The name of Maria Callas was not much known at the time of this recording's international release. A few months later that had all changed. Callas was emerging at the time as a phenomenon in the operatic world, and this recording shows why. It captures her at her very best: the voice pristine, elastic and capable of whatever colouration the soprano wishes. She tackles the role with fearless technique, breathtaking virtuosity, but most importantly, with inherent style and individuality. It is quintessential Bellini singing, the greatest to be put on record and the benchmark for future generations of singers tackling this repertory. Callas is well served by Giuseppe di Stefano, a tenor pushed here just past his natural resources but singing with ardent tone and elegant phrasing. Nicola Rossi-Lemeni and Ronaldo Panerai are both great stylists, albeit with less impressive vocal means. Tullio Serafin, mentor of them all, guides the La Scala forces with complete identification with the score. If you have no other Callas in your collection, this is the one to have. OK sound - better than most of the Callas/EMI re-issues.