Author Topic: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD  (Read 386135 times)

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #640 on: August 13, 2021, 01:59:20 AM »


Probably best avoided by anyone who doesn't have a sweet tooth, but those of us who enjoy whipped cream desserts can dive in with relish. Moffo sensuously croons her way through these gorgeous confections, with Stokowski ramping up the lush, romanticism. The effect is undeniably beautiful and I really enjoy the sticky sweetness of these delectable bonbons, but they won't be to everyone's taste.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #641 on: August 14, 2021, 08:33:18 AM »


In theory this compilation of 3 different recitals ought not to detain us long. The sound in tracks 1-5 is fairly primitive, verging on the atrocious (orch. cond. by Georges Prêtre in RFH, London, Febr. 1962). That of the following tracks (also with Prêtre, this time in ROHCG later that year) is much better, if obviously not of studio quality. Then come 3 tracks with Malcolm Sargent on the piano from May 1961.

Callas is in good voice in the first recital from 02.1962, but anything sung forte in the mid and high registers is a trial - sometimes won, sometimes lost. The diva’s artistry and communicating powers are still intact though. The tape of La luce langue is incomplete, missing the end of the aria.

Among the 3 sung items in the second portion of the disc from November 1962, the Habanera and Séguedille from Carmen find her in excellent voice and full command of all her registers. I’ve always felt her assumption of the gipsy girl somewhat of a curate’s egg: flighty, easily angered and when so, pretty venomous. IOW impressive but charmless. Here her portrayal is outstandingly in character, alluring and bewitching both vocally and histrionically. I’ll keep this disc for these stunning tracks.

The piano recital OTOH is an outright disaster. The voice in May 1961 was in a parlous state and she acts with it like a silent movie vamp. She is not helped by Sargent’s unsubtle, theatrical way with the music. Two of the items duplicate other tracks on the disc. Furthermore 2 of the arias are incomplete (the tape simply stops). Why was this issued in the first place ? Callas heirs should sue EMI for that travesty of her art.

Honestly, only tracks 6-10 should be heard. They are Tu che le vanita from Don Carlos and the Carmen excerpts - the other 2 are orchestral bits from the opera separating the two Carmen arias. It would seem that Callas’ voice at the time was quite unreliable, something that must have frayed her nerves a lot, obviously not helping her condition. The best items are the last ones, from the end of 1962. It could be that she had worked on her instrument, or rested - or both.

Offline JBS

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #642 on: August 14, 2021, 09:39:21 AM »
I have that as part of this.

I don't particularly remember those recitals, but there is a batch of stuff from London in 1958/59 in which the sound was far worse. I remember describing it as sounding like the microphones had been put inside a full bathtub located two floors down and at the opposite end of the building.

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #643 on: August 15, 2021, 12:02:30 AM »
The best live Callas recital material is on this two disc set, which also has excellent sound.



However, if hard to find, most of the material is on this set



which, unbelievably, is available as a free download from https://divinarecords.com/maria-callas-soprano-assoluta-bjr-143/.

Full details, and a review, are on my blog http://tsaraslondon.com/2019/06/13/maria-callas-soprano-assoluta/
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #644 on: August 15, 2021, 02:22:35 AM »
The best live Callas recital material is on this two disc set, which also has excellent sound.



However, if hard to find, most of the material is on this set



which, unbelievably, is available as a free download from https://divinarecords.com/maria-callas-soprano-assoluta-bjr-143/.

Full details, and a review, are on my blog http://tsaraslondon.com/2019/06/13/maria-callas-soprano-assoluta/
Regarding the 2-CD set at the top, what label is that on?

I have six boxed sets (purchased ages ago) on CED called "The Callas Edition" which is a combo of live recordings plus interviews which I had fun listening to in the past (haven't done so recently) plus DVD "Maria Callas in Concert:  Hamburg, 1959 and 1962); EMI's Maria Callas in Conversation with Edward Downes; EMI's "The Voice. The Story" and also EMI's "Master Class".  Have you heard the CED releases TL?  If so, how would you compare the sound to the comparable EMI releases?  As an aside, interviews of her are quite enlightening and often very amusing to listen to.  :)

PD

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #645 on: August 15, 2021, 02:49:11 AM »
Regarding the 2-CD set at the top, what label is that on?

I have six boxed sets (purchased ages ago) on CED called "The Callas Edition" which is a combo of live recordings plus interviews which I had fun listening to in the past (haven't done so recently) plus DVD "Maria Callas in Concert:  Hamburg, 1959 and 1962); EMI's Maria Callas in Conversation with Edward Downes; EMI's "The Voice. The Story" and also EMI's "Master Class".  Have you heard the CED releases TL?  If so, how would you compare the sound to the comparable EMI releases?  As an aside, interviews of her are quite enlightening and often very amusing to listen to.  :)

PD

It's on the Gala label. I don't think I've come across the CED label.

A great deal of interview material is available on Youtube now, but I do have most of EMI's DVD releases. Of the greatest interest is "The Callas Conversations" where she is interviewed by Lord Harewood. They were originally shown on BBC, I believe.

\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #646 on: September 12, 2021, 02:05:46 AM »


When I did my ]survey of recordings of Berlioz's Les Nuits d'Eté a couple of months ago (http://tsaraslondon.com/2021/07/07/berliozs-les-nuits-dete/), I hadn't heard Von Stade's version, which was Ralph Moore's favourite in his excellent and more extensive survey on MusicWeb Intrenational. Had I done so, this version would definitely have joined the ranks of my favourites (Baker/Barbirolli, Steber/Mitropoulos and Hunt Lieberson/McGegan), if not quite ousting the Baker from the top spot.

As usual, Von Stade sings in excellent French and she is able to emabrace the melancholy and pain of the middle songs as well as the lightness and joy of the outer ones. Her lovely voice, with its signature flicker vibrato, is in excellent shape, easily encompassing the wide range of the songs (right down to a secure and resonant low F# on linceul in Sur les lagunes and radiantly beautiful on high.

The coupling of Debussy's La Damoiselle élue is also lovely and all in all this is a winning disc.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2021, 02:08:17 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline ritter

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #647 on: September 14, 2021, 12:55:50 AM »


When I did my ]survey of recordings of Berlioz's Les Nuits d'Eté a couple of months ago (http://tsaraslondon.com/2021/07/07/berliozs-les-nuits-dete/), I hadn't heard Von Stade's version, which was Ralph Moore's favourite in his excellent and more extensive survey on MusicWeb Intrenational. Had I done so, this version would definitely have joined the ranks of my favourites (Baker/Barbirolli, Steber/Mitropoulos and Hunt Lieberson/McGegan), if not quite ousting the Baker from the top spot.

As usual, Von Stade sings in excellent French and she is able to emabrace the melancholy and pain of the middle songs as well as the lightness and joy of the outer ones. Her lovely voice, with its signature flicker vibrato, is in excellent shape, easily encompassing the wide range of the songs (right down to a secure and resonant low F# on linceul in Sur les lagunes and radiantly beautiful on high.

The coupling of Debussy's La Damoiselle élue is also lovely and all in all this is a winning disc.
That looks like a lively disc. What a great artist, Frederica von Stade! I was lucky enough to see her onstage once, as Cherubino, in Peter Hall's wonderful production of Le nozze di Figaro in Chicago in 1987. A memorable occasion.

THREAD DUTY (cross-posted from the WAYLTN thread):

First listen to this intelligently programmed CD:


All the songs presented were composed by Frenchmen to English texts. Baritone Tyler Duncan performs beautifully, in a very intimate manner and with excellent, clear diction, and is wonderfully supported by pianist Erika Switzer (Mr. Duncan and Ms. Switzer are husband and wife). Some of the works I already knew (Hahn's Five Little Songs, Ravel's lovely Chanson écossaise, Gounod's Maid of Athens --which had been recorded by Reynaldo Hahn himself-- ), and others are discoveries (the two sets by Milhaud on Tagore poems being the main point of interest for me). A superb disc (available for a pittance at amazon.es).

« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 01:05:27 AM by ritter »
ritter
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Offline André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #648 on: September 24, 2021, 06:50:58 AM »


An 84 minute recital that mixes tenor and baritone repertoire. Excerpts here:

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8933524--baritenor?utm_source=News-2021-09-24&utm_medium=email#tracklist


I ‘m not convinced. Even though the basic colour of the voice sounds fine in places, it sounds odd at others.

Opinions ?

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #649 on: September 24, 2021, 07:35:20 AM »


An 84 minute recital that mixes tenor and baritone repertoire. Excerpts here:

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8933524--baritenor?utm_source=News-2021-09-24&utm_medium=email#tracklist


I ‘m not convinced. Even though the basic colour of the voice sounds fine in places, it sounds odd at others.

Opinions ?

So far I've only heard Figaro's Largo al factotum, which is the only track available on Spotify at the moment. I thought he sounded like a tenor singing a baritone role.

I have heard Spyres live once, in a Prom performance of La Damnation de Faust on original instruments at the Royal Albert Hall. I was impressed with his musicality, but his voice didn't seem particularly large and he sometimes had difficulty penetrating the large hall.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #650 on: September 29, 2021, 08:33:20 AM »


Returning to this fascinating set with Disc 4, which is made up of excerpts from Nabucco (Nazzareno de Angelis, Ines de Frate and Carlo Galeffi) and La Fora del Destino (Gina Cigna, Celestina Bonisegna, Dusolina Giannini, Ivar Andresen and Meta Seinemeyer, Pinza and Ponselle, Francesco Merli, Caruso and Antonio Scotti, Heinrich Schlusnus, Gino Bechi and Lauri-Volpi, Salomea Kruszelnicka, Milanov and finishing up with the final trio featuring Pinza, Ponselle and Martinelli).

Not all are faultless (De Angelis and Cigna both display a tendency to aspirate) and not all are equally imaginative, but what magnificent voices. You really don't hear Verdi sung like this anymore.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas