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Donizetti: Anna Bolena
 
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Donizetti: Anna Bolena

1 Mar. 2010 | Format: MP3

£1.98 (VAT included if applicable)
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
1:05:27
Disc 2
30
1
1:10:26

Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Mar. 2010
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Discover Classical Music
  • Copyright: 2010 DiscoverClassicalMusic
  • Total Length: 2:15:53
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B003CLTCYO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,825 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Giraldus Cambrensis on 10 Mar. 2011
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It must be pointed out from the outset that this recording dates from 1957 and is a live recording from La Scala.

As ever, no synopsis is provided in PDF form to help in following the action; but at least the familiar, basic story does not do too much violence to history, covering Henry XVIII's manoeuvres to get rid of his second wife, Ann Boleyn, in order to marry Jane Seymour; this he accomplishes by having Ann accused of adultery - high treason and a capital offence for both her and her alleged lover. The action covers her original accusation through to her being led with her three accomplices to the scaffold while the cannon announce the new queen.

The recording's age means that Callas was in her prime; that the quality of recording sounds cramped and boxy to ears used to today's sound quality standards; and that there are the background noises and occasional slips from perfection inevitable in an actual opera-house performance. To address these points - in reverse order: for many (and I am one) the 'feel' of a live performance more than outweighs any background or other minor mishaps; initially the sound quality is barely sufferable but quickly the ears accommodate themselves to what those of us who are old enough were accustomed to half a century ago; and Gavazzeni is a stylish conductor. The great plus is to have a Callas performance at the peak of her dramatic, magnetic form.
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By A. M. Campbell on 16 Aug. 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
I've never been a particular Callas fan, but this is a real game-changer. Recorded live at La Scala in 1957, this heavily demanding role might have been written for her. Even if you didn't know this was Callas her lyrical delicacy and dramatic intensity would soon have you realise that here is an artist of exceptional gifts. This is an opera that stands or falls depending on tne singer taking the title role, and Callas clearly relished the challenge.
Everything else is as you might expect from a live recording of that era, reliable supporting cast, slightly boxy orchestral sound, an audible contribution from the prompter who sounds ready to burst into song himself, probably sang along in the choruses, But really it's all down to Callas- more than a singer, a marvellous dramatic actress and musician. It's sad to think of what is perceived as the tragedy of the later years of such a unique artist.
Just to add, Donizetti is sometimes thought of as a journeyman turning out the same operatic mix to fit different stories, but listen carefully and you'll realise he was better than that.
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