Sunday, March 1, 2009

Maria Callas: The Complete Studio Recordings (1949-1969) - CD 1 of 70

Maria Callas - The Complete Studio Recordings (1949-1969) [70CD Box]
Classical, Opera | CD01 | FLAC, separate | RS | 24:09 | 98,6 MB | 1949
EMI Classics (3959182) | Release Date: Sep 25, 2007

A true Callas cornucopia, this 70-CD set gathers together everything Maria Callas ever recorded in the studio. That's 26 complete operas (four of which are studio repeats), plus the complete studio recitals made during the legendary soprano's recording career, which lasted from 1949-69. The bonus CD-ROM contains libretti and translations in English, French and German, plus a Callas photo library, while remastered treats include Callas's first recital recording, originally made for the Fonit-Cetra label and featuring arias by Wagner and Bellini. --Barnes & Noble

This seventy CD set claims to feature everything Maria Callas recorded in the studio and that is certainly the case in respect of operas and recitals previously published by EMI itself and also by Cetra. Material not previously remastered has been done so specifically for this issue, including the Cetra recordings that were recently reissued by Warner Classics under the title Simply Callas (2564 69814-4). The contents are listed at the end of this review and include twenty-six operas and fourteen recitals, most of the latter as they were originally issued in LP form. The seventy CDs of this collection are contained in cardboard sleeves within an ornamental box, which slides in a outer case bearing the singer’s portrait. The CDs are numbered sequentially according to recording date except for CDs 68 and 69. the first of which contains recordings made between 1953 and 1961 and not included elsewhere. Likewise the second is of recordings made between 1962 and 1969. The final CD (70) is a ROM with libretti and ‘Callas Picture Gallery’. The libretti are given as separate files grouped by composer. Each libretto is given with translation in English, German and French. The picture gallery comprises a set of black and white photographs of Callas in various roles or in the recording studio. In view of the comments, in this review and elsewhere, about her weight loss and its possible effect on her singing, the difference between her figure in the early 1950s and by 1955 are notable. The accompanying booklet gives all details including venues and dates for each recording and a brief essay in English, German and French about the singer and her recording career. It is not easy to find the contents from this booklet and purchasers might do better to print off the list at the end of this review and keep it in the box. (read more)

CD 1: Maria Callas - The First Recital
Arturio Basile, Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI
(Recorded November 1949 in Turin)

01. Richard Wagner - Tristan und Isold; Liebestod - Dolce e calmo (Act III) [07:48.15]
02. Vincenzo Bellini - Norma (Romani) - Casta Diva (Act I) [06:55.01]
03. Vincenzo Bellini - Norma (Romani) - Ah! bello a me ritorna (Act I) [02:17.71]
04. Vincenzo Bellini - I Puritani (Pepoli) - O, rendetemi la speme (Act II) [01:08.11]
05. Vincenzo Bellini - I Puritani (Pepoli) - Qui la voce sua soave (Act II) [03:45.04]
06. Vincenzo Bellini - I Puritani (Pepoli) - Vien, diletto, θ in ciel la luna (Act II) [02:29.20]


Additional Links: for Box Covers, Synopses (150 pages) and Tracklist (25 Pages)
Download Box Cover


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