Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giuseppe Verdi, Guido Picco, Mexico City Palacio de Bellas Artes Orchestra|
Verdi: Il Trovatore
Listen to Samples
Great Leonora debut by Callas
Erik Aleksander Moe | Oslo, Norway | 05/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been searching for great live Trovatore performance with Callas in acceptable sound. I bought the 1952 Naples performance. The sound was bad and Lauri Volpi was horrible in addtion to uninteresting Azucena and Count. The only thing great was Callas and Serafin. I later bought the La Scala performance with Votto from 1953. The Manrico, Gino Penno, was better than Lauri Volpi but Ebe Stignani and Carlo Tagliabue as Azucena and the Count were past their prime in addition to Callas being not very interesting dramatically.
I bought this 1950 Mexico performance despite it had Kurt Baum, whom I have heard in excerpts and didn't really think very highly of, as Manrico. This performance has, however, two of the greatest interpreters of Azucena and the Count, Giulietta Simionato and Leonard Warren. The two of them were so totally great and into their characters. Kurt Baum turned out to be much better than what I had feared.
But it is Callas that is the reason for buying it. Callas was totally great. She dramatically better on the Naples 1952 performance with Serafin, but on the whole is this a much more satisfying experience than either the Naples or the La Scala performances. The La Scala performance had superior sound quality and the Naples had the worst sound. The sound on this set is acceptable. It is from 1950 so the sonics aren't good.
This is without a doubt a gem. Maria Callas had such an enormous voice in the early 50s. She is a marvel to hear and despite from acceptable to bad sound it is such a rewarding experience to hear her in these early years when her voice could do anything with apparent ease. With this supporting cast, Simionato, Warren, Baum, it is easily a recording that is highly recommended to all collectors of Callas, Warren or Simionato. This is not recommended for first time listeners of the opera or people who want state of the art sound."