Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giuseppe Verdi, Antonino Votto, Guido Picco|
Verdi: Il Trovatore
The best of Callas' live Trovatores
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a 1953 recording of Verdi's "Il Trovatore" with Maria Callas live from la Scala. The primary reason one would want to buy this recording is Callas' performance caught between the more famous Mexico City "Trovatore" and her studio recording several years later. By this time, Callas has scaled down her interpretation considerably, there are no more interpolated high notes and the passion of the Mexico performance has been abandoned for the sake of a more pointed and detailed characterization. I find her rendering of "D'amor sull'ali rosee" probably the best she ever did, without the excesses of the previous performances and with a voice still reliable enough to fall pleasantly on the ear. The rest of the soloists are not up to her par; probably the best is Stignani, a little past her prime, but still offering authority and experience with the role of Azucena. The tenor and the baritone are adequate, but no more. Votto's conducting is straightforward, but not particularly insightful. The sound is what is to be expected from a mid-fifties live-perfomance, but Myto did a good job to bring the voices forward. In addition, there is a bonus of several excerpts from the Mexico City performance (in a much worse sound) with Callas, Simionato and Warren, allowing one to compare Callas' interpretive progress in the three years separating the performance."
Ramona | 10/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes what goes around comes around. And I'd say that this is by far more than for Callas-collectors only as a Greek (!) reviewer and known Tebaldi-Fan wrote. Why must those always write such stuff on Callas and vice versa? I Do not get it, why not enjoy both? Callas did a gorgeous Leonora in 1953 and Penno was a really good Manrico with ringing high notes who never bellowed or scooped unlike more famous colleagues. Tagliabue and Stignani are both at the end of their great careers here but both give more than all the young ones today combined. A legendary night at La Scala in nice sound. Yet I agree it shouldn't be the one and only Trovatore to get: I suggest one of the Corelli-Price recordings in addition and/or the one with Tucci&Tucker."
A great "fat Callas" testament but not much else
Ramona | 03/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There are a handful of other Trovatore recordings to enjoy Verdi's masterpiece in its entirety but this 1953 live performance shows the young fat Callas at her best! Ringing high notes, a still firm middle register and balanced acting. Again I'm filled with disappointment that Callas did not sing and record more early Verdi at this stage of her career. Though she certainly makes an excellent Leonora, I hear the voice of Lady Macbeth, Odabella, Giselda and Lina behind her singing. If only those Verdi operas were more popular those years...Ginno Penno makes a decent Manrico with some firm high notes and expressive singing but this Manrico never stands out as other tenors do in this role. The aged Ebe Stignani is still a convincing Azucena but she can be found elsewhere in much better shape. Needless to say, even an aged Stignani offers more than other mezzos in their prime. Tagliabue is not a memorable Conte di Luna here and the rest of the cast is only adequate. Sound quality is listenable but not enough to enjoy the orchestra alone. On the other hand, is there anyone who intends to buy this as a first and only Trovatore? Callas collectors only please."