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Subject: Callas remasterings
From: Jason Victor Serinus <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jason Victor Serinus <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:19:55 -0800
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Les suggests that the Callas remasterings in 24/96, which are, without
question, the best sounding issues of her voice on CD and hi-rez download,
actually tampered with the voice and smoothed out vocal unsteadiness. This
is not what I was told at the time the recordings were issued, and I
reported on them for Stereophile.

I am inclined to believe this assessment incorrect. Barring a personal
side-by-side comparison, which I don't have time to perform, I'm checking
with Warner on this.

jason victor serinus

Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Callas remembered

I believe that Idia was asking about the book on Callas by Nadia Stanicof=
f.
I personally don't care much for it because it deals with the post-l965
Callas and tells nothing about the attributes that made her what she was =
and
is.  It's not a happy read, and it (to me, anyway) shows that La Callas,
especially in those last years, was not a happy lady and may well have be=
en
in desperate need of psychiatric help.=20
In view of her war-time experiences in Greece, her fractured relationship=

with her mother, her on and off relationship with Artisotle Onassis, her
poor sense of judgement, this is obviously a probability.  Her close
relationships with international celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Richa=
rd
Burton, Omar Scariff, and so many others in the "jet set" did nothing to
alleviate her misery.  Hers was not a happy life, especially during the
last fifteen years.  And then there was her addiction to sleeping pills,
which is well documented.=20=20
      Speaking of Callas, I cannot recommend highly enough that Warners b=
ig
red box that contains all of her studio recordings.  They all sound
wonderful, and they put a very different complexion on the Callas voice.=20=

The recordings that surprise me most are the stereo operas and recitals t=
hat
were recorded in the very late 1950s and early 1960's.  The real surprise=

for me is the 1959 Lucia and the 1960 Norma.  The remastering done by
Warners has mitigated much of the vocal unsteadiness as heard on the EMI
versions.  Have listened to the 1960 Norma many times, and I find that it=
is
a much more towering performance than the one she recorded six years
earlier.  The quiet singing is very beautiful, and again the blatant voca=
l
problems on high have been greatly minimized by the remastering.
This makes me wonder whether EMI ever really captured her as faithfully a=
s
they could have.  The musical and interpretative genius of course still
remains, but the voice itself (even in the later recordings of the 1960's=
)
sounds far more even, secure, and balanced that they did on the previous =
EMI
editions.  Bur for me, the real revelation is the 1960 Norma, for me stil=
l
THE Norma of Norma recordings.  But what do I know?=20=20
      Interesting how the lady refuses to be forgotten.=20=20
---
Jason Victor Serinus http://www.jasonserinus.com     Whistler
Extraordinaire: **The Voice of Woodstock • The Pavarotti of Pucker**
Music and audiophile critic: Seattle Times, Port Townsend Leader,
Stereophile, Listen, San Francisco Classical Voice, Bay Area Reporter, Gay
City News, American Record Guide, Classical Voice North America, Stanford
Live, Opera Now, Copper, and more

"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the
tormentor, never the tormented.” — Elie Wiesel

“This is a time to remember all of us who are LGBTQ. It’s a time to stand
out and be proud, to parade who we are, to celebrate and to let them know
we will not be silenced, we will not be stopped, we will not go back into
the closet. Together, we will love.” — JVS at our Orlando Massacre Support
Rally in Port Townsend, WA

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