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Subject: Re: Verdi's Macbeth
From: Russ Geschke <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Russ Geschke <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 1 Nov 2017 08:02:10 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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Well, the Modl and Hongen performances are at least idiosyncratic.  Excerpts
from both are posted on You Tube, as are those from the Varnay Maggio
Musicale performance, which benefits from Vittorio Gui's conducting (as
opposed to Bohm and Schmidt-Isserstedt).  All three serve to throw into
relief the "in a class by itself" greatness of the 1952 LaScala Callas de
Sabata "Macbeth".

I feel a duty to share what I have found to be by far the finest issue of
that performance, the one that has been issued and is being sold on ebay by
"ars vocalis".  I have so far purchased, in addition to av's "Macbeth" his
1953 Callas Bernstein "Medea", 1949 Callas Gui "Nabucco" (av manages to
bring out more of the sound on the original tapes), 1951 Callas del Monaco
"Aida", and 1960 Callas Corelli Bastianini "Poliuto".  All of them have a
really remarkable immediacy (i.e., sonic detail), so that the listener has a
sense of actually being in the theatre.  The other outstanding source for
superior quality issues of  "live" Callas performances is Divina Records,
www.divinarecords.com.   I have DR's issues of excerpts of "live" Callas
"Norma" performances from Buenos Aires 1949, the 1957 Callas Simionato "Anna
Bolena", and the 1953 Trieste Callas Corelli Christoff "Norma" (the most
authentic and complete issue of this performance).  I do not have any
personal or other stake in the ars vocalis or Divina Records enterprises.
The purpose of this posting is simply to make those who admire Callas and
collect her recordings aware of those two sources for truly outstanding
issues from the Callas legacy.  Ars vocalis plans to in the near future to
issue the 1953 Callas Gui "Medea" and I personally can't wait to hear it.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Vesna Danilovic" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 7:33 PM
Subject: Re: Verdi's Macbeth


On Tue, 31 Oct 2017 15:53:39 -0400, Scott Grunow <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>My favorite "Halloween opera."
>Which CDs or DVDs do you favor?
>I have a strange fascination with Modl live in Berlin, 1950, all singing in
>German ...
<skip for space> ... There's an earlier recording in German, I think a radio
broadcast,
with Hongen as the Lady.

There is another version in German with Astrid Varnay as the Lady and
Metternich as
Macbeth. There is also Varnay's Lady in Italian from the Florence Festival
and Ivan
Petroff's phenomenal Macbeth, Gui conducting. While overall I prefer the
Florence
MACBETH over the German broadcast, I also had a "strange fascination" (you
chose
the right expression for my feelings as well) with this opera in German.
Varnay is
even more effective as the Lady in German than Italian, though she was
brilliant on
both occasions. There must be something in the music itself that makes it
compatible
with the German language (to my surprise, I must say) though it's surely in
the
Italian/Verdi idiom.

I really like the last Met production with Netrebko, Lucic, Pape, and
Calleja on DVD.
There is also a great La Scala performance from the 70s, preserved on video
from the
RAI TV broadcast, with Verrett, Cappuccilli, and Ghiaurov, under Abbado (no
subtitles
 and I don't know if it's on DVD, but it's been on Youtube for many years).
On studio
CD, I still hold on the old RCA recording with Rysanek, Warren, Hines, and
Bergonzi.
Maria Callas was, of course, a spectacular Lady and everyone else was
excellent on
that '52 live La Scala, which makes it my favorite live MACBETH on CD, along
with
Verrett/Abbado from the same La Scala run as that 70s video.

Vesna

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