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Maria Callas - La Divina Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, September 14, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Famous diva of all time, Maria Callas, including Habanera from "Carmen" ; Sempre libera from "La Traviata"; Vissi D'arte, Vissi D'amore from "Tosca"; Un Bel Di, Vedremo from "Madama Butterfly", and more.

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If you want to know the reason behind all the fuss about Maria Callas, buy this CD. Callas's great gift was not purity of tone or emission, reliability, or sheer loveliness; it was, rather, her ability to change her vocal color and style to suit not only particular periods of opera but to get under the skin of the individual characters she portrayed. Here you will hear the 18-year-old Butterfly imagining the return of her beloved; the sultry, adult Carmen seducing all around her; the youthful Wally telling her cruel father that she will go off into the cold wilderness rather than give up her boyfriend; the sly Rosina planning to outfox her guardian; the priestess Norma performing a sacred rite; Dalila wrapping Samson around her little finger and more; Gioconda contemplating suicide when all hope is gone; Gilda recalling the name of the boy she's just fallen for; and the icy princess Turandot reliving the rape of her ancestor and swearing that no man will possess her. And you'll believe them all. At times Callas's vocalism is a bit wiry (Juliette sounds stressed, for instance); but, in all, this is like a visit with 16 women, all of them interesting, and all of them great singers! --Robert Levine

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Madama Butterfly: Un bel di, vedremo (Atto ll)
  2. Carmen: L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera) (Acte l)
  3. La Wally: Ebben? ne andro lontana (Atto l)
  4. Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Una voce poco fa (Atto l)
  5. Norma: Casta Diva (Atto l)
  6. Samson et Dalila: Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix (Acte ll)
  7. Rigoletto: Caro nome (Atto l)
  8. La Traviata: Sempre libera (Atto l)
  9. Romeo et Juliette: Je veux vivre dans ce reve (Acte l)
  10. La Boheme: Si, mi chiamano Mimi (Atto l)
  11. Don Giovanni: Mi tradi quell'alma ingrata (Atto ll)
  12. Cavalleria Rusticana: Voi lo sapete, o mamma
  13. La Gioconda: Suicidio! (Atto lV)
  14. Gianni Schicchi1: O mio babbino caro
  15. Turandot: In questa reggia (Atto ll)
  16. TOSCA: Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore (Atto ll)


Product Details

  • Composer: Giacomo Puccini, Vincenzo Bellini, Georges Bizet, Gioachino Rossini, Alfredo Catalani, et al.
  • Audio CD (September 14, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B000002RT6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,444 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I do not intend to get into a controversy with the Callas bashers (one or two of them on these pages), but as a student of music and voice, I am amazed at the range of music Callas undertook during her great career. Her musicianship, phrasing, and involvement were things that any fledging singer would wish to possess. I find Callas' voice moving, colorful, expressive, dramatic, and yes, BETTER than beautiful. Callas' voice is the voice of truth and music in it's most lofty form. Virtually every aria in this collection has the stamp of Callas ---- nothing is half-baked --- the great diva's sense of musical committment is obvious in every selection.
For those who do not like Callas --- fine, but don't bash a great artist whose particular strengths do not reach your ears. They certainly reach mine, and many others. During Callas' liftime, the multitudes listened. They are still listening!
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By A Customer on March 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Even if you believe (correctly) that there are sopranos with better voices, and even if you prefer modern digital recordings, if you are at all a fan of opera, you must buy at least one CD -- preferably this one -- of Maria Callas. There is something incredibly mesmerizing about her, an emotional quality and range that is unique, even if her voice does tremble in the upper register. Her La Wally is unsurpassed in my mind, the great "L'Amour est un oiseau rebelle" from Carmen is as well, and while Leontyne Price takes a backseat to noone in Puccini, Callas' versions are special as well. A wonderful cross section of 16 of the greatest arias of all time, plus the chance to hear Callas in an astonishing range of roles. Buy it.
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Format: Audio CD
Maria Callas is an overhelming mistery for every Opera fan. Her voice is unmistakable, her ability as actress uncompared. If you buy this Cd, you will understand why she is called La Divina. Every sung word is clear, every tone is firm. Her voice changes depending from the role she is playing: the wretched Violetta of "La Traviata" is laughing at the chance of a true love, Wally is seeking a new life, Norma sings gently to the moon, Tosca is singing her desillusionment in a prayer to God,... From time to time you'll don't be simply listening to a human voice, but to the HUMAN FEELINGS that voice is evoking. Callas was a genius: nobody has reached such a power in vocal emission, such interpretation capability, such perfection after her sad dead in 1977, and even during her short life. Sure, she was not always at her best and her voice faded within 15 years of brilliant career.But she begun singing on stage in the late '30s, having no pause and using her instrument without regard.She had a repertoire of 140 Operas,ranging from the "dramatic soprano"-roles to the "coloritura"-roles.No other is and was able to perform such different kind of arias(which reqeuest a totally different technical background)during the same recital and even during the same MONTH. This Cd shows her voice at her best, in the Golden Age of the early and mid '50s. If you can buy also the VHS of her Parisian debut, anno 1958, edit by EMI. She will overhelm the watcher with her magnetism and the listener with the perfection and unicity of her voice and timbre. "I wish for me the best, because I always do the best..." Callas once said... Preposterous? Listen and judge!
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Format: Audio CD
I wonder how many people got into Maria Callas because of the movie "Philadephia," which featured the aria "La Mamma Morta" (from the opera "Andrea Chenier") in a crucial scene between Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington? I wonder how many took note of her because Fernando in "Our Lady of the Assassins" finds that her soprano pierces his heart? In that film, we hear her sing a Rossini aria from "The Barber of Seville." Maybe folks encountered the reference in Camille Paglia's "Sexual Personae": "Cultishness still thrives among homosexual opera fans, whose supreme diva was tempestuous Maria Callas."
Whatever the trigger, Callas' popularity is on the rise. This disc gathers her good eggs into one basket. This is a "best of" among the arias she sang in the 1950s and 60s. My favorites include her version of Bizet's warning about ungovernable love "Habanera," Saint-Saens' meltingly lyrical "Mon Coeur S'ouvre a ta Voix," and Puccini's mournful "O Mio Babbino Caro."
Her voice isn't perfect, whatever that means. It sounds thin and syrupy at times by the standards of world class opera. But it's the best we have. She is the best ever. If you want to be wowed, her high note on Rossini's "Una Voce Poco Fa" will endanger your crystal--and that's after she effortlessly navigates its string of complex arpeggios. If you want to be charmed, listen to the words Callas as Delilah sings to Samson: "Come back to my caresses!" Though she is known more for her interpretations of Puccini and Verdi, Callas' work in the French opera "Samson and Delilah" is among her very best. The viscosity of her voice becomes an asset as it suits the honeyed words of Delilah's eye-batting seductions perfectly.
This aria is sublime, exquisite.
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