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Maria Callas - Mad Scenes from Anna Bolena, Hamlet & Il Pirata (1959/2014) [Official Digital Download 24-bit/96kHz]

Posted By: HDV
Maria Callas - Mad Scenes from Anna Bolena, Hamlet & Il Pirata (1959/2014) [Official Digital Download 24-bit/96kHz]

Maria Callas - Mad Scenes from Anna Bolena, Hamlet & Il Pirata (1959) [Remastered 2014]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time - 47:30 minutes | 974 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklets

Callas did not make complete recordings of Donizetti's Anna Bolena and Bellini's Il pirata, though, as the queen of La Scala, she enjoyed triumphs in both roles in 1957-1958. The vocally and dramatically demanding final scenes of both operas feature in this recital with Ophélie's mad scene from Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet, another coloratura extravaganza. When this recital first appeared in 1959, Gramophone wrote: 'This is a most remarkable record, not only for its material… but for its astonishing vividness and dramatic poetry… It has been a thing of much wonder for me'.

Callas had already triumphed at La Scala with Anna Bolena and Il pirata (the first real success of Bellini’s early career) in 1958. She wanted to record both works complete, but the producer Walter Legge was not convinced that either was marketable and persuaded the soprano to settle for their final scenes – which he believed to contain the essence of both pieces. Callas followed his judgement. ‘We are the only two people who know what bel canto is,’ she was to tell Legge years later when attempting to persuade him to share the platform at her Juilliard masterclasses. Posthumously she was to get her wish when EMI took into its catalogue a live broadcast of each opera from La Scala.

For this recital’s mixed repertoire Callas insisted (as she would for several similar ventures) on being accompanied by the Italian-American conductor Nicola Rescigno, with whom she had been working regularly since a Chicago Norma in 1954. Rescigno was an adventurous editor of opera scores for concerts and records. His cuts and tightenings helped Anna’s ‘mad scene’ to work dramatically and musically when shorn of the rest of the opera. He also rehearsed particularly with the Philharmonia’s cor anglais on the long solo which opens the cavatina, work in which Callas enthusiastically joined.

The Hamlet scena – which had long featured in Callas’s concerts in Italian – was added to the programme, now in French as a preview of the new (and more mezzo-ish) repertoire that the soprano was beginning to consider. All three of the central figures in the recital – Donizetti’s Anna, BeIlini’s Imogene and Thomas’s Ophélie – share aspects of the character that most fascinated Callas in her stage work. They are women who are on the verge, not so much of madness but of being pushed by men they love (or who have power over them) into a state of being unable to live any more.

Tracklist:

01 - Anna Bolena, Act 2: "Piangete Voi?… Al Dolce Guidami Castel Natio" (Anna Bolena, Smeton, Lord Percy, Hervery, Lord Rochefort, Chorus - Maria Callas, Monica Sinclair, John Lanigan, Duncan Robertson, Joseph Rouleau, Philharmonia Chorus, Philharmonia Orchestra)
02 - Hamlet, Act 4: "A Vos Jeux Mes Amis" (Ophelie - Maria Callas, Philharmonia Orchestra, Nicola Rescigno)
03- Il Pirata, Act 2: "Oh! S'io Potessi" (Imogene - Maria Callas, Philharmonia Chorus, Philharmonia Orchestra, Nicola Rescigno)

Recorded: September 24–25, 1958 at Kingsway Hall, London
Newly Remastered from the Original Master tapes at Abbey Road Studios, London, U.K.

Analyzed: Maria Callas, Monica Sinclair, John Lanigan, Joseph Rouleau, Duncan Robertson, Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus, Nicola Rescigno / Callas: Mad Scenes from Anna Bolena, Hamlet & Il Pirata (1)
Maria Callas, Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus, Nicola Rescigno / Callas: Mad Scenes from Anna Bolena, Hamlet & Il Pirata (2-3)
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DR Peak RMS Duration Track
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DR13 -1.85 dB -20.53 dB 19:57 01-Anna Bolena, Act 2: "Piangete voi?…Al dolce guidami castel natio" (Anna Bolena, Smeton, Lord Percy, Hervery, Lord Rochefort, Chorus)
DR13 -1.83 dB -21.13 dB 10:25 02-Hamlet, Act 4: "A vos jeux mes amis" (Ophélie)
DR13 -0.10 dB -20.74 dB 17:08 03-Il pirata, Act 2: "Oh! s'io potessi" (Imogene)
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 3
Official DR value: DR13

Samplerate: 96000 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 24
Bitrate: 2766 kbps
Codec: FLAC
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