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Thread: What do you feel are Callas's top 5 recordings?

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Question What do you feel are Callas's top 5 recordings?

    As above........
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    Senior Member Op.123's Avatar
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    1) Lisbon Traviata or Covent Garden Traviata
    2) Paris debut
    3) Un Ballo in Maschera 1957
    4) Dallas Medea
    5) Madama Butterfly
    Last edited by Op.123; Jul-25-2016 at 20:59.
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    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    55 live La Scala

    52 live La Scala

    55 live La Scala

    53 studio La Scala


    57 live La Scala
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Jul-25-2016 at 19:45.

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Incidentally OperaDepot have a free download of Tosca with Callas and Di Stefano from Mexico 1952.
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    1. Lisbon Traviata, 1958
    2. La Sonnambula, 1955
    3. Chicago Medea 1958; 1960
    4. La Scala Norma 1955
    5. Macbeth, 1952 (Covent Garden I believe)


    Extras:
    1. Gioconda, 1959
    2. Norma, 1960
    3. Anna Bolena, 1957
    4. Dallas Rehearsals, 1957
    5. Il Pirata, 1957
    6. Il Barbierie di Sivglia; '54, '56, Chicago '59.
    7. Alceste, 1954

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaritoneAssoluto View Post
    1. Lisbon Traviata, 1958
    2. La Sonnambula, 1955
    3. Chicago Medea 1958; 1960
    4. La Scala Norma 1955
    5. Macbeth, 1952 (Covent Garden I believe)


    Extras:
    1. Gioconda, 1959
    2. Norma, 1960
    3. Anna Bolena, 1957
    4. Dallas Rehearsals, 1957
    5. Il Pirata, 1957
    6. Il Barbierie di Sivglia; '54, '56, Chicago '59.
    7. Alceste, 1954
    Hello Baritone,
    I think there may be some wishful thinking in your list:
    There are no recordings of Medea or Barbiere in Chicago with Callas
    Nor any Barbiere in '54 or '59 with Callas
    Also, some corrections, if I may:
    MacBeth was at LaScala, not CG
    The recorded Pirata was in 1959

    My vote for top 5 Callas recordings. It is always difficult to choose when it comes to Callas recordings. They are ALL essential!
    But for the sake of this thread I'll choose 5 that AT THIS TIME I find are at the top in no particular order.

    Medea: 1953 LaScala
    Anna Bolena: 1957 LaScala
    Il Trovatore: 1953 LaScala
    Norma:1952 Covent Garden
    MacBeth: 1952 LaScala

    Callas heard live is always more compelling, so there are no studio recording among my choices. My runners up could easily have been in the top 5 on a given day, for how could I give up the Nabucco, or Armida, or Vespri of her early days? Or the other Medeas, Normas, or indeed her Lucias or Traviatas?

    Runners up:
    Nabucco: 1949 Naples
    Vespri:1951 Florence
    Armida: 1952 Florence
    Medea: 1953 Florence
    Norma: 1955 LaScala
    Lucia: 1955 Berlin
    Sonnambula: 1957 Cologne
    Ballo: 1957 LaScala
    Medea: 1958 Dallas
    Traviata: 1952'Mexico
    Traviata:1958 Covent Garden

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    Senior Member Green pasture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaritoneAssoluto View Post
    1. Lisbon Traviata, 1958
    2. La Sonnambula, 1955
    3. Chicago Medea 1958; 1960
    4. La Scala Norma 1955
    5. Macbeth, 1952 (Covent Garden I believe)


    Extras:
    1. Gioconda, 1959
    2. Norma, 1960
    3. Anna Bolena, 1957
    4. Dallas Rehearsals, 1957
    5. Il Pirata, 1957
    6. Il Barbierie di Sivglia; '54, '56, Chicago '59.
    7. Alceste, 1954
    Dear BaritoneAssoluto:

    It's apparent that you urgently need a crash course on Callas' performance annals and the operatic and concert performances of hers that have been available on recordings. Please go to Frank Hamilton's website, which has a number of useful guides available for download:

    http://hamilton.francocorelli.nl/mc/index.html


    What stand to be corrected in your post:
    - Medea in 1958 took place in Dallas, not Chicago
    - No performance of Medea in 1960
    - Macbeth in 1952 took place at La Scala, Milan, not Covent Garden
    - Callas first sang in Il Pirata in 1958 (at La Scala, Milan)
    - Callas' one and only stage performance as Rosina in Barbiere took place at La Scala, Milan,
    in 1956. She made the studio recording of the opera for EMI in 1957.

    Need to be clarified: When you mentioned Barbiere '54, are you referring to her recording of "Una voce poco fa" in the Lyric and coloratura arias album made for EMI in 1954?


    Coming to my top 5 Callas recordings (in no particular order):
    1. La Traviata, Covent Garden, 1958
    2. Medea, Dallas, 1958
    3. Norma, La Scala, Milan, 1955
    4. Anna Bolena, La Scala, Milan, 1957
    5. Il Turco in Italia, 1954 (EMI) - if her interpretation of the sassy minx Fiorilla is not sheer genius, then I really don't know what it is.


    Runners up:
    1. Armida, Florence, 1952
    2. Macbeth, La Scala, Milan, 1952
    3. La Sonnambula, La Scala, Milan, 1955
    4. La Sonnambula, La Scala company on tour in Cologne, 1957
    5. La Gioconda, 1959 (EMI)
    6. Mad Scenes, 1958 (EMI)
    7. Il Trovatore, 1956 (EMI)
    8. Dallas rehearsal, 1957
    9. Norma, 1960 (EMI)
    10. The first recordings, 1949 (Cetra), especially the mad scene from I Puritani.
    11. Nabucco, Naples, 1949
    12. I Vespri Siciliani, Florence, 1951
    Last edited by Green pasture; Jul-26-2016 at 12:42.

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    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    For studio recitals two stand out as absolutely essential.......





    The descent into madness of lady MacBeth (Verdi heroines) in the "Una Macchia E Qui Tuttora" is so divinely vivid and compelling, she is completely inside the tortured soul of the character, it is absolutely untouchable.......brava to the great diva

    I am glad so many mentions of MacBeth and Anna Bolena in people's top five...........but no love for Lucia with great mad scence? (Callas the canary killer redefines the role)

    Last edited by DarkAngel; Jul-27-2016 at 01:17.

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  14. #9
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    For studio recitals two stand out as absolutely essential.......



    The descent into madness of lady MacBeth (Verdi heroines) in the "Una Macchia E Qui Tuttora" is so divinely vivid and compelling, she is completely inside the tortured soul of the character, it is absolutely untouchable.......brava to the great diva

    I am glad so many mentions of MacBeth and Anna Bolena in people's top five...........but no love for Lucia with great mad scence?
    I second this enthusiastically - the Sleepwalking Scene started me on Callas and opera.
    Now, if we're talking strictly STUDIO recordings, I love these best, again in no particular order:

    Verdi Heroines 1958
    Mad Scenes 1958
    Lucia 1953
    Cavalleria 1953
    Il Trovatore 1956

    Runners up:
    (In no particular order)
    Tosca 1953
    Lyric/Coloratura Arias 1954
    I Puritani 1953
    Madama Butterfly 1955
    Norma 1960
    Ballo 1956
    Barbiere 1957
    Rigoletto 1955
    Turco 1954

    I deleted the images, but they appeared anyway! Apologies.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by MAS; Jul-26-2016 at 17:29.

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