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Tsaraslondon (London, UK)

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Ravel-Bolero-Ozawa-&Oeuv.Div-Debussy-la Mer-Karajan&Oeuv.Div
Ravel-Bolero-Ozawa-&Oeuv.Div-Debussy-la Mer-Karajan&Oeuv.Div
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £33.22

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 star Karajan 3 or 4 for the rest., 24 May 2014
Karajan's La Mer is peerless and is welcome in any company. For the rest, nothing that is bad, but there are better performances of all the other works out there. However at it's current price of 0.01p, this is an incredible bargains.

Let Your Daddy Ride
Let Your Daddy Ride
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 25 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Let Your Daddy Ride (MP3 Download)
Great new clubbing track from this sexy daddy. A bit tongue in cheek, it has one of the catchiest choruses I've heard in ages. Could become a huge club anthem once the DJ remixes are made available. Love it.

Maria Callas At Covent Garden 1962 & 1964 [DVD] [2012]
Maria Callas At Covent Garden 1962 & 1964 [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Maria Callas
Price: £7.99

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Document, 1 Oct. 2007
This is a conflation of two rare televised appearances of Callas from Covent Garden. The first was filmed in 1962 and Callas is in surprisingly good voice, considering she had almost given up at this time (her only other appearances that year were a series of concerts - no stage appearances at all). The Verdi is sung with a wealth of detail and expression and she acts out all Elisabetta'a emotions vividly, while hardly moving a muscle. Indeed she is so immersed in her singing that when a large brooch she is wearing dislodges and drops to the floor, she barely notices. She then changes completely into a playful, sexy and dangerous Carmen. What a pity she never wanted to sing the role on stage.
The second part of the DVD is a fully staged performance of Act2 of Tosca with Tito Gobbo and Renato Cioni. Why oh why didn't they have the forseight to film the whole thing? Still I guess we should be grateful for what we have. There are faults - the camera work isn't all it should be - but this is surely the most riveting perofrmance of this act ever committed to film.True, Callas was in better voice when she filmed this same Act in Paris a few years previously (some of the top notes are little better than screams), but I have rarely, if ever, seen opera singers act with such naturalness and abandon. Both Callas and Gobbi are superb. You really forget they are singing and end up being totally drawn in to the performance of two actors. In fact I remember that on the days I worked at the English National Opera shop, whenever we played this video when the audience were gathering for that evening's performance, the tiny little shop would quickly fill up with people who couldn't take their eyes off the television screens. Enough said!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2013 11:23 AM GMT

Regine Crespin
Regine Crespin
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £19.95

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Sheherazade, 29 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Regine Crespin (Audio CD)
Well, after all these years, Crespin's Scheherazade still leads the field. Her voice is absolutely right for this cycle, from the glorious moment in the first song, when the orchestra erupts at her third cry of "Asie!", to the wonderfully enigmatic and ambivalent tone she adopts for the final song "L'Indifferent". She is superbly seconded by Ansermet and the Suisse-Romande Orchestra.There have been may excellent versions of this cycle, but Crespin's air of suave sophistication is perfectly suited to it, as it is to the Poulenc songs with piano included on this reissue. So why only 4 stars? Well, I know this is going against the grain, but I have never found this version of "les Nuits d'Ete" as satisfactory as it's coupling. Crespin's civilised, cool singing, to my mind, never engages with the songs as deeply as do singers such as Baker (with either Barbirolli or Giulini), De Los Angeles, Eleanor Steber and, more recently, Brigitte Bailleys. Contrary to the previous review here, I find no "hush and trembling anticipation" in "Le Spectre de la Rose", but rather find the rose's arrival from paradise somewhat earthbound. Any of the other singers I mentioned sing with greater abandon and radiance. The most successful of the songs is the final "L'Ile Inconnue", in which she finds just the right mixture of the playful and the passionate. That said, this is a disc I would never want to be without. Sheherazade alone makes it a must for any library.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2011 4:19 PM GMT

Maria Callas: Passion [DVD]
Maria Callas: Passion [DVD]
Dvd ~ Maria Callas
Price: £15.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good documentary, 7 April 2006
This review is from: Maria Callas: Passion [DVD] (DVD)
This is a French film, but, contrary to what the previous reviewer says, there are subtitles. Admittedly little of the material here is new, though there are a couple of interviews with Callas that I hadn't seen before. Nor are we really told anything that we didn't already know from previous documentaries, but for anyone new to the subject, this would prove an extremely enlightening film. Many of the interviewees are pretty good at trying to explain the Callas mystique, particularly some of the choristers and musicians who were at La Scala at the times she was there. But this film is most valuable for some silent footage of her performing Medea. Even with no sound, Callas is riveting and her acting is so natural - not dated at all. The whole documentary is worth the price for these clips alone. Nobody will ever be able to totally explain why Callas was so great and why she continues to fascinate us today, but this film has a pretty good stab at it.

Verdi: La Forza del Destino
Verdi: La Forza del Destino
Price: £41.84

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Forza, 30 Mar. 2006
Despite the few cuts and the mono recording this is still one of the most desirable sets of "La Forza del Destino". The main reason is of course Maria Callas's traversal of the role of Leonora. She was still in pretty good voice at this stage in her career and, though there are moments more comfortably vocalised by some of her rivals ("la vergine degli angeli" for instance), she is the complete Verdi heroine. No other soprano sets before us so well a character torn between conflicting feelings in the first act - on the one hand, love and filial duty, and on the other, love for Don Alvaro. Her very first utterances have a thrill unmatched on other recordings. Later, in the second scene of Act II, she is absolutely superb. Whenever she is before the microphone, we are aware of the greatness of the score as music drama. Here she is helped immeasurably by Serafin's command of the dramatic impulse of the music, and the magisterial, kindly and protective Padre Guardiano of Nicola Rossi-Lemeni. Others may have sung the role with better technique and more beautiful tone, but few, if any, are more interesting in the role. Of the other principals, Richard Tucker is almost their equal. With a voice so splendid and so suitable for the role, it seems a pity that he occasionally feels the need to make up for the fact that he is not Italian, by breaking the line of his singing with unmusical aspirate and sobs. In all other respects he is ideal. Carlo Tagliabue is a little past his best (he was 56 at the time of the recording), but he sings with authority, if without great immagination. Elena Nicolai is, if not the best or most accurate of Peziosillas, at least a spirited and involved performer. Both Plinio Clabassi as Il Marchese di Calatrava and Renato Capecchi as Melitone give strong accounts of their roles.
I have never quite been able to understand why in some of EMI's Callas recordings from this time the mono sound is pretty open and in others quite constricted. This, like the De Sabata "Tosca" is really pretty good. I hardly missed stero at all. And Serafin is superb. He is still, to my mind, a severely underrated conductor. Seen as a singer's conductor, he is somehow thought of as being a little anonymous, but for me, he allows the music and the drama to unfold in a completely natural way, without drawing too much attention to himself, as so many modern conductors tend to do. His "Otello", after all, is considered one of the best conducted versions in the catalogue.
As the previous reviewer noted, this is probably the most expensive way of acquiring this set, but it does come with full notes, libretto and translation. If they are not important to you, you may wish to wait until it is issued at super bargain price, as it inevitably will be, by Naxos, Regis and EMI themselves.

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