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Subject: Re: Is the Callas Tosca recording the "best" opera recording ever made?
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 3 Jan 2018 19:40:17 -0600
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R Stuart is right on target about this.  Callas DOES force a lot of listeners to listen to her.  As an Undergraduate student, I used to have to read various and sundry novels, short stories, and of course, study for exams.  I always liked to have opera going on in the background.  I stopped playing Callas very early on because her singing made it impossible for me to concentrate on the work at hand.  The voice was so distinct, the tone so magnetic, and the singing so propulsive, that I realized that she was a singer who actually DEMANDED full attention.  It didn't matter WHAT she was singing, but rather the WAY she was singing it.  Callas was not an artist one could relax with as background singing.  I also could not listen to Toscanini or Jon Vickers either under these circumstances.  Could any other soprano have made that Tom Hanks/Denzel Washington scene from "Philadelphia" so searing and gut-wrenching?  Her recording of "La Mamma Morta" was used there for a definite reason (as Tom Hanks revealed in an interview a long time ago when the film opened).
> On January 3, 2018 at 3:08 PM R Stuart <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 
> "She FORCES her listeners to pay attention to her"
> 
> Yes! And I would say the same of Caruso. They're the two worst possible 
> choices for background music - one has to concentrate on them at the 
> expense of anything else going on. 
> 
> And they are exhausting to listen to - I find I now have to take them in 
> measured doses.
> 
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