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Giuseppe Di Stefano / 7 Complete Operas (14-disc Set)

Release Date: 10/16/2007 
Label:  Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog #: 9912   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Vincenzo BelliniGiuseppe VerdiPietro MascagniGaetano Donizetti,   ... 
Performer:  Ignacio RuffinoRoberto SilvaPiero CampolonghiMaria Callas,   ... 
Conductor:  Guido PiccoUmberto MugnaiAntonino VottoHerbert von Karajan,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala OrchestraMilan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Number of Discs: 14 
Recorded in: Mixed 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

During his peak years, Giuseppe Di Stefano had one of the most sensually beautiful tenor voices ever recorded. He was universally regarded as the leading lyric tenor in the world during the 1950s, and he was the tenor most often chosen to appear on stage with Maria Callas. Through the years he made a long series of major complete opera recordings, many of them with Callas, but also with other great sopranos of the time, including Renata Tebaldi and Birgit Nilsson. Throughout the major part of his career, Di Stefano was idolized by the public for his beautiful romantic voice, dark good looks, energetic manner, and movie-star lifestyle.

R E V I E W S:

Callas’s performance in Berlin is closer in interpretation and
Read more vocal quality to her 1953 EMI set than the later stereo recording. She is more vocally secure than in 1959, and in the two years since the earlier studio recording, she has found additional insights into the role. Her voice seems lighter in Berlin than in the 1953 EMI; she’s added an extra measure of innocence and vulnerability to the character. This performance is a splendid record of Callas at her best: the precision and detail of the passagework, the legato, the soft pianissimos, the melting diminuendos, the gleaming high notes.

The mad scene encompasses many moods and shifts in tone. A good singing actress responds to these with changes in vocal color, expression, and volume: sometimes sweet and innocent, sometimes dark and fearful, sometimes ethereal, sometimes tragic. It is more than just a long aria with lots of fioritura; it’s a mini-drama in itself. The mad scene is frequently a favored showcase for sopranos who possess an agile voice and some splendid high notes. Callas was among the first to express the drama in the role. She managed to unite the disparate moods into a seamless whole. In addition, she gathered the entire role of Lucia, all of the scenes and arias, into a unified characterization that leads convincingly to the mad scene. Her Lucia was more than a lovesick girl suddenly gone berserk in the last act; hints of the character’s mental fragility are given each time Callas’s Lucia appears.

-- David L. Kirk, FANFARE
reviewing Lucia di Lammermoor, previously released as Opera d'Oro 1447 Read less

Works on This Recording

I puritani by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Ignacio Ruffino (Bass), Roberto Silva (Bass), Piero Campolonghi (Baritone),
Maria Callas (Soprano), Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor)
Conductor:  Guido Picco
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 5/29/1952 
Venue:  Teatro de Bellas Artes, Mexico City 
Language: Italian 
Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor), Gilberto Cerda (Baritone), Maria Teresa Garcia (Mezzo Soprano),
Piero Campolonghi (Baritone), Maria Callas (Soprano), Ignacio Ruffino (Bass)
Conductor:  Umberto Mugnai
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
Date of Recording: 6/17/1952 
Venue:  Teatro de Bellas Artes, Mexico City 
Language: Italian 
Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Hortensia Beggiato (Alto), Gabriella Carturan (Mezzo Soprano), Giangiacomo Guelfi (Baritone),
Giulietta Simionato (Mezzo Soprano), Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor)
Conductor:  Antonino Votto
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Date of Recording: 5/10/1955 
Venue:  La Scala, Milan 
Language: Italian 
Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano), Nicola Zaccaria (Bass), Giuseppe Zampieri (Tenor),
Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor), Rolando Panerai (Baritone), Luisa Villa (Mezzo Soprano),
Mario Carlin (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 9/29/1955 
Venue:  Berlin 
Language: Italian 
Turandot by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor), Luigi Testa (Baritone), Rosanna Carteri (Soprano),
Giuseppe Modesti (Bass), Renato Capecchi (Baritone), Birgit Nilsson (Soprano),
Angelo Mercuriali (Tenor), Piero de Palma (Tenor), Mario Ferrara (Tenor)
Conductor:  Antonino Votto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/7/1958 
Venue:  La Scala, Milan 
Language: Italian 
Tosca by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Piero de Palma (Tenor), Nicola Zaccaria (Bass), Tito Gobbi (Baritone),
Virgilio Carbonari (Bass), Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor), Renata Tebaldi (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/12/1959 
Venue:  La Scala, Milan 
Language: Italian 
Fedora by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor), Mariano Caruso (Tenor), Vittorio Buccini (Alto),
Mario Sereni (Baritone), Sofia Mizzetti (Soprano), Renata Tebaldi (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Antonino Votto,  Arturo Basile  ... 
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/14/1961 
Venue:  Live  Teatro San Carlo, Naples 
Language: Italian 

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