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Subject: Re: Is the Callas Tosca recording the "best" opera recording ever made?
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 3 Jan 2018 00:13:34 +0000
Content-Type:text/plain
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Olivero did not have a naturally beautiful voice, but then neither did Callas,  It was how the used and acted with it that made them special. My point was that Olivero was as great a Tosca as Callas was. I saw both at the Met, Callas was just past 40, Magda about 65. Vocally, their ages could have been reversed.


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Ombrarecds <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 5:46 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Is the Callas Tosca recording the "best" opera recording ever made?

Olivero, a more beautiful voice? A bizarre voice. A limited voice. A unique voice. Beautiful? Hardly. I love her but never have used the word "beautiful" in the same sentence with her name. Have you ever heard her in person?

Patrick Byrne

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 2, 2018, at 3:48 PM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> A good friend who is on opera-l sent me the Times article and said
> "you must be pleased". I was, of course, but I wrote back to her
> with a comment pretty much identical to yours. Max.
>
> It is the totality, just about a perfect balance of all its pieces
> that puts it in a place apart,  not the individual efforts, wonderful
> as they are.
>
> Tom mentioned the Price, Corelli, Macneil, which is a reissue of
> a Met broadcast and it is a vocal knockout. I attended the first one,
> a Palm Sunday non sub, which was not the broadcast, and I have
> to say that Leontyne Price was stuck with one of the most awkward
> visual moments I've ever seen. When MacNeil died, he fell to the floor
> with one arm between the two chalk circles that indicated where the
> candles should go. His arm was where his head should have been.
>
> What to do? Well, she put one candle on either side of his arm, and it
> looked ridiculous. I've always thought that some fire law made it
> necessary not to mess with the placement of those candles.
> Otherwise.........!
>
> Bob
>
>> On Tue, Jan 2, 2018 at 16:23 Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> I actually do defend that De Sabata “Tosca” as the best yet, as I also do
>> the Furtwängler “Tristan.”
>>
>> I think one can find as good or better an instance of any one component
>> elsewhere, but what makes these recordings so great is the particular
>> coalescence of conducting, orchestral playing, singing, dramatic and
>> musical nuance and expression that added up to much more than the sum of
>> the parts.
>>
>> Aside from still being, at that time, in luxuriant voice, it’s the wealth
>> of detail and subtle inflection in Callas’ singing, as with Flagstad’s
>> studio Isolde, that raises her performance to such an extraordinary level
>> such as Callas herself wasn’t able to replicate.
>>
>> Max Paley
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>>> On Jan 2, 2018, at 13:13, tom ponti <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>
>>> IMO, the Callas-de Sabata Tosca is a bit overrated.  No doubt Callas was
>> a great Tosca but so were Tebaldi, Olivero and Price with more beautiful
>> voices.  Though I have not heard it for many years, I preferred the
>> Tebaldi, Del Monaco and London recording. I also loved the Price di
>> Stefano, Taddei recording.  I also think there is no such thing as one
>> greatest opera recording of all time. I have heard excerpts, on You Tube,
>> of the Met Tosca recording with Price, Corelli, MacNeil  and it is
>> thrilling!
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]>
>> on behalf of James Camner <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 3:55 PM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: [OPERA-L] Is the Callas Tosca recording the "best" opera
>> recording ever made?
>>>
>>> Once again a critic of the venerable New York Times has stepped up to
>> make
>>> an official pronouncement as Anthony Tommasini has declared the 1953 De
>>> Sabata Tosca set from EMI the "Best Opera Recording Ever".
>>>
>> https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/arts/music/maria-callas-tosca-recording.html?_r=0
[https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/12/27/arts/30tosca-recording4/30tosca-recording4-facebookJumbo.jpg]<https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/arts/music/maria-callas-tosca-recording.html?_r=0>

The Best Opera Recording Ever Is Maria Callas Singing ‘Tosca.’ Hear Why.<https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/arts/music/maria-callas-tosca-recording.html?_r=0>
www.nytimes.com
These 10 clips show why a riveting 1953 version of Puccini’s opera deserves its status as one of the finest classical albums ever made.



>>> [
>> https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/12/27/arts/30tosca-recording4/30tosca-recording4-facebookJumbo.jpg

[https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/12/27/arts/30tosca-recording4/30tosca-recording4-facebookJumbo.jpg]

>> ]<
>> https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/arts/music/maria-callas-tosca-recording.html?_r=0
[https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/12/27/arts/30tosca-recording4/30tosca-recording4-facebookJumbo.jpg]<https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/arts/music/maria-callas-tosca-recording.html?_r=0>

The Best Opera Recording Ever Is Maria Callas Singing ‘Tosca.’ Hear Why.<https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/arts/music/maria-callas-tosca-recording.html?_r=0>
www.nytimes.com
These 10 clips show why a riveting 1953 version of Puccini’s opera deserves its status as one of the finest classical albums ever made.



>>>
>>>
>>> The Best Opera Recording Ever Is Maria Callas Singing ‘Tosca.’ Hear Why.<
>> https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/arts/music/maria-callas-tosca-recording.html?_r=0
[https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/12/27/arts/30tosca-recording4/30tosca-recording4-facebookJumbo.jpg]<https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/arts/music/maria-callas-tosca-recording.html?_r=0>

The Best Opera Recording Ever Is Maria Callas Singing ‘Tosca.’ Hear Why.<https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/arts/music/maria-callas-tosca-recording.html?_r=0>
www.nytimes.com
These 10 clips show why a riveting 1953 version of Puccini’s opera deserves its status as one of the finest classical albums ever made.



>>>
>>> www.nytimes.com<http://www.nytimes.com>
[https://static01.nyt.com/images/icons/t_logo_291_black.png]<http://www.nytimes.com/>

Breaking News, World News & Multimedia<http://www.nytimes.com/>
www.nytimes.com
The New York Times: Find breaking news, multimedia, reviews & opinion on Washington, business, sports, movies, travel, books, jobs, education, real estate, cars & more at nytimes.com.



>>> These 10 clips show why a riveting 1953 version of Puccini’s opera
>> deserves its status as one of the finest classical albums ever made.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Is it?
>>>
>>> No question the De Sabata recording is superb and I wouldn't argue with
>>> anyone who says it's the best Tosca recording, but it isn't my
>> preference.
>>> If I had to pick one Tosca recording it would be the sumptuous vocal
>> feast
>>> that the Metropolitan Opera presented in 1962 and available in excellent
>>> sound on Sony..
>>>
>>> Vocally this cast: Corelli, Price, MacNeil have much more opulent voices
>>> than Callas, Gobbi or even Di Stefano possessed. Corelli - this is one of
>>> those recordings where the erratic tenor was "on" and when he was "on" he
>>> was simply incredible. Price? She was nearly always on and never better
>>> than in this well mastered 1962 broadcast and MacNeil? Another rock solid
>>> singer. The conducting by Kurt Adler indulges the singers, but with a
>> cast
>>> like this, why not?
>>>
>>> I also happen to prefer the 1938 EMI Tosca recording with Gigli, Caniglia
>>> and Bechi. Gigli was Gigli the most important Italian tenor to make a
>>> complete opera recording and he is in fine voice along with the
>>> underappreciated Caniglia and Bechi who is like Gobbi but with more
>> voice,
>>> (it wouldn't surprise me if Bechi was Gobbi's model for this role).
>>>
>>> But putting all that aside, can Tosca, which is not even Puccini's finest
>>> work, be the "best ever opera recording"?
>>>
>>> I suggest that the Toscanini and Beecham recordings of La Boheme are more
>>> worthy of consideration for such a title.
>>>
>>> But neither would be on my own list.
>>>
>>> My "best ever" opera recordings would be (in no particular order) the
>> 1912
>>> Pathe, La Favorite (the only truly idiomatic recording ever made of a Bel
>>> Canto opera), the 1940 Metropolitan Opera Broadcast of Otello with
>> Panizza,
>>> the 1947 NBC Broadcast of Otello with Toscanini, the 1950 NBC Falstaff
>> with
>>> Toscanini, the 1935 Die Walkure Act 1 recording with Walter, Melchior,
>>> Lehmann (no one else has come close to this), the 1932 EMI Don Pasquale
>>> with Schipa, the 1941 Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Fidelio with Walter
>>> and Flagstad, the 1955 Decca Le Nozze Di Figaro with Kleiber (despite the
>>> anachronistic harpsichord this has never been equaled), the 1935 EMI Cosi
>>> Fan Tutte from Glyndebourne, the 1937 EMI Die Zauberflote with Beecham,
>> the
>>> 1962 EMI Boris Godunov with Cluytens, Christoff, the 1939 Metropolitan
>>> Opera Simon Boccanegra broadcast with Tibbett, Rethberg and Pinza (this
>> is
>>> the finest Verdi singing on a complete recording, period), the 1931 EMI
>>> Werther with Vallin (probably the greatest recording ever made of a
>> French
>>> opera) and the 1930 EMI Faust with Journet.
>>>
>>> One could do ok on a desert island with the above. I'm sure list members
>>> have their own "best" ever recordings and I'd be happy to read their
>>> choices. I don't doubt for a minute that Tommasini has probably not heard
>>> most, if any of the recordings I listed. I would also add another one to
>>> the list, and that is the brilliant complete recording of Hamilton made
>>> with the original cast in 2015 and the only recording I've listed that
>> has
>>> its original cast. Some will perhaps argue that Hamilton doesn't belong
>>> with the above, but I believe it is every bit as much of an opera as any
>> of
>>> them and it is my list after all.
>>>
>>> Happy New Year!
>>>
>>> James Camner
>>>
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