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The 1959 Hamburg concert finds Callas just one year before the loss of
her voice and although her voice is not what it was in 1952 you can
still hear the Vocal Miracle. The repertoire interchanges between heavy
dramatic soprano (Lady Macbeth, Elisabetta), to soprano coloratura
(Rosina) and to soprano dramatico d'agilita (Imogene in Pirata, Gulia).
The maturity of the interpretation regarding the legatti, the phrasing
is astounding and Callas dominates each aria singing them in the only
"Tu che invoco" appears as a cataract of dramatic phrases in a fine classical style of this classical period opera, then Lady Macbeth appears diabolical and dark although she avoids keeping her voice in the high C, her Rosina is sparkling and facile in the coloratura as if it is a natural way of speaking and Elisabetta is where time stops: the drama in this aria holds a metaphysical aura. Finally her entire Mad Scene from Pirata shows all her talent as an actress and bel canto singer.
The 1962 Hamburg concert finds Callas in a very tired voice but nevertheless exciting. Overall this one of the very few operatic visual documents of the Greatest Operatic Singer who ever lived!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Who is singing the duet with Maria Callas in the Paris 1958 recital. It
is an aria from Il Trovatore, Misere d'un'alma già vicina? I'm betting
it is Renato Cioni, whose voice is compared to "sheep bleating."
This is said to be one of her better performances, but I wish the businessmen or others who are talking while she is performing had gone elsewhere. Or else keep their comments to themselves so as not to spoil her performance.
Some of the same "discussions" can be heard in La Traviata and though I brought this to the attention of EMI who owns all of the rights and does remastering, these have remained. Otherwise, fine performances.
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