The New Sound of Maria Callas | Warner 9029594471

The New Sound of Maria Callas

£16.16

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Label: Warner

Cat No: 9029594471

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 3

Genre: Opera

Release Date: 4th November 2016

Contents

Artists

Maria Callas (soprano)

Conductors

Herbert von Karajan
Georges Pretre
Nicola Rescigno
Gabriele Santini
Tullio Serafin
Antonio Votto

Artists

Maria Callas (soprano)

Conductors

Herbert von Karajan
Georges Pretre
Nicola Rescigno
Gabriele Santini
Tullio Serafin
Antonio Votto

About

Unforgettable arias sung by the most iconic diva of all time – remastered for the first time in high-definition sound from the original tapes, for an unprecedented sound quality that shines new light on the voice of Maria Callas. Allan Ramsay, remastering engineer at Abbey Road Studios: “With high definition, you’ll be able to experience sounds which have only been heard so far by people who were either present at Callas’s recording sessions, or who had access to the unique master tape … All we wanted to do is remove the specks of dust, as it were, and wipe the glass clean.”

Opera singers come and go, but just a few – the legends – live on. And Maria Callas was the greatest legend of them all, though not just for the wonder of her voice. She changed the way people thought about opera, but she also became famous as the glamorous celebrity who fell in love with Aristotle Onassis, leaving her elderly husband to live with him on his yacht Christina and enjoy the high life with the international jet set.

Of course it ended badly. She lived her life like one of her own tragic heroines who (as women tend to do in opera) sing, suffer and die. And her own death came at just 53, after a dazzling but short career that took in heavy roles alongside decorative, nightingale-like ones – ignoring the established rules of vocal health and probably explaining why her voice finally gave out as it did.

But in that time she did extraordinary things, using the muscle of those heavy heroines to empower the nightingales with strength and depth of feeling nobody had thought to offer them before. She gave them credibility as drama. Her performances were absolute and self-exposing: she held nothing back. And she was even tougher on herself than she could be on others – which is why her voice was never quite the flawless instrument singers are meant to cultivate. Her personality was far too volatile and too self-sacrificing in its love affair with risk.

In the mythology of opera, though, that’s what the audience demands. We want the diva to be both a goddess and a slave: to give her life for art. We thrill to the dimension of that sacrifice. And Callas dutifully obliged.


– Michael White, 2014

When Maria Callas died in 1977, she was already a legend. Several attempts have been made over the years to re-master her studio and live recordings; it’s only now, four decades after La Divina’s death, that re-mastering technology has advanced to the point that a team of elite sound engineers could present these recordings with greater clarity than ever before, as if the listener was with Callas in the studio. The 2014 Maria Callas Remastered project presents her complete catalogue of studio albums and rarities from 1949-69 in a sound quality that has never previously been heard: for the first time each recording has been painstakingly re-mastered in 24-bit/96kHz sound at Abbey Road Studios using the original master tapes. Allan Ramsay, one of the team of engineers responsible for this re¬mastering of all Callas’s studio recordings tells us:

“With high definition, you’ll be able to experience sounds which have only been heard up till now by people who were either present at Callas’s recording sessions, or who had access to the unique master tape. And digital editing software has become so sophisticated that we can correct prob¬lems which were insoluble even a few years ago. The listener will experience something as close as possible to the actual recording sessions. …

“The best way to explain a high-definition remastering is to use the metaphor of a digital camera. Imagine the difference in image clarity between a 1-megapixel camera and a 12-megapixel camera. It gives an idea of the resolution we’re now able to achieve.. … We’re simply removing the inefficiencies of the recording process of the time. All we want to do is remove the specks of dust, as it were, and wipe the glass clean. We’re presenting the recording in the best possible light, and as the artists would have wanted it to be heard.”


– from an article by Warwick Thompson, 2014

Contents:    

CD1

Vincenzo Bellini
Norma
1. Casta Diva (Act I)
- Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano / Tullio Serafin
Recorded in Milan in September 1960

Giacomo Puccini
La bohème
2. Sì, mi chiamano Mimì (Act I)
3. Donde lieta uscì (Act III)

Suor Angelica
4. Senza mamma 5.33

Gianni Schicchi
5. O mio babbino caro
- Philharmonia Orchestra / Tullio Serafin
Recorded in London in September 1954

Giuseppe Verdi
La traviata
6. È strano! È strano! (Act I)
7. Ah, fors’è lui (Act I)
8. Sempre libera (Act I)
9. Addio del passato (Act III)
- Francesco Albanese, tenor (8)
- Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI / Gabriele Santini
Recorded in Turin in September 1953

Il trovatore
10. D’amor sull’ali rosee (Act IV)
- Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano / Herbert von Karajan
Recorded in Milan in August 1956

Georges Bizet
Carmen
11. Habanera: L’amour est un oiseau rebelle (Act I)
- Choeurs René Duclos & Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris / Georges Prêtre
Recorded in Paris in July 1964

Jules Massenet
Werther
12. Letter aria: Werther!  Qui m’aurait dit …  Des cris joyeux (Act III)
- Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire / Georges Prêtre
Recorded in Paris in May 1963

Gaetano Donizetti
Lucia di Lammermoor
13. Regnava nel silenzio alta la notte e bruna (Act I)
14. Quando rapito in estasi (Act I)
- with Margreta Elkins
- Philharmonia Orchestra / Tullio Serafin
Recorded in London in March 1959

Gioachino Rossini
La Cenerentola
15. Nacqui all’affanno e al pianto... Non più mesta (Act II)
- Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire / Nicola Rescigno
Recorded in Paris in December 1963 and February 1964

Il barbiere di Siviglia
16. Una voce poco fa (Act I)
- Philharmonia Orchestra • Alceo Galliera
Recorded in London in February 1957

CD2

Giacomo Puccini
Tosca
1. Vissi d’arte (Act II)
2. Com’è lunga l’attesa! (Act III)
- Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire / Georges Prêtre
Recorded in Paris in December 1964 and February 1965

La bohème
3. O soave fanciulla (Act I)
- with Giuseppe Di Stefano, Manuel Spatafora, Nicola Zaccaria, Rolando Panerai
- Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano / Antonino Votto
Recorded in Milan in August and September 1956

Turandot
4. Signore, ascolta (Act I)
5. In questa reggia (Act II)
6. Tu, che di gel sei cinta (Act III)
- Philharmonia Orchestra / Tullio Serafin
Recorded in London in September 1954

Madama Butterfly
7. Un bel dì vedremo (Act II)
- Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano / Herbert von Karajan
Recorded in Milan in August 1955

Vincenzo Bellini
La sonnambula
8. Compagne, teneri amici … Come per me sereno (Act I)
- Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano / Tullio Serafin
Recorded in Milan in June 1955

Giacomo Meyerbeer
Dinorah
9. Le Pardon de Ploërmel: Ombra leggiera (Act II)
- Philharmonia Orchestra / Tullio Serafin
Recorded in London in September 1954

Giuseppe Verdi
I vespri siciliani
10. Boléro: Mercé, dilette amiche (Act V)
- Philharmonia Orchestra / Tullio Serafin
Recorded in London in September 1954

Aida
11. Ritorna vincitor! (Act I)
- Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire / Nicola Rescigno
Recorded in Paris in 1964

Léo Delibes
Lakmé
12. Bell song: Dov’è l’indiana bruna (Act II)
- Philharmonia Orchestra / Tullio Serafin
Recorded in London in September 1954

Gustave Charpentier
Louise
13. Depuis le jour où je me suis donnée (Act III)
- Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française / Georges Prêtre
Recorded in Paris in March and April in 1961

Charles Gounod
Faust
14. Scene and Jewel song: Il était un roi de Thulé … O Dieu ! que de bijoux … Ah ! je ris (Act III)
- Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire / Georges Prêtre
Recorded in Paris in May 1963
    
CD3

Alfredo Catalani
La Wally
1. Ebben? Ne andrò lontana (Act I)
- Philharmonia Orchestra / Tullio Serafin
Recorded in London in September 1954

Giuseppe Verdi
Rigoletto
2. Gualtier Maldè… Caro nome (Act I)
- with Renato Ercolani, William Dickie, Carlo Forti
- Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano / Tullio Serafin
Recorded in Milan in September 1955

La forza del destino
3. Sono giunta! Grazie, o Dio! (Act II)
4. Madre, pietosa Vergine (Act II)
- Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano / Tullio Serafin
Recorded in Milan in August 1954

Macbeth
5. La luce langue (Act II)
- Philharmonia Orchestra Nicola Rescigno
Recorded in London in 1958
    
Francesco Cilea
Adriana Lecouvreur
6. Ecco: respiro appena... Io son l’umile ancella (Act I)
7. Poveri fiori (Act IV)
8. La mamma morta (Act III)
- Philharmonia Orchestra / Tullio Serafin
Recorded in London in September 1954

Christoph Willibald Gluck
Alceste
9. Divinités du Styx (Act I)

Orphée et Eurydice
10. J’ai perdu mon Eurydice (Act IV)
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française / Georges Prêtre
Recorded in Paris in March and April 1961

Georges Bizet
Carmen
11. Seguedilla: Près des remparts de Séville (Act I)
12. Gypsy song: Les tringles des sistres tintaient (Act II)
- with Nicolai Gedda (11), Nadine Sautereau, Jane Berbié (12)
- Choeurs René Duclos & Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris / Georges Prêtre
Recorded in Paris in July 1964

Jules Massenet
Manon
13. Je ne suis que faiblesse … Adieu, notre petite table (Act II)
- Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire / Georges Prêtre
Recorded in Paris in May 1963

Camille Saint-Saëns
Samson et Dalila
14. Printemps qui commence (Act I)
15. Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix (Act II)
- Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française / Georges Prêtre
Recorded in Paris in March and April 1961

Charles Gounod
Roméo et Juliette
16. Ah! Je veux vivre dans ce rêve (Act I)
- Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française / Georges Prêtre
Recorded in Paris in March and April 1961

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