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Puccini: Tosca Box set

140 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, August 19, 1997
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$29.99 $0.42

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Maria Callas is at the top of her game, and still very much in her vocal prime. Her dramatic approach to "Tosca" is arguably even better captured in the live recordings from Covent Garden a decade later, but at that point her voice had lost some of its bloom; depending on your tastes, this may be the better example of her doing the role. Tito Gobbi owned the role of Scarpia, and considered it his finest characterization. Although he and Callas wouldn''t perform the opera together on-stage for another 10 years, the chemistry and tension they brought to those later live performances are already in evidence here, as if they have done these roles together many times. The excitement of the second act is electric. And Giuseppe di Stefano still sounds youthful and fresh, not yet vocally worn from years of heavy singing. He makes the perfect partner for Callas, bringing an optimistic passion to the opening scene that sets off her more complicated persona. His final "E lucevan le stelle" is truly heartbreaking.

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Little can be added to what's been written about this landmark recording, except that Walter Legge's 1953 mono production yields nothing to modern Tosca recordings for vivacity and theatrical impact--especially Maria Callas's. The miraculous Victor de Sabata conjures up a vibrant, inspiring orchestral canvas that enables Callas and her stellar cohorts to work their magic. Tito Gobbi and Callas spur each other on to heights in which the characters take over from the singers in the listener's mind. Giuseppe Di Stefano is on his best behavior, and in fresher voice than on his fine Leontyne Price-Herbert von Karajan remake. On this set, EMI includes texts, translations, and notes that discuss this recording in the context of Callas's mercurial career. --Jed Distler


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Ah! Finalmente!Franco Calabrese/Melchiorre Luise/Giuseppe Di Stefano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 5:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Dammi i colori...Recondita armoniaGiuseppe Di Stefano/Melchiorre Luise/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 4:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Gente là dentro!Giuseppe Di Stefano/Franco Calabrese/Maria Callas/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 1:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Mario!Maria Callas/Giuseppe Di Stefano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 6:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Ah, quegli occhi! ... Quale occhi al mondo può di paroMaria Callas/Giuseppe Di Stefano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: E buona la mia ToscaGiuseppe Di Stefano/Franco Calabrese/Melchiorre Luise/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 4:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Un tal baccano in chiesa!Tito Gobbi/Melchiorre Luise/Angelo Mercuriali/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 3:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Tutto è chiaro ... Tosca? Che non mi veda ... Mario! Mario!Tito Gobbi/Maria Callas/Melchiorre Luise/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Ed io venivo a lui tutta dogliosaMaria Callas/Tito Gobbi/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 3:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Tre sbirri (Te Deum)Tito Gobbi/Angelo Mercuriali/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Tosca è un buon falcoTito Gobbi/Dario Caselli/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Ha più forteTito Gobbi/Dario Caselli/Angelo Mercuriali/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Meno male!Tito Gobbi/Angelo Mercuriali/Giuseppe Di Stefano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Dov'è dunque Angelotti?Tito Gobbi/Giuseppe Di Stefano/Angelo Mercuriali/Maria Callas/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Ed or fra noi parliam da buoni amiciTito Gobbi/Maria Callas/Dario Caselli/Giuseppe Di Stefano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Orsù, Tosca, parlateTito Gobbi/Maria Callas/Giuseppe Di Stefano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Basta, RobertiTito Gobbi/Dario Caselli/Maria Callas/Giuseppe Di Stefano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 1:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Nel pozzo...Del giardinoTito Gobbi/Giuseppe Di Stefano/Maria Callas/Dario Caselli/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Se la giurataTito Gobbi/Maria Callas/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Vissi d'arteMaria Callas/Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Milano/Victor de Sabata 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Vedi, ecco, vediMaria Callas/Tito Gobbi/Angelo Mercuriali/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: E qual via scegliete?Tito Gobbi/Maria Callas/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 6:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 3: Io de' sospiriAlvaro Cordova/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 5:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 3: Mario Cavaradossi?Dario Caselli/Giuseppe Di Stefano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
15. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 3: E lucevan le stelleGiuseppe Di Stefano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
16. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 3: Ah! Franchigia a Floria ToscaGiuseppe Di Stefano/Maria Callas/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
17. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 3: O dolci maniGiuseppe Di Stefano/Maria Callas/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 4:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
18. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 3: E non giungonoMaria Callas/Giuseppe Di Stefano/Dario Caselli/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
19. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 3: Com'è lunga l'attesa!Maria Callas/Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Milano/Victor de Sabata 2:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
20. Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 3: Presto! su, Mario! Andiamo! Andiamo!, Su!Maria Callas/Dario Caselli/Angelo Mercuriali/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Victor De Sabata 1:14$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Performer: Giuseppe di Stefano, Tito Gobbi
  • Orchestra: Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala
  • Conductor: Victor De Sabata
  • Composer: Giacomo Puccini
  • Audio CD (August 19, 1997)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B000002RXZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,581 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Bill Ratner on December 27, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Maria Callas was a legend in her time (roughly the World War II and 50's era) and she raised the bar for dramatic sopranos who would come in her aftermath, She was living proof that an opera singer is also a dramatist. Callas was a dedicated actress as much as she was an opera singer. She studied her roles so religiously that she became her characters. Thus, those who saw her perform when she was alive were treated with high art and drama. Now, thanks to the digital technology available to us, we can hear live performances on recording of Callas' finest moments - her Norma, her Lucia, her La Gioconda, her La Vestale, her Medea and in this cas, her Tosca. Puccini's Tosca, based on a play by the Frenchman Victor Sardou, is a story full of raw emotion and fiery drama. Floria Tosca is an aristocratic and good-hearted woman who loves the artist Mario. It is post-Napoleon Rome, and political instability befouls the air. The villainous Scarpia, jealous of Mario and wanting Tosca for himself, arranges the execution of Mario on false charges of revolt. Tosca leaps from a high building to her death.
Maria Callas ' voice is heavy, dark and full of thunder. This kind of largeness is necessary for the role of Tosca, who is characterized as a strong woman, despite her tragic finale. Tito Gobbi sings a truly evil Scarpia, lusty, scheming and devilish. His baritone was very commanding in his day. Singing the heroic Mario is Di Stefano, who was paired with Callas quite often. His tenor voice is terrific, lyric and powerful and full of drama. In my opinion, Placido Domingo's Mario is just as good and perhaps even a clone of Stefano's. This recording is a good buy. Enough with the Renata Tebaldi versus Maria Callas feud. There may have been no rivalry at all.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By P. Rah on January 23, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I have always been a huge fan of Maria Callas. She brought the intensity and true drama of anything she performed and she risked everything to give us glorious interpretations. Certainly is is true that she had a voice that was not traditionally considered baeutiful, but I am not one of those people who like tweety bird singers who only sing for beauty of sound(which is not true beauty at all - only a superficial one in my opinion). If a composer's wish is to have drama and life to his opera, then the singer has to obey the composer's wishes, end of story. And Callas is the one singer who did this. When neede, she sacrificed beauty for expression of the drama that is opera, and this Tosca is one of the finest examples one can hear of the drama and fire that is required in Puccini's music. This is a set that for once dispels any doubts as to its value as one of the greteast recordings of the century. It is a total perofrmance. Many people single out the second act of this recording for its dramatic intensity, but I feel that does a disservice to Callas and Puccini, as he wrote his opera as a whole combined force of several acts. Sure, the Second act does have the famous Vissi d'arte, and other great 'tunes', but I feel that the whole performance has to be taken into account. The first act is notable for its varieties and subtlties of the orchestra's playing, the second act for its bitter drama and Tosca's cry to God, and the Third Act for its heartbreaking ending (why is it that the prima donnas have to die so horribly?). Throughout the recording Callas, Gobbi, di Stefano and de Sabata create magic through their individual genius. This set has the balance of fire, intelligence, passion, and sound quality needed for a successful recording.Read more ›
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Koli Mitra on February 18, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The oddest thing I've read was one of these reviewers calling Callas' voice "common". Her voice is unique in the history of recorded opera. How many people can sing everything from Wagner to Bizet to Donizetti? and do so in a memorable way? You may or may not like it, but COMMON it is not.
Callas was an incredibly versatile singer who may have been second to others in some things (such as Sutherland in the Bel Canto style work), but Tosca was MEANT for Maria. The darkish voice, the passion, the moments of elegance, the personal interpretation of Tosca WILL move you, even if you do think her tone is "ugly" --which I can't imagine ANYONE thinking. Keep in mind that this is Puccini. It's about drama, it's about life's rawness and poignancy. It's not JUST about the instrument. It's also about the skill, artistic commitment, and imagination of the instrumentalist. Maria Callas has all of this more than most singers.
The UCLA kid's critique was incomprehensible to me. I'm only a few years older than her and, yes, I adore Cecilia Bartoli (not spelled with 'y') but I and many of my YOUNGER friends think she's dead wrong about Maria Callas. You can't compare apples and oranges. Callas was a coloratura, Bartoli is a Mezzo. A couple of years ago, Bartoli wouldn't even sing Carmen because she's growing her voice. Callas did Liebestod and the Lakme Bell Song in the same set! In her debut! Also, I think reviewers should try to tell us WHY they found something aesthetically unsatisfying. This "my generation" stuff if utter silliness whose logical extension would mean there is no reason to appreciate anything old --Puccini himself, for instance!
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