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  • Lucia Di Lammermoor (Serafin, Maggio Musicale, Callas)
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Lucia Di Lammermoor (Serafin, Maggio Musicale, Callas) CD

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Maria Callas was born Maria Anna Sophia Cecilia Kalogeropoulou in New York on 2 December 1923 to Greek immigrant parents Evangelia and George Kalogeropoulos. In 1937 Evangelia separated from her husband and returned with her two daughters Maria and Jackie to Greece, where she intended to give them the musical education she could not afford in America. Maria began her vocal studies with the ... Read more in Amazon's Maria Callas Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Jan. 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos Historical
  • ASIN: B0006OJPNI
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,573 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

(enr. 1953) Maria Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano, Tito Gobbi... / Choeur et Orchestre du Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, dir. Tullio Serafin

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 28 Feb. 2005
Format: Audio CD
This Naxos re-mastering of EMI's legendary 1953 recording of this opera is of serious worth to the collector. Naxos's recent habit of taking recordings which have passed their 50-year copyright limit and transferring them on to CD from original LPs has brought some pleasing results, although it must be said that the process has its limitations. However, in the case of this opera, the very limitations in the dynamic range of the original LPs is beneficial, because the original master-tapes have such serious defects (mainly overloading and distortion). This has resulted in EMI's own CD releases revealing these inherent weaknesses all too clearly. The warmer 'vinyl-like' sound is to be preferred in this case.
The actual performance cannot be missed, if only for Callas's supreme interpretation of the heroine's role. Gobbi is a characterful Enrico; Di Stefano hardly perfectly cast as Edgardo, but earnest enough. Serafin's direction is secure, but of course, as was the habit in the 1950s, huge cuts are made in the score. Still, at this price, the opera-lover is very much recommended to buy this CD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 29 May 2012
Format: Audio CD
The other reviewer explains the technical aspect of the release very usefully, which would be beyond me anyway ... my review is just to say how enjoyable I find this recording, with Callas's voice really elevating the music to a very high plane. It needs her dramatic projection to work, and manages, in her solos, to be both intensely heartfelt and intimate, and full of virtuosic effects. I also like the way some of the most memorable music is in a quiet, inner register. I was not struck by any shortcomings in the male roles; certainly, without the benefit of comparisons, they seemed perfectly fine. It is a very rewarding experience, not too long, like a sapphire shining in the mud of fifties recorded sound (comparatively muddy in any case). The only flaw is the lack of a libretto, and I wonder whether it wouldn't be better to charge more and provide the text - I bought one separately because I do think it makes a big difference knowing exactly what they are singing, but it may be possible to find it online. I suppose the problem is the single CD-size case which is too slim to accommodate the libretto in four languages (there is a plot summary).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
vivid 25 Nov. 2012
By Stanley Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is Naxos's remastering of the first Lucia I ever owned -- Callas's 1953 studio effort (which I bought on EMI's budget Seraphim label in the late 1960's). Callas's singing here is secure and beautiful, and she has a grasp of the character from the start -- the "Regnava nel silenzio" lets us know how close to the edge this girl is; we know that there's a Mad Scene in her future -- and these distinctive tones haunt our memories of the role and color the way we respond to everyone else who sings it. Callas's voice could at times seem to break into two or three different parts (roughly low, middle, and high), but here it seems all of a piece. And her ability to create through the voice a sense of the dramatic situation is unparalleled; very few singers have that ability. Di Stefano is an ardent Edgardo, responsive to the dramatic situations with a touch less specificity than Callas, but singing off the words vividly and not singing through his tone as he was prone to do in later years. Gobbi is no one's idea of a bel canto baritone (too short-breathed for one thing) but what he lacks in elegance he makes up for in dramatic conviction and vocal security. Why not five stars? The sound is a bit constricted, and the "standard" cuts of the time are observed -- so no Wolf's Glen scene (which means that we don't understand why Edgardo is waiting in the graveyard in the final scene), and no repeats of caballettas, etc. But still -- one of the great recordings, much better than Callas's later studio effort, and in much better sound than the famous live Karajan/Callas 1955 recording, though in that recording Callas's singing and vocal acting is even better than it is here.
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