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Subject: Re: Review: Maria Callas: LIVE at Last!
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Fri, 22 Sep 2017 23:23:17 -0400
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Simon Pietraru wrote:

"It is interesting how completely worthless all the reviews published so far 
on opera blogs, websites, and Stereophile are. No one needs another 
appraisal of Callas' contribution or analysis of her singing as was done on a 
different website. These recordings have been available forever, and the 
only thing needed in a review is a comparison to the best currently 
available releases in terms of sound."

I agree completely.  As far as I am concerned, the sound is the only pertinent issue here, as 
people who would be interested in the recordings probably have a lot of them already and 
are already sold on Callas the Artist.  We certainly don't need a lot of gassy prose about 
how wonderful, historic, etc. she was.  All very true, but we've read it all before.  
Assessments of the performances are a bit superfluous as well, at this point. 

What I want to know is, are these recordings an improvement over the excellent Divina 
Records releases?  The DR remasterings that I have heard are superb (among other 
reasons, because they have the original BJR source tapes for many of the performances) 
and the presentation is exemplary.  If the sound of the Warner releases, generally, is not a 
significant improvement over DR's, then I won't get the set.  Of course, for those who don't 
have these performances already, the Warner set would be very tempting.   

Counting LP sets (again, BJR is consistently the best label, not only in terms of sound but 
also presentation), I have three and in some cases four different issues of some of these 
performances.  I'm sure committed Callas fans are in the same position and want to know 
how much of an improvement the Warner set represents.

Incidentally, Pristine Audio and Immortal Performances have started issuing their own 
remasterings of Callas live performances.  Given the quality of the rest of these labels' 
output, their Callas recordings would be worth checking out. 

MDW

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