Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 46

Thread: I feel bad because I don't love Callas more

  1. #16
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,339
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    Don't worry you still have four days left of Lent to repent for this!

    I know you aren't as interested in post 1952 Callas, but what about going for some very late Callas and giving the 1969 Verdi arias a listen? The voice is no longer there, but Callas tries to convince us with artistry alone and although she recorded these arias before she finds new insights with a fresh interpretation necessitated by her lack of vocal security.

    Alternatively give the RAI recitals (in best sound on the Gala label) a spin!

    N.
    You just killed me.
    What works for me is to take off several months, go back to her and be blown completely away. I did spend many years rather firmly in the Callas camp, but my tastes have changed. An earlier person who posted in this thread voiced a big regret of mine. Almost all of the recordings of her in prime voice other than the first Norma were all in rather poorly recorded live recordings... especially Armida. Even with the mono sound a studio recording from then would have been a big boon to her fans. Thanks for writing. I do like some later studio recordings. I am blanking on the I believe early Verdi aria that blows me away from this period where at the end of the aria she does a gorgeous run from up high to the very bottom of the voice and everything is PERFECT.
    BTW, I have two speeches that I did on Callas For my Toastmaster clubsI've posted to Youtube so you can see I am interested.
    Last edited by Seattleoperafan; Apr-16-2019 at 02:21.

  2. Likes The Conte liked this post
  3. #17
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    La Scala
    Posts
    3,614
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    ^^^^ I don't really hear a drop-off in overall vocal quality or limits to her technique until after Maria's 55 seasons, and in fact between her weight loss and thru 1955 her artistry is in sharper focus and she had the confidence and swagger of being queen of La Scala performing with maximum total dramatic impact, her 55 live performances are beyond compare really (Norma, Lucia, Traviata etc)

    Also after the 1953 contract with Legge/EMI she was provided best available casts and sound recording capabilities available for studio albums.....

    Even after 1955 she could have nights when all the stars aligned and the opera gods where at her back and she produced almost untouchable performances......one that comes to mind is live 57 Anna Bolena at La Scala, how could one surpass such artistry as displayed here, never has the betrayed queen truely come to life on stage as here......be patient SOF, Rome (and Callas love) was not built in a day




    Can you listen to this without being brought to near tears, Maria in complete command with technique and heartbreaking emotion, truely La Divina......

    Last edited by DarkAngel; Apr-16-2019 at 05:06.

  4. Likes Woodduck, Tsaraslondon, The Conte and 2 others liked this post
  5. #18
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Next to Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    12,030
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    The acting is great. The early voice is great. But after I listened to her enough I started thinking she sounded like she was singing though a wad of chaw. Lucia Aliberti seems to do that too. I sure it is 90% my imagination, but ruined it for me.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  6. Likes Seattleoperafan liked this post
  7. #19
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,089
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    I greatly admire your opinions. I can understand your point of view. I have gone through periods of being blown away with Callas... often for many years.But Sutherland, who some consider a boring singing machine, is as they say in sports " my home team".
    Then Callas must be mine.

    I did go through a period when I tried to like Sutherland more, and I listened to her quite a lot. I still think her Bel raggio on The Art of the Prima Donna is absolutey spectacular, but, for the most part, her mannerisms just irritate me. People usually use the word "mannered" pejoratively in discussions of Schwarzkopf, but her "mannerisms" rarely bother me, whereas Sutherland's (the mushy diction, the weak lower register, the moony, droopy portamenti) decidely do, and I find it hard to become involved in her performaces for that reason. Whereas I can perfectly understand why so many are bowled over by her voice and vocalism, I suppose I just have other priorities.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

  8. Likes Becca, Itullian, brunumb and 1 others liked this post
  9. #20
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,339
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    Then Callas must be mine.

    I did go through a period when I tried to like Sutherland more, and I listened to her quite a lot. I still think her Bel raggio on The Art of the Prima Donna is absolutey spectacular, but, for the most part, her mannerisms just irritate me. People usually use the word "mannered" pejoratively in discussions of Schwarzkopf, but her "mannerisms" rarely bother me, whereas Sutherland's (the mushy diction, the weak lower register, the moony, droopy portamenti) decidely do, and I find it hard to become involved in her performaces for that reason. Whereas I can perfectly understand why so many are bowled over by her voice and vocalism, I suppose I just have other priorities.
    Just because we both have ears doesn't mean we hear the same way.I celebrate our differences! I can understand your point of view on La Stupenda.

  10. Likes The Conte liked this post
  11. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    2,029
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    Then Callas must be mine.

    I did go through a period when I tried to like Sutherland more, and I listened to her quite a lot. I still think her Bel raggio on The Art of the Prima Donna is absolutey spectacular, but, for the most part, her mannerisms just irritate me. People usually use the word "mannered" pejoratively in discussions of Schwarzkopf, but her "mannerisms" rarely bother me, whereas Sutherland's (the mushy diction, the weak lower register, the moony, droopy portamenti) decidely do, and I find it hard to become involved in her performaces for that reason. Whereas I can perfectly understand why so many are bowled over by her voice and vocalism, I suppose I just have other priorities.
    I go through phases with Sutherland. She's someone of whom I usually prefer the earlier recordings. I am not as bothered by her lack of diction and crooning (which came in part way into her career). She was a phenomenon and it must have been wonderful being in the house to hear a voice of that size AND flexibility. My reservation with Sutherland is that she is often bland dramatically. In some ways she is better heard in coloratura show piece arias (whereas Callas is better in complete roles). Sutherland stuns with a run or a fast volley of notes, whereas Callas stuns with the delivery of two words on three notes due to the inflection and colouring of her tone. Both are amazing in their own way.

    The studio recordings I like that Sutherland recorded tend to be those where neither Callas or Caballe recorded the opera. The one exception to that is Sutherland's second Norma where her voice is past its best, however she is totally committed to the role and it's one of her best performances from a dramatic point of view.

    So here's a question SOF, what's your favourite recording of Anna Bolena? As DarkAngel has mentioned Callas' live recording is an example of her at her best, whereas Sutherland's was unfortunately caught far too late in her career. Which do you prefer, Callas in her prime or Sutherland past hers? (I know that's an unfair comparison, but I'm just wondering how far your love of Sutherland goes. I would rather listen to Sutherland's Prima Donna recital rather than the Callas/Di Stefano duets from '72.)

    N.

  12. Likes DarkAngel liked this post
  13. #22
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,339
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    I go through phases with Sutherland. She's someone of whom I usually prefer the earlier recordings. I am not as bothered by her lack of diction and crooning (which came in part way into her career). She was a phenomenon and it must have been wonderful being in the house to hear a voice of that size AND flexibility. My reservation with Sutherland is that she is often bland dramatically. In some ways she is better heard in coloratura show piece arias (whereas Callas is better in complete roles). Sutherland stuns with a run or a fast volley of notes, whereas Callas stuns with the delivery of two words on three notes due to the inflection and colouring of her tone. Both are amazing in their own way.

    The studio recordings I like that Sutherland recorded tend to be those where neither Callas or Caballe recorded the opera. The one exception to that is Sutherland's second Norma where her voice is past its best, however she is totally committed to the role and it's one of her best performances from a dramatic point of view.

    So here's a question SOF, what's your favourite recording of Anna Bolena? As DarkAngel has mentioned Callas' live recording is an example of her at her best, whereas Sutherland's was unfortunately caught far too late in her career. Which do you prefer, Callas in her prime or Sutherland past hers? (I know that's an unfair comparison, but I'm just wondering how far your love of Sutherland goes. I would rather listen to Sutherland's Prima Donna recital rather than the Callas/Di Stefano duets from '72.)

    N.
    I will say that whereas she is not at her best in her recordings of Anna, in the video clips on Youtube she is fabulous both in the concert and full opera version. She was around 60 and in great voice as well as dramativally. In my Youtube talk on Sutherland I used a clip from Anna Bolena and everyone went crazy. I can listen to it over and over and over.I can understand the preference for early Sutherland, but I like the darker, rounder voice up to about age 61. I never heard her in a house, but I prefer the steely D's from this period to the Eb's earlier. The vibrato is more distinct. She was very much a dramatic soprano in this era of her career. You will ask that I be barred from this forum when I say I never have heard Callas's Anna Bolena. I tend not to like her later work. I know that is unforgivable.
    j

  14. #23
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    La Scala
    Posts
    3,614
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    So here's a question SOF, what's your favourite recording of Anna Bolena? As DarkAngel has mentioned Callas' live recording is an example of her at her best, whereas Sutherland's was unfortunately caught far too late in her career. Which do you prefer, Callas in her prime or Sutherland past hers? (I know that's an unfair comparison, but I'm just wondering how far your love of Sutherland goes. I would rather listen to Sutherland's Prima Donna recital rather than the Callas/Di Stefano duets from '72.)
    I choose the 57 live Anna Bolena because as good as the studio opera and studio recitals are Maria could push herself to more daring colortura live with a supportive crowd and secure voice Callas would go where eagles dare. The live "al dolce guidami" youtube more sublimely heartbreaking and the searing sustained high notes with scale runs before and after surpass the famous studio complete "Mad Scences" version (itself nearly untouchable)




    BTW for me it is not a "zero sum game" I don't like Tebaldi, Price, Sutherland, Moffo etc any less than before......its just that my Callas love seems endless the more I listen to her prime performances
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Apr-17-2019 at 05:27.

  15. Likes Tsaraslondon, Diminuendo liked this post
  16. #24
    Senior Member SalieriIsInnocent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Vagabond
    Posts
    690
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I was a hard sell on Callas, and I don't think it was that her singing wasn't something I considered gorgeous. I always loved her voice, but her popularity kind of soured me on her name. She'd been put on this pedestal and it's hard to really see the natural brilliance with that shine of admiration beaming on her name. It was the same with Pavarotti and Lanza. Both were these figures that reminded me more of a Liberace than the real deal, even if I thought their voices were great.

    As the years have progressed, I have really grown to appreciate these singers as singers. Sadly with Callas and Lanza, I feel they didn't get the productions their voices deserved. We've got these great samples of their talents, but they're just snippets. Lanza passed at the height of his talents, and Callas withdrew. Many argue she lost her vocal power, but the more I read about her, I think Callas' biggest enemy was Maria. She became this name that she had to live up to.

    I've heard many post weight-loss recordings from her, and think she still had a wonderful voice. There was probably a lot more going on than voice issues. But that's a long source of debate and speculation.

    It took a while for me to stubbornly give the lady the appreciation she deserved. A "vocal goddess, above all others"? Perhaps not. A wonderful Soprano who represents a major shift in operatic performance? Absolutely! I adore the voice, and the more I hear about what kind of person Maria was, I can appreciate Callas more.

  17. Likes Tsaraslondon, Fritz Kobus, Woodduck and 1 others liked this post
  18. #25
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,339
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SalieriIsInnocent View Post
    I was a hard sell on Callas, and I don't think it was that her singing wasn't something I considered gorgeous. I always loved her voice, but her popularity kind of soured me on her name. She'd been put on this pedestal and it's hard to really see the natural brilliance with that shine of admiration beaming on her name. It was the same with Pavarotti and Lanza. Both were these figures that reminded me more of a Liberace than the real deal, even if I thought their voices were great.

    As the years have progressed, I have really grown to appreciate these singers as singers. Sadly with Callas and Lanza, I feel they didn't get the productions their voices deserved. We've got these great samples of their talents, but they're just snippets. Lanza passed at the height of his talents, and Callas withdrew. Many argue she lost her vocal power, but the more I read about her, I think Callas' biggest enemy was Maria. She became this name that she had to live up to.

    I've heard many post weight-loss recordings from her, and think she still had a wonderful voice. There was probably a lot more going on than voice issues. But that's a long source of debate and speculation.

    It took a while for me to stubbornly give the lady the appreciation she deserved. A "vocal goddess, above all others"? Perhaps not. A wonderful Soprano who represents a major shift in operatic performance? Absolutely! I adore the voice, and the more I hear about what kind of person Maria was, I can appreciate Callas more.
    Well thought out. I think another big factor was she had worked very, very hard for years and had put her personal life on hold. She was performing hard from around 20, living for music. When she met Ari she was dazzled by this glamorous man who was rich as Croesus and supposedly a prodigious lover and she was more interested in being a woman than a hard working operatic workhorse. Add all that to the fact that her voice was not working for her the way it once was and ir iS easy to see why she favored the casinos at Monte Carlo over La Scala.
    Last edited by Seattleoperafan; Apr-17-2019 at 10:11.

  19. Likes Fritz Kobus, Woodduck liked this post
  20. #26
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,089
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    I never have heard Callas's Anna Bolena. I tend not to like her later work. I know that is unforgivable.
    j
    You should. She was in fine voice for that live performance right up to a stunning top D in the finale of Act I, and the sound, especially in its Divina incarnation, is pretty good.

    In Opera on Record 3, Richard Fairman writes,

    Almost alone of latter-day artsts, she has the power to grasp the emotional crux of every line and put it across. Like her predecessor [Pasta], Callas is also economical in means. There is no place for melodrama or dazzling ornamentation, the easy effects of those who have followed her. It is rather an instinctive feel for the music that shapes her performance. No detail is false to the overall conception; in drama and vocal colour she is wholly consistent, always weighty in timbre, rich in sovereign authority. When the conductor Rescigno asked her after a concert why she had shaped a phrase of this role in a certain way, Callas remarked simply, 'Because she is a queen'. Donizetti's Anna Bolena has been reborn. In the autumn of 1958 she made a commercial recording of the final scene. This is a most accomplished piece of singing. Her command of the bel canto line is supreme and in the rising turns of Al dolce guidami the covered tone is so expressive as to suggest some uncanny distant voice singing from the depths of Anna's soul. It recalls, perhaps inevitably, one of Chorley's descriptions of Pasta. 'There were a breadth, an expressiveness in her roulades, which imparted to every passage a significance totally beyond the reach of lighter, more spontaneous singers... The greatest grace of all, depth and reality of expression was possessed by this remarkable artist.' It is not enough for other singers to take up forgotten bel canto works just for the sake of novelty.These operas do have dramatic power; they will respond to serious study and devotion. Callas has established a tradition for others to follow.
    This is something Caballé aknowledged when she said

    She opened a new door for us, for all the singers in the world, a door that had been closed. Behind it was sleeping not only great music but great ideas of interpretation. She has given us the chance, those who follow her, to do things that were hardly possible before her. That I am compared with Callas is something I never dared to dream. It is not right. I am much smaller than Callas.
    In invoking the name of Giuditta Pasta, Fairman seeks to remind us that Donizetti wrote Anna Bolena specifically for her, as did Bellini Norma and La Sonnambula. Descriptions by contemporaries Stendahl and Chorley would suggest that, like Callas, this great artist's voice was not without its faults, but that its dramatic power was unparalleled.

    It was the 1957 Callas/Visconti/Gavazzeni/La Scala production of Anna Bolena which really started the bel canto revival. Reviews appeared in the international press, and the respected British magazine Opera dedicated seven pages of its June 1957 edition to a review by Desmond Shawe-Taylor.

    The opera was heavily cut by Gavazzeni and, aside from Giulietta Simionato as Giovanna, the rest of the cast (Nicola Rossi-Lemeni as Enrico, Gianni Raimondi as Percy) is adequate rather than inspired, but it is a major milestone in operatic history, and should be heard by anyone interested in bel canto opera.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Apr-17-2019 at 17:01.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

  21. Likes DarkAngel, Seattleoperafan, Woodduck and 1 others liked this post
  22. #27
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    La Scala
    Posts
    3,614
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Her voice type was what could be called a soprano sfogato. It was described by Stendhal as follows:

    She can achieve perfect resonance on a note as low as bottom A, and can rise as high as C, or even to a slightly sharpened D; and she possesses the rare ability to be able to sing contralto as easily as she can sing soprano. I would suggest ... that the true designation of her voice is mezzo-soprano, and any composer who writes for her should use the mezzo-soprano range for the thematic material of his music, while still exploiting, as it were incidentally and from time to time, notes which lie within the more peripheral areas of this remarkably rich voice. Many notes of this last category are not only extremely fine in themselves, but have the ability to produce a kind of resonant and magnetic vibration, which, through some still unexplained combination of physical phenomena, exercises an instantaneous and hypnotic effect upon the soul of the spectator.This leads to the consideration of one of the most uncommon features of Madame Pasta's voice: it is not all moulded from the same metallo, as it is said in Italy (which is to say that it possesses more than one timbre); and this fundamental variety of tone produced by a single voice affords one of the richest veins of musical expression which the artistry of a great cantatrice is able to exploit.[7]
    Thank you GM for bringing up Miss Pasta who premiered many of the great Bel Canto operas we know today, we have no recordings to draw from since she retired from stage by 1840 well before any acoustic recording technology so we have only written accounts of her voice & performances.

    Above voice description from Wiki Music and we can recognize the resemblance to Maria's own unique sound especially the change in tone/timbre from lower range to the top allowing a large variance in sound which can be artistically used to great effect by a gifted singer......

    Pasta as Anna Bolena 1830

    BTW another unique feature of Maria's voice is the size and projected power of the high notes, most singers as the voice moves up the scale naturally becomes smaller and sharper sounding, Maria somehow can maintain size and amplitude up the scale producing climaxes of devastating power when called for........
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Apr-17-2019 at 15:56.

  23. Likes Woodduck, Tsaraslondon, Diminuendo liked this post
  24. #28
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,175
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    Thank you GM for bringing up Miss Pasta who premiered many of the great Bel Canto operas we know today, we have no recordings to draw from since she retired from stage by 1835 well before any acoustic recording technology so we have only written accounts of her voice & performances.


    Pasta as Norma
    The photo is Rosa Ponselle.

  25. #29
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    La Scala
    Posts
    3,614
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    The photo is Rosa Ponselle.
    Corrected picture posted

  26. Likes Woodduck liked this post
  27. #30
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,175
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    Corrected picture posted
    Rosa and Giuditta convey their thanks.

  28. Likes Tsaraslondon, The Conte liked this post
Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •