Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Bellini, Callas, Di Stefano|
Listen to Samples
Emma de Soleil | On a holiday In Ibiza, then back to the UK for stu | 06/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This remastering of Callas' first complete recording of an opera for EMI is a jewel beyond price. Instead of launching her career as Tosca or Violetta Callas chose a part she had made operatic history with. In 1949 she was singing Wagner's Brünnhilde (To high acclaim) and was considered a dramatic soprano when a soprano fell ill and Tullio Serafin, this greatest of all conductors, begged her to study the highly florid part of Elvira. Maria, trusting her mentor, accepted and while singing Brünnhilde rehearsed Elvira (!) and then sang both Brünnhilde and Elvira in the same week leaving critics spellbound, running out of superlatives and their expectations for upcoming performances running high. It's like letting Beverly Sills sing Brünnhilde and Birgit Nilsson sing Elvira. But Callas, this true prima donna assoluta, did it. When Callas recorded the part of Elvira in the studio her approach to the role was gentler, even more fragile and yet of the darkest, most intense colours. This Elvira's "Qui la voce suave" isn't just beautiful easy listening but a masterpiece of inflections, phrasing and details. The fascinating scales and the white-hot E-flat in the end will leave you spellbound for sure. Now what about the rest of the cast? I absolutely love di Stefano as Arturo. True, he was never a tenor to spill high Cs like Lauri Volpi, Kraus or Gedda but his sunny tone, flawless legato, intense phrasing and full voice definitely are big +++++++ on his behalf. Sure, Edgardo was written for Rubini but I absolutely love di Stefano's way of singing this taxing role, he's the most vivid, passionate Arturo on disc. Rossi-Lemeni is in topform as well, as he was every time he was partnering Callas (Another example would be the Anna Bolena they did together). Panerei sings a glorious Riccardo, maybe his greatest effort on disc. Serafin conducts with the experience of a true maestro di belcanto, absolutely magnificent. This is, by far, my favourite recording of "I Puritani". It's being in excellent sound and incredibly cast made it a legend and this remastering at such a price is a steal! Don't miss this wondrous performance!"