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Subject: Re: Maria Callas Live OUT TODAY: 40 years this week since La Divina's death
From: Jason Victor Serinus <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jason Victor Serinus <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:38:12 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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From Warner's Il Pirata album: "Numerous tape speed problems have been 
resolved in this release, which also benefits from our access to a well preserved, 
more natural analogue source. The instances of saturation, which we were indeed 
able to attenuate, remain nevertheless present. However, this should not dissuade 
interest in the unique record of Maria Callas in the role of Imogene."

If I had EMI's earlier issue, I could perform a comparison for you. But I don't.

The only way to determine "proper pitch" is to (a) check the pitch against the 
score, and then (b) determine if the composer, in this case Bellini, ever transposed 
the score up or down for his lead singer(s), or sanctioned such transpositions. In 
Bellini's case, transposition was frequent. Please see this by Philip Gossett: 
https://books.google.com/books?
id=9vNTtmhMGuEC&pg=PT503&lpg=PT503&dq=Bellini+transposing+his+music&s
ource=bl&ots=9iSkcZUVm2&sig=RMYB46bwKZolTgUNP_H4N5THSBc&amp;hl=en&sa=X
&ved=0ahUKEwjhlbj0k6_WAhVMzFQKHapdDUMQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=Bellini
%20transposing%20his%20music&f=false

One can also analyze the speed of the vibrato. In the case of a singer whose 
vibrato began to loosen later in her career, however, this would best be 
accomplished lower in the range.

One cannot determine "correct pitch" simply by listening to a recording by other 
artists, because those artists may have engaged in transposition. Since there is 
only one recording of Caballé ever singing a note above high C - thanks to David 
Shengold for a post about this some time back - it is not inconceivable that she 
might have been tempted to transpose the score down a half step. The 
transposition could have also been made for the tenor. Then again, Caballé 
recorded and performed Il Pirata early in her career, when the top was most 
secure. 

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