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Thread: Looking for recommendations for a La Sonnambula CD

  1. #16
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    Well I am more inclined to get the studio Callas CD than the remaster. The live version I have is not that bad really, and after listing to it last night I gained a much better appreciation of it.
    I'm not sure what you mean here. If you want to get the Callas studio version then it sounds much better in the Warner re-master than in the Callas Edition one you posted. The Callas Edition issues are generally inferior to anything that went before and to the Warner re-masters that came later. Itullian posted the studio set with the cover from the first CD issue, which is also good, I believe.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

  2. #17
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    I misunderstood. I thought the remaster was of the live performance.

    So the green and black cover edition you posted is the studio remaster and better than the black cover I posted? Okay, that is very good info to know. If I am going for sound quality then should shoot for the very best. And this would be good so I can drink in the full impact of Maria Callas' voice both live and in studio.

    The other option for me, since I have a Callas Sonnambula, is to get a CD of Callas singing a variety of arias. Any recommendations for that would be appreciated too. Again, great sound quality being an important factor.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Fritz Kobus; Dec-17-2014 at 18:13.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  3. #18
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    I misunderstood. I thought the remaster was of the live performance.

    So the green and black cover edition you posted is the studio remaster and better than the black cover I posted? Okay, that is very good info to know. If I am going for sound quality then should shoot for the very best. And this would be good so I can drink in the full impact of Maria Callas' voice both live and in studio.

    The other option for me, since I have a Callas Sonnambula, is to get a CD of Callas singing a variety of arias. Any recommendations for that would be appreciated too. Again, great sound quality being an important factor.

    Thanks!


    One of the greatest recital discs ever recorded (that is no exaggeration).



    No other singer comes within a mile of her Lady Macbeth



    A little later, and vocal deterioration is a little more advanced, but musical genius remains undimmed.



    Recorded to show of her versatility, which it most assuredly does.



    Callas at her vocal peak - the Mad Scene from I Puritani is beyond brilliant.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post


    One of the greatest recital discs ever recorded (that is no exaggeration).



    No other singer comes within a mile of her Lady Macbeth



    A little later, and vocal deterioration is a little more advanced, but musical genius remains undimmed.



    Recorded to show of her versatility, which it most assuredly does.



    Callas at her vocal peak - the Mad Scene from I Puritani is beyond brilliant.
    I love the content of this post.

    I love the large and beautiful pictures used for the post.

    And I love you for making the post.

    Mwwaaaaaaah!
    Last edited by Marschallin Blair; Dec-17-2014 at 18:46.

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  6. #20
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    I will be checking these four CDs out on allmusic to hear clips and then consider which to buy and/or to buy the remastered studio Sonnambula. Ah, so many decisions. I figure if my goal (pseudo New Year's Resolution) is to spend only 1/4 as much on CDs in 2015 as in 2014 or about $21 per month, then like the alcoholic who goes on one last bender before the new year where he has resolved to keep it down to 2 drinks per day, so I have to grab a couple more CDs before the new year!

    Ah well, it's only money, eh? And chances are it will be worth less tomorrow than it is today (in fact economics and the time value of money say so). Therefore may as well invest in something of lasting beauty.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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  8. #21
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    With the holiday rush, I totally forgot about this thread and the recommendations above. Today I made a quick trip to Dearborn Music and was holding a Cecilia Bartoli CD when I spied a section on Maria Callas. I sorted through about 10 used Callas CDs (including the Mad Scenes one posted above) and pulled out Maria Callas Live in Paris 1958. It looked like a treausre. I walked over to the CD players and listened to about 5 seconds of Maria in the first track and knew I was going to buy it. Being in a hurry, I tossed the Bartoli CD back (I already have a Bardoli aria CD and here Cenerentola anyway), and bought the Callas CD. I am pleased to say it is astoundingly beautiful. What an amazing voice! Thanks for turning me on to Callas.

    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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  10. #22
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    With the holiday rush, I totally forgot about this thread and the recommendations above. Today I made a quick trip to Dearborn Music and was holding a Cecilia Bartoli CD when I spied a section on Maria Callas. I sorted through about 10 used Callas CDs (including the Mad Scenes one posted above) and pulled out Maria Callas Live in Paris 1958. It looked like a treausre. I walked over to the CD players and listened to about 5 seconds of Maria in the first track and knew I was going to buy it. Being in a hurry, I tossed the Bartoli CD back (I already have a Bardoli aria CD and here Cenerentola anyway), and bought the Callas CD. I am pleased to say it is astoundingly beautiful. What an amazing voice! Thanks for turning me on to Callas.

    There is a DVD of this concert too. She's even better when seen.

    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

  11. #23
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Thanks for the recommendation. I think it is this one on You Tube. I can pick up a used copy for $5-6 but my listening time if limied (still have to watch that second disc of Meistersinger that I bought a couple months+ ago).

    I am curious whether any of my favorite operas are out with Maria Callas on DVD (I doubt it but will ask anyway):

    Fidelio, Cenerentola, Sonnambula, La Fille du Regiment, Martha, and La Serva Padrona.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  12. #24
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    Thanks for the recommendation. I think it is this one on You Tube. I can pick up a used copy for $5-6 but my listening time if limied (still have to watch that second disc of Meistersinger that I bought a couple months+ ago).

    I am curious whether any of my favorite operas are out with Maria Callas on DVD (I doubt it but will ask anyway):

    Fidelio, Cenerentola, Sonnambula, La Fille du Regiment, Martha, and La Serva Padrona.
    The only DVD of Callas performing in staged opera (as opposed to in concert) are two different versions of Act II of Tosca. The one from Paris noted above, and a Covent Garden performance of 1964. Though her voice is in decline, the performance is electrifying, the rapport between her and Gobbi mesmerising. Operatic acting and singing of the highest order.



    Callas never sang Cenerentola, La Fille du Regiment, Martha or La Serva Padrona, though she recorded arias from Cenerentola and La Fille du Regiment. She only sang Fidelio once, and that was in Greece (and in Greek) before her international career took off.

    As you know she sang the role of Amina many times, but again there is no film of her singing the role. She did however, late in her career, sing Amina's Oh se una volta and Ah non credea on TV in France. Her voice is threadbare and thin, and she has to tread carefully and she is dressed elegantly and beautifully coiffed. Without the aid of costume or scenery, though, she somehow transforms herself into the sad, pathetic young girl Amina, all without hardly moving a muscle. I know of very few artists (actors or singers) who can do this seemingly at will.

    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Jan-05-2015 at 10:23.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  14. #25
    Senior Member Headphone Hermit's Avatar
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    I'm surprised no-one (on this thread) has urged you to go for the Callas 'live' set from Koln. I picked this up from a charity shop last week for 99p (hahaha!) and it is thrilling throughout.

    Second 'Best Buy' is the Callas 'live' recording on Testament from Edinburgh - I think this has the edge on the Koln set for the atmosphere of the recording, but the Koln recording is (probably) better from Callas in many places

    After that, I'd go for the Callas versions mentioned by Greg .... and steer clear of Sutherland for this role entirely
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Berlioz, 1856

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Headphone Hermit View Post
    I'm surprised no-one (on this thread) has urged you to go for the Callas 'live' set from Koln. I picked this up from a charity shop last week for 99p (hahaha!) and it is thrilling throughout.

    Second 'Best Buy' is the Callas 'live' recording on Testament from Edinburgh - I think this has the edge on the Koln set for the atmosphere of the recording, but the Koln recording is (probably) better from Callas in many places

    After that, I'd go for the Callas versions mentioned by Greg .... and steer clear of Sutherland for this role entirely
    That's because Florestan already has the live Koln recording. We'd discussed this in an earlier post.

    I'd agree that the Koln performance represents Callas at her best in the role. I prefer it even to the thrilling 1955 version from La Scala with Bernstein.

    The Edinburgh I find rather disappointing. The sound is better than either Koln 1957 and La Scala 1955, but she was in poor health and it often shows. I find the studio performance, which obviously has the best sound of the lot, preferable.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

  16. #27
    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    That's because Florestan already has the live Koln recording. We'd discussed this in an earlier post.

    I'd agree that the Koln performance represents Callas at her best in the role. I prefer it even to the thrilling 1955 version from La Scala with Bernstein.

    The Edinburgh I find rather disappointing. The sound is better than either Koln 1957 and La Scala 1955, but she was in poor health and it often shows. I find the studio performance, which obviously has the best sound of the lot, preferable.


    "Garcon, make that deux Kolns at this table. Merci."

  17. #28
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Yes I have the Cologne performance and after a couple listens to Live in Paris 1958, I listened to the Cologne performance again and it registered even more meaningfully with me. Regardless of sound quality, it is a magnificent performance.

    I will have to seriously consider the remastered studio performance, and wrote down the recommendations for aria compilations that were given above so that next time I go to Dearborn Music I will have more focus. Nice that they have so many used Callas CDs there.

    Ah, the DVD is a great temptation. For $5 I should just do it, eh?

    Again, I appreciate all the help you have given here, especially Marschallin and GregMitchell.

    Those would be worth getting:
    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    Callas ... recorded arias from Cenerentola and La Fille du Regiment.
    That would be wonderful:
    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    Von Stade sang this version at Covent Garden once. Too bad she didn't record it. I'd have thought she'd have been ideal.
    I read that Maria Callas did not move her mouth that much when singing (unlike the facial contortions of Bartoli ) and I noticed in my Cenerentola DVD that Von Stade does not move her mouth much either--yet sings magnificently!

    What is it about Callas? There are so many issues of the same performance and a plethora of CDS out there. It is very confusing shopping for Callas CDs. Look here is another, apparently obscure, release of the Cologne live performance (or is it?) with bonus tracks from the Bernstein performance:



    Still, I think I have the nicest cover for that performance:



    Other than that, since I have Devia, Callas, Mei (DVD) and Luba Orgonasova Sonnambulas, what other great voice am I missing from my Sonnambula collection?
    Last edited by Fritz Kobus; Jan-05-2015 at 18:06.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  18. #29
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    I wish there was a Anna Moffo studio Sonnambula, I have heard live tracks and she is very capable Amina......
    This has one track from La Sonnambula. Might be worth getting. I watched her La Serva Padrona on You Tube and she sings very beautifully. I heard that she pushed her voice later in her career and ruined it though.

    1. La Boheme: Quando m'en vo' (Musetta's Waltz Song) - Anna Moffo/Rolando Panerai/Carlo Badioli/Maria Callas/Giuseppe di Stefano/Manuel Spatafora...
    2. Le Nozze di Figaro: Voi che sapete
    3. Le Nozze di Figaro: Non so piu
    4. Don Giovanni: Vedrai, carino
    5. Die Zauberflote: Ach, ich fuhl's
    6. Cosi fan tutte: In uomini, in soldati
    7. Exsultate, jubilate, K.165: Allelujah
    8. Lucia di Lammermoor: Il dolce suono... Ardon gl'incensi (Mad Scene)
    9. Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Una voce poco fa
    10. I Puritani: Qui la voce... Vien, diletto
    11. La Sonnambula: Ah! non credea mirarti... Ah! non giunge
    12. Rigoletto: Gualtier Malde... Caro nome
    13. La Traviata: E strano... Ah, fors' e lui... Sempre libera
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  19. #30
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Perhaps I should get one of these:

    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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