this thread. I enjoy her proverb-style commentaries especially. Looking very much forward to seeing her again here.
    Even if she has been exiled to faraway outer Mongolia, MB has been able to catch up with what's going on here with global roaming set-up.

    Major events during the time she was away:

    1) arsvocalis released

    - the 1952 Mexico City La Traviata
    - the 1952 Mexico City Rigoletto
    - the 1957 La Scala Un ballo in Maschera

    (all transferred from BJR LPs)

    before going on extended sabbatical leave.


    2)
    - Macbeth (La Scala 1952)
    - Cavalleria Rusticana (EMI 1953)
    - I Puritani (EMI 1953)
    - I Pagliacci (EMI 1954)
    - La Forza del destino (EMI 1954)
    - La Sonnambula (Cologne 1957)
    - Un ballo in maschera (La Scala 1957)

    won the TC 2015 Most Recommended Opera CDs and DVDs voting.


    3) Diminuendo recently started a new thread on Callas, "La Divina", under OPERA. MB will surely grace the thread with her presence soon.
    Last edited by Panorama; Sep-01-2015 at 13:02.

  13. #1841
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panorama View Post
    Here is a very good news. It looks like our dearest and greatly missed Marschallin Blair is coming back soon from her long exile. Let's prepare to welcome her back to the forum.
    YAY!



    N.

  14. #1842
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    I BET it wasn't the Golden Melodram version which has quite tolerable sound.

    N.
    Yes but I believe this thread is about the EMI box.

  15. #1843
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Yes but I believe this thread is about the EMI box.
    Actually, no. It's about the newly re-mastered Warner box, though it's grown to include live recordings too, none of which are included in the Warner box.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  17. #1844
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Yes but I believe this thread is about the EMI box.
    This thread is about a lot more than a 'box set'.

    N.

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  19. #1845
    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    YAY!



    N.

    I LOVE YOU, CALLAS QUEENS!!!!- Each and Every 'ONE' of You!

    Pannie! Plummie! Contie!-

    'The Original Blair Witch' is back.

    - Or 'Prodigal Prom Queen' (thanks for that one, Becca).

    - Or 'Rhymes with Rich'

    - depending on how you look at it.

    <Moue.>

    Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Oh my God! You make me so happy. It's so great to finally be able to interact with you and all of the other Beautiful People in Callas Land.



    Have you seen these?:





    DIV-IN-A FOR-EV-A!!!!

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