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Giacomo Puccini: Tosca
Tito Gobbi, Giacomo Puccini, Georges Prêtre
Giacomo Puccini: Tosca
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #2


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CD Reviews

Better than its reputation
D. H Patterson | Houston, TX United States | 05/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Callas' first recording of TOSCA, with Gobbi and di Stefano, is usually selected as the greatest recording of TOSCA ever made, and one of the greatest recordings ever made. I certainly won't argue with that. For that reason, I had never gotten around to hearing this later performance. Contemporary reviews had not been all that complimentary, as if this was a mistaken effort. This recording, made well into her "declining" years, does not find her in vocally strong form, yet it's a bewitching performance, with passages that haunt the memory. I found myself hanging on every word, involved in the drama of TOSCA in a way which has not happened to me in years. Yes, there are occasional sour notes, though none are off-pitch (something you can't say for Gobbi here) and, yes, you can hear her cleverly "managing" the difficult parts. But she never stints, and the result is completely absorbing. I wouldn't recommend this as anyone's first TOSCA recording, but it's certainly better than I had been led to expect. Bergonzi is in his usual wonderful, gorgeous voice and Pretre leads the orchestra splendidly. After listening to this once, I played it again with increased respect for its achievement. Give it a chance!"