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Ponchielli: La Gioconda / Votto, Callas, Cossotto


Release Date: 06/26/2007 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 81854   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Amilcare Ponchielli
Performer:  Fiorenza CossottoIrene CompaneezPier Miranda FerraroIvo Vinco,   ... 
Conductor:  Antonino Votto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala OrchestraMilan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 46 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Maria Callas made this recording of La Gioconda, one of her signature roles, relatively late in her career after her vocal problems had begun, but this performance captures her at her best. She was especially pleased with her performance and wrote, "It's all there, for anyone who...wishes to know what I was all about." It is indeed all there -- the passion, the penetrating characterization, the security and technical control, the vocal sheen and power. Although the cast contains some minor singers as well as international stars, the principals are in excellent form and make this a consistently fine account of the opera. Piero Cappuccilli is in powerful voice, making Barnaba genuinely menacing. Fiorenza Cossotto's pure-voiced Laura Read more is a fitting foil to Callas. Tenor Pier Miranda Ferraro is not a household name, but he brings Enzo to life with a strong, secure voice, and if his "Cielo e mar" is not the most thrilling ever recorded, it's entirely respectable and full of passion. Antonino Votto leads the Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala in a taut and dramatically urgent reading of Ponchielli's richly varied score, and they sing and play with full, robust tone. The recorded sound is clean, spacious, and well-balanced.

-- Stephen Eddins, AllMusic.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli
Performer:  Fiorenza Cossotto (Mezzo Soprano), Irene Companeez (Alto), Pier Miranda Ferraro (Tenor),
Ivo Vinco (Bass), Leonardo Monreale (Bass), Carlo Forti (Bass),
Renato Ercolani (Tenor), Aldo Biffi (Baritone), Maria Callas (Soprano),
Bonaldo Giaiotti (Bass), Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone)
Conductor:  Antonino Votto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Italy 
Venue:  Teatro Alla Scala, Milan, Italy 
Length: 166 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Teatro Alla Scala, Milan, Italy (09/04/1959 - 09/11/1959) 

Sound Samples

La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version): Prelude: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster): Prelude
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: Feste! Pane!: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: Feste! Pane!
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: E cantan su lor tombe: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: E cantan su lor tombe
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: Figlia, che reggi: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: Figlia, che reggi
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: L'ora non giunse: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: L'ora non giunse
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: Polso di cerro!: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: Polso di cerro!
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: Suo covo è un tugurio: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: Suo covo è un tugurio
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: Che? La plebe or qui si arroga: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: Che? La plebe or qui si arroga
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: Voce di donna: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: Voce di donna
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: Enzo Grimaldo: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: Enzo Grimaldo
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: Oh grido di quest'anima: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: Oh grido di quest'anima
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: Maledici? Sta ben: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: Maledici? Sta ben
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: Oh monumento!: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: Oh monumento!
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: Carneval! Baccanal!: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: Carneval! Baccanal!
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act I: Angele Dei: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act I: Angele Dei
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: Ho! He!: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: Ho! He!
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: Pesator! Pescator! Pescator! afonda l'esca: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: Pesator! Pescator! Pescator! afonda l'esca
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: Pescator, affonda l'esca: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: Pescator, affonda l'esca
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: Sia gloria ai canti dei naviganti!: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: Sia gloria ai canti dei naviganti!
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: Cielo e mar!: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: Cielo e mar!
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: Ma chi vien?: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: Ma chi vien?
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: Laggiù nelle nebbie remote: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: Laggiù nelle nebbie remote
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: E il tuo nocchiere: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: E il tuo nocchiere
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: Stella del marinar!: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: Stella del marinar!
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: E un anatema!: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: E un anatema!
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: Là attesi e il tempo colsi: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: Là attesi e il tempo colsi
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: L'amo come il fulgor del creato!: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: L'amo come il fulgor del creato!
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: Il mio braccio t'afferra!: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: Il mio braccio t'afferra!
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: Maledizion! Ha preso il vol!: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: Maledizion! Ha preso il vol!
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version), Act II: Vedi là, nel canal morto: La Gioconda (1997 - Remaster), Act II: Vedi là, nel canal morto

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Fantastic Performance January 27, 2014 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "Amilcare Ponchielli's great tragic opera requires for the role of La Gioconda a soprano blessed with the ability to project and shift between a number of competing emotions- romantic enfatuation, anger, bitterness, revenge, compassion, despair, and finally abject fatalism. In this outstanding La Scala Milan recording from 1959, Maria Callas positively shines as she demonstrates all of the above traits in what must be considered one of her definitive, supreme roles. What a lovely, sensational performance this recording is, reflecting the classic virtues of great Italian opera in the highest standards of excellence. In addition to Callas' breathtaking singing, the listener is likely to be similarly astounded at the emotionally compelling work of Fiorenza Cossoto as Laura, Ivo Vinco as Duke Alvise, Pier Miranda Ferraro as Enzo Grimaldo, and Piero Cappucilli as the villainous Barnaba. The story line of La Gioconda is highly complex in several respects- a consistently shifting emotional landscape, role reversals and conversions as heroes take on the attributes of villains and vice versa, the psychologically powerful merging of confrontation and compassion/mercy, all building to what the Italians seem to crave in their operas- cataclysmic, definitive resolution, be it joyous or tragic- in this case it is tragic. The sound of this EMI recording is just great, especially considering its 50 plus years. With the lineup of great singers noted above, the excellent Chorus and Orchestra of the La Scala Theater under Antonino Votto's inspired conducting all make this recording one for the ages. Don't miss this opportunity to experience a magnificent interpretation of Ponchielli's one great work, seen by some critics as the bridge between the Rossini/Donizetti era and the verismo phase of Italian opera, embodied in the latter half of Verdi's great career and of course Puccini. In short, Maria Callas' La Gioconda belongs in the collection of any serious opera fan worthy of the name. Highest recommendation!" Report Abuse
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