Mature Callas' Lucia
Emma de Soleil | On a holiday In Ibiza, then back to the UK for stu | 11/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Lucia was recorded live about a year after the legendary Berlin performance in 1955 with Callas, Raimondi and Panerei. Gianni Raimondi later sang Percy to Callas' Anna Bolena and is known for being the Rodolfo on the legendary Boheme von Karajan and Zeffirelli created in the early sixties, he also does the part in von Karajan's Boheme-movie and a glorious recording from the Vienna Stateopera. His phrasing is what I like most about him, he's a stylistic tenor like Valletti and Schipa, ergo he's made for Donizetti and Bellini. He does not have the honeyed voice of Giuseppe di Stefano, nor does he have this tenor's fiery temperament but a very romantic, loving sound. Here we have a wounded, torn Edgardo as it would later be sung to perfection by young José Carreras.
Now how about Maria Callas? She is in fine voice, the high notes are without strain and her Lucia is just as touching as ever. (I have difficulties with her Lucia after 1956) What she presents us with here is a most thought through and deep performance of the heroine which we think we know so well. I just cannot help but adore her in this fragile role and I am glad that this performance was made available. It is essential for Callas and beyond. Panerei is wonderful as usual as Enrico, the conducting not as poignant as von Karajan's or Serafin's but absolutely fine. A lovely recording with all singers in fine shape, a great addition to one's collection."