Started by knight66, May 08, 2007, 06:16:02 AM
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Quote from: knight on May 08, 2007, 06:16:02 AM30 years dead and like a rock hurled into a pool, the ripples of her way of doing things still vibrate.Some adore her in much the way Diana was adulated. Some are allergic to her voice. Some whilst getting a lot out of her singing are not deaf to the defects.EMI have just issued a disc of Verdi Heroines sung by Callas. It is in the Great Recordings series. It seems that three Verdi discs were planned. Two met with Callas's exacting standards, the third languished and was issued a bit at a time, presumably as EMI wore Callas down and the ultimately vetoed tracks were released by EMI shortly after her death.....that is how they respected one of their best cash cows.Here, instead of the entire initial and earlest Verdi disc, we have bits of it, bits of the second and one track from the third. I do miss having those arias from Nabucco. But I am not clear what I would throw overboard from this very full disc. Even the earliest, 1958 show all the stresses, the tone under pressure, the heavy beat on high sustained notes, frequently ugly tone. But the dividends are just so potent, much too valuable to be ignored. Callas was my introduction to Lady Macbeth's arias and no one else has come near. Caballe produced a wonderful Sleepwalking scene, that EMI butchered on reissue and we are only left with the main part of the scene. Clearly, it is so much more of a beautiful voice and she does dig into the words....but as so often, Callas projects words and imprints them onto your brain. There is an intensity other singers rarely achieve. The ripples from that one recording must have given most subsequent singers real pause for thought. How to do it as well, do it differently? We get the famous aria from Ernani, Leontine Price sounds more refulgent, but Callas differentiates between the detestation of her husband-to-be and completely alters tone for her fantasies about escaping with her lover. It is a rounded portrait. In the main aria of Elisabetta from Act 4 of Don Carlo, she lays the landscape out of this woman's dilemma, her unhappiness. Desdemona finds her touching and doomladen. Then we have the contrast of a rare aria from Aroldo, she runs the gamut here, anger, grief etc. It all comes to life and her voice is possibly at its very best here, it is a demanding piece. Back to Don Carlo for O don Fatale.....'if only' comes to mind, she could have had a much extended career as a compelling mezzo, but this did not seem to interest her. Perhaps she saw it as second best. Not many sopranos would have relished singing Aida against her possible Amneris I suspect. She gives it a really intense reading. The conductor is Rescigno, I feel he is a valuable collaborator, all support is dramatic or stealthy or tender as needed.To end we have what the notes to the disc claim was an almost impromptu Ritorna vincitor, done at one of her final serious sessions in 1964 to show that the just recorded Crespin was not up to the challenge. Was she perhaps convincing herself at least as much as her colleagues? It sounds like a challenge, she meets it and we, almost at the end receive a sudden piece of her very greatest work.The ripples still go on.Mike
Quote from: knight on May 08, 2007, 09:05:36 AMOf course there were great singers before her and if you were to hear Claudia Muzio you would be surprised to hear so much of the Callas colouring....but pre-Callas. Her career was short and that was possibly in part because of the risks she took in pushing her voice, but then, if she had played safe, we would not be discussing her.
Quote from: Lilas Pastia on May 09, 2007, 04:47:06 PM The arias by Chimène, Iphigénie, Orphée, Berlioz' Marguerite, Alceste find her in raw, unglamorous voice, but she commands attention from first note to last. Among her really glorious pieces of singing, one must mention the Turandot aria In Questa reggia (from the recital, not the complete opera), the Rossini Armide aria, the Wally aria and certainly a few others...Membran has issued a 13 disc set of her pre-1956 discs. It's still in wrappings on my shelves.
Quote from: 71 dB on May 12, 2007, 06:02:15 AMCallas is one of those artists who lived too early. Her heavenly voice is distroyed but stone aged recording technology. I wish she lived in the digital era. I probably never buy any opera's by her because they are just too old for me. Pitty.
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