Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Bellini, Callas, Corelli|
Bellini: Norma Highlights
Listen to Samples
A Tribute to Maria's art
The Cultural Observer | 05/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""When music fails to agree to the ear, to soothe the ear and the heart and the senses, then it has missed its point." And so were the words of the greatest star of opera, Maria Callas. Almost three decades have passed us since the death of the brightest star in the world of opera, and yet the trail of her kindling light still shines even now as we speak. As the tastes of the musical world evolve, Maria remains to be a force to reckon with, her voice shining, sobbing, and exploding in many of the great opera records that we have come to know her through. She was just amazing...beautiful, lovable, and striking. She could do everything in opera better than anyone else, and she knew that, and she made it a point that you knew it as well. Her voice carries like a large wave of truth towards the listener. Not one phrase is left devoid of emotion, not one note sung without passion. Every detail contained within the barriers of a score is given truth, and this is a feat that no singer after her, no matter how beautiful their voice, was able to achieve. Even years after her voice had left her, the technique was still there, except that it had an instrument that had received the battering of years of devotion and love for music. This Norma is a perfect example of Maria's evolution through the years as a singer. She had began the role of Norma with a gargantuan voice capable of producing endless shockwaves of sound. It was amazingly huge, that voice, and it amazed the many listeners who were lucky enough to hear it. Years later, the voice was not what it used to be, but we are gifted with an instrument that is more tender, more loving, more female. That is what this Norma is-- a quintessential portrayal of Maria Callas as the woman. At 1960, her voice was no longer capable of producing the magnificent E-flats of the past, but in this brilliantly produced studio recording we hear a different Norma from the warrior she had shared with us 6 years earlier. Although the voice was more supple and fuller, this Norma is more gentle. The phrasing in the encounter with Pollione and Adalgisa is simply perfect, and the final moments of the last act are sung with interpretive magic that no other Norma will ever replicate again. Her first appearance in her opening recitative, cavatina, and cabaletta are sung gloriously with power, and the duets with Adalgisa are ethereal. While I would never part with the second recording of the opera, this recording is the one I find myself listening to whenever I want to hear the truth of Callas. It is a magical recording, and the supporting singers are without a doubt the greatest ensemble Bellini will ever have. No other recording or performance will ever be assembled again. The Pollione in this recording is the late Franco Corelli, a tenor who possessed an instrument so large and so expressive that he could only have been Callas' equal. I've never heard any other Pollione who could touch me in the last scene. Christa Ludwig, a young and beautiful Adalgisa, interprets her role with the most subtle colors I have ever heard from a mezzo throat. Not even Caballe, who was Adalgisa in Joan Sutherland's second recording, could come close to Ludwig. Only Simionato and Barbieri could have given Ludwig a run for her money. Then there is Nicola Zaccaria, a priest who sounded grandiose in every respect. Finally, we have Tullio Serafin, considered by all as the greatest conductor of the bel canto repertoire the world has ever heard. Who else could have bettered Norma? Who else could touch? This is the one Norma that has agreed with my ear, and soothed it, my heart, and my senses. It is the Divine recording of Norma. Not even Joan Sutherland, Beverly Sills, Montserrat Caballe, Leyla Gencer, Elena Suliotis, or Renee Fleming could do this, for any matter. Brava, La Divina!"
JUST GO BUY IT AND KEEP IT CAREFULLY AS YOU TREASURY!
A. LEE | TAIPEI, TAIWAN | 06/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I AM A VERY PICKY CLASSIC MUSIC FAN. I DON'T BUY ANY CD IF IT NOT REACHED AT LEAST 3 STARS - 5 STARS IS FULL SCORE AND IT MEANS: BEST SINGER (OR PERFORMER), BEST ORCHESTRA, BEST SOUND EFFECT (SOUND BALANCE BETWEEN SINGER, ORCHESTRA PLUS STAGE/HALL EFFECTS), BEST CONDUCTOR AND BEST RECORDING. IN THIS CD, IT COVERED ALL THE BEST QUALITY OF ABOVE. I BOUGHT 2, LISTEN 1 USUALLY AND KEEP OTHER 1 TO MY LIFETIME COLLECTION FILE. IF U CAN'T HEAR THE ABOVE FROM YOUR SYSTEM, YOUR SYSTEM NEEDS UPGRADE - I USE AUDIO RESEARCH SP-11 MK-2 + MBL."