Notes and Editorial Reviews
'Tosca,' Giacomo Puccini's "shabby little shocker," had its premiere in 1900. The libretto, by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, was based on the Sardou drama of the same name. The opera has come to be associated with Maria Callas, the most celebrated interpreter of the title role. This recording, which dates from 1953, is THE classic performance, one of two "official" recordings, as it were. It is a must-have for all Callas fans. (There is another official recording, made in 1964, with a different conductor, Georges Prętre, and a different Cavaradossi, Carlo Bergonzi, but as the years passed, so did the quality of Callas's voice.) This earlier version is far superior.
Tradition mandates that we hear Callas sing with her fabled
partner, the honey-voiced Di Stefano. Here, his sweetness is a wonderful counterpoint to Callas's dramatic, covered voice. Tito Gobbi provides a crafty Scarpia, and De Sabata's conducting is considered by many to be the ultimate reading of this work.
But Callas is the diva here, and the listener is treated to the full amalgam of her emotional range. This performance is the myth-making one! Read less
Works on This Recording
Tosca by Giacomo Puccini
Melchiorre Luise (Bass),
Dario Caselli (Bass),
Maria Callas (Soprano),
Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor),
Franco Calabrese (Bass),
Tito Gobbi (Baritone),
Angelo Mercuriali (Tenor),
Alvaro [boy soprano] Cordova (Boy Soprano)
Victor De Sabata
Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,
Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Written: 1900; Italy
Date of Recording: 08/1953
Venue: La Scala Theater, Milan, Italy
Length: 108 Minutes 4 Secs.
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