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Thread: Early Maria Callas Recordings

  1. #16
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    I guess I do have some early Callas with the "Live in Concert" that I posted in the initial post. It just arrived today and is wonderful! As can be seen in the back image below, it has the track 2 is 1951, tracks 3-6 are 1952, 7-10 are 1954, and then disc 2 is 1956-1959. The 1951 track is pretty poor sound quality, but fantastic singing.


    I do want that Aida though. I actually saw Aida in Detroit about 30 years ago. Can't remember if it was Michigan Opera Theater or the MET because I was attending both for a while.

    Is the one pictured above that I took my avatar from the best sound, or is this one better:
    To be honest, I don't think it will make much difference which version of that Aida you get. The sound isn't great on any I've heard, though a good deal better than the Proch Variations you mentioned.

    Congratulations on the new avatar by the way
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Feb-05-2015 at 10:57.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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






    That 'First Recordings' cd blows doors- especially the Norma and the Puritani.

    Another Callas perform
    ance from the same year which has Callas' voice at her most pristinely vivid and dramatic best- and with the widest range of sound- with chromatic glissandi and wild leaps that are ferociously superhuman and exquisitely inflected- and with deep thundering chest tones and the highest most piercingly-powerful high end I've ever heard- yes, even against vintage Sutherland- is her Abigaille from Nabucco.

    Check out "Guerrieri, e preso il tempio!" from Act I. Its dramantic, stentorian, and declamatory. Yet at the same time its suffused with finessing, supple, shaded, and vibrantly-colored perfection.

    I've really never heard anything like it.

    When Leonard Bernstein called Callas a "powerhouse" he was actually under exaggerating.


    A second for Callas's Abigaille. She never sang the role again, though she did re-visit Ben io t'invenni about 10 years later. By then, though, she has lost the ferocious security on high.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    How about this Aida set?
    "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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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    How about this Aida set?
    That's the studio recording - looks like a bootleg copy. I doubt the sound will be much good. Best to go for the Warner version or the first EMI pressing.




    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Feb-07-2015 at 20:38.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Think we talked about this one before, but it interests me as it has Callas and Sutherland together. What do you think of that?
    "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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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    Think we talked about this one before, but it interests me as it has Callas and Sutherland together. What do you think of that?
    Well Sutherland only sings the tiny role of the Priestess, so they don't actually sing together. This was issued on Testament, which is where you will find the best sound.

    I actually prefer the Mexico performance with Del Monaco and Dominguez and De Fabritiis in the pit, which is a bit more exciting - and which also has that spectacular high Eb in the Triumphal Scene.
    "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
    Well Sutherland only sings the tiny role of the Priestess, so they don't actually sing together. This was issued on Testament, which is where you will find the best sound.

    I actually prefer the Mexico performance with Del Monaco and Dominguez and De Fabritiis in the pit, which is a bit more exciting - and which also has that spectacular high Eb in the Triumphal Scene.
    aida callas.jpg

    I'm flush with expectation every time I put on Callas' second Mexico City performance of "Ritorna Vincitor" or her ending to the Triumphal Scene- with or without the glorious, piercing Eb. The drama has to be heard to be believed. No one sings it with such precision and inflected dramatic intensity. Absolutely thrilling. I think I have a slightly radioactive glow after every time I hear it.
    Last edited by Marschallin Blair; Feb-10-2015 at 21:35.
    "Let me have my own way in exactly everything, and a sunnier and more pleasant creature does not exist." - Thomas Carlyle

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    Senior Member Headphone Hermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marschallin Blair View Post
    I think I have a slightly radioactive glow
    that could be prolonged use of hair-dyes or over-doing the cosmetics
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Berlioz, 1856

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  15. #24
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    Think we talked about this one before, but it interests me as it has Callas and Sutherland together. What do you think of that?
    Incidentally, Florestan, this is the cover of the Testament issue, which has the best sound for this Covent Garden Aida

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

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  17. #25
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    image.jpg
    Florestan,
    You might also try I Vespri Siciliani - Florence 1951. Callas' success in this role caused Ghiringhelli to finally hire her as a regular member of La Scala. She is in riveting form. The Testament recording is from a tape made for Walter Legge, who later became the man behind Callas' EMI recordings. Legge was only interested in the singer (s), so the Overture is missing.
    Last edited by MAS; Apr-27-2015 at 14:51.

  18. #26
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Another one of Callas' great nights at La Scala. December 7, 1952, still fat-voiced.

    image.jpg image.jpg
    The EMI includes a libretto.
    Last edited by MAS; Apr-27-2015 at 16:21.

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