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Thread: I never liked Callas' studio recording of this. Love the live Bel Raggio/Semiramide

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    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Default I never liked Callas' studio recording of this. Love the live Bel Raggio/Semiramide

    After Sutherland's tour de force Bel Raggio with perhaps the best high E of all time, Callas' studio recording was underwhelming to me. This version from a recital in 52 is almost as good as Dame Joan's and the coloratura is simply not to be believed:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX_J0RLWYFc. Enjoy. It is one of my favorite arias when done well. I love Ponselle, but am not impressed with her version. Horne's is spectacular.

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    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    After Sutherland's tour de force Bel Raggio with perhaps the best high E of all time, Callas' studio recording was underwhelming to me. This version from a recital in 52 is almost as good as Dame Joan's and the coloratura is simply not to be believed:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX_J0RLWYFc. Enjoy. It is one of my favorite arias when done well. I love Ponselle, but am not impressed with her version. Horne's is spectacular.


    Yeah it is definitely better than 1963-64 Rescigno CD version above when Maria was well past prime and she did not attempt the daring colortura and high notes found in her superior earlier 56 live Bel raggio you found (not 52 look closely at back of album).......a shame we don't have even earlier aria recording when she did the amazing 52 Rossini Armida recording sessions when no vocal challenge was passed over and her top note was devistating in power and amplitude.....

    Young Joan at her very best in 1960 performance taken from iconic Art of the Prima Donna CD set.....
    La Stupenda? yes, yes, yesssssssss

    Last edited by DarkAngel; Jul-05-2018 at 02:50.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    This is irrelevant, and probably irreverent, but does anyone else think that Rossini sounds like he's writing comic opera even when he isn't?

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    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    This is irrelevant, and probably irreverent, but does anyone else think that Rossini sounds like he's writing comic opera even when he isn't?
    Well, you have a point. Rossini was very, very talented, but he used and reused many of the same tricks of the musical trade over and over. My favorite is the steadily increasing excitement of the accompaniment. I never tire of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    This is irrelevant, and probably irreverent, but does anyone else think that Rossini sounds like he's writing comic opera even when he isn't?
    No, however this is a common criticism in the UK where people say the same thing about Donizetti. Whilst I know what you mean, I must have early nineteenth century ears as when I hear the opening bars of Lucia I can see the mists rising above the Scottish heaths. Similarly I find Rossini's dramatic music to be just that. It could easily be performed in a cutesy way (you could really milk 'alle piu care imagini' from semiramide and make it a playful flirtation duet), but as long as the performers play it straight then it works for me.

    N.

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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    This is irrelevant, and probably irreverent, but does anyone else think that Rossini sounds like he's writing comic opera even when he isn't?
    no. in fact, I'll go further, this more serious work is BETTER than his comedic work. I have a whole thread on this, but I'll provide a few examples below. the sense of COMMAND an expert interpreter of serious Rossini can bring to a performance is truly something special, and would not be mistaken for comedy by anyone.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf1C145JVT8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8DRNQGJvUk
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xTigL6FtWo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL2nZJ1BuPw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwCwNq43-ko
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qypV3IO29g

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