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Maria Callas - The Legendary Duets


Release Date: 11/17/2009 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 98346   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giacomo PucciniGiuseppe VerdiVincenzo BelliniGaetano Donizetti,   ... 
Performer:  Lucia DanieliMaria CallasNicolai GeddaGiuseppe Di Stefano,   ... 
Conductor:  Georges PrêtreTullio SerafinAlceo Galliera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

EMI Classics announces another release in its highly successful series of compilation albums devoted to the unique artistry of Maria Callas – The Legendary Duets. In these 2 CDs, the iconic Greek-American soprano Maria Callas is heard in duets with a number of the greatest opera stars of her day. Some were her regular partners on stage and in recordings, while others made only an occasional appearance in Callas’s career, but her talent is such that she invariably establishes an affinity with each one in the studio that raises these duets to memorable musical and dramatic heights.

This desire always to make the very best of her musical associations was part of Callas’s total dedication to her work The two singers with whom she
Read more recorded most were the tenor Giuseppe di Stefano and the baritone Tito Gobbi, who both appeared with her in her very first EMI Recording: Lucia di Lammermoor, made in Florence in February 1953. Like Callas, they were both able to bring their operatic characters to life not only by their superb singing but also by their vivid vocal acting. The programme here includes five duets with each of these great artists. The much-loved American tenor Richard Tucker, who appears here with Callas in the closing scene from Aida, was Callas’s partner in the very first performance of her main career when he sang opposite her in La Gioconda in the Verona Arena in August 1947, and they were together again at the very end of her stage career when she gave two performances of Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in March 1965 – one with Tucker and one with Franco Corelli. Other singers with whom Callas is heard on this album include the tenors Carlo Bergonzi, Eugenio Fernandi, Nicolai Gedda, Alfredo Kraus, Nicola Monti and Ferruccio Tagliavini; the mezzo-sopranos Fiorenza Cossotto and Christa Ludwig; and the baritones Piero Cappuccilli and Rolando Panerai.

Another aspect of Callas’s art is seen in the wide range of music she performs here, from bel canto operas by Bellini (I puritani, La Sonnambula and Norma), Rossini (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and Donizetti (Lucia di Lammermoor), through the most popular lyric and dramatic works by Verdi (Rigoletto, La traviata and Aida) and Puccini (Madama Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, La bohème and Turandot) via Ponchielli’s La Gioconda to Bizet’s masterpiece Carmen. Despite pleas from opera managements all over the world, Callas resolutely refused to perform Carmen on stage, but in 1964 she agreed to record it with Nicolai Gedda. She had also never sung on stage with Gedda, although they recorded together at La Scala in Il turco in Italia in 1954 and Madama Butterfly in 1955, but in the studio in Paris they formed an ideal partnership. Opposite Gedda’s matchless interpretation of Don José, Callas found countless nuances of meaning in the part of Carmen. The three duets included here show how vividly the two singers portray the deteriorating relationship between the gypsy girl and her doomed lover. Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Madama Butterfly: Vogliatemi bene, un bene piccolino by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Lucia Danieli (Mezzo Soprano), Maria Callas (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
2. La Bohème: O soave fanciulla by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano), Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor), Rolando Panerai (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
3. Manon Lescaut: Oh, sarò la più bella! by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano), Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
4. Turandot: Principessa di morte! by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Soprano), Eugenio Fernandi (Tenor), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
5. La traviata: Libiamo ne' lieti calici "Brindisi" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Alfredo Kraus (Tenor), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
6. La traviata: Parigi, o cara by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Maria Cristina de Castro (Soprano), Alfredo Kraus (Tenor), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
7. Rigoletto: Veglia, o donna, questo fiore by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Tito Gobbi (Baritone), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
8. Rigoletto: Addio, addio, speranza by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano), Tito Gobbi (Baritone), Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
9. Rigoletto: Lassù in cielo by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Tito Gobbi (Baritone), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
10. Il trovatore: Quel suon...Ah! che la morte "Miserere" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano), Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
11. Il trovatore: Mira, di acerbe lagrime by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Rolando Panerai (Baritone), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
12. Aida: Ciel, mio padre!...Su dunque sorgete by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Tito Gobbi (Baritone), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
13. Aida: La fatal pietra...O terra, addio by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Fedora Barbieri (Mezzo Soprano), Richard Tucker (Tenor), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
14. La sonnambula: Son geloso del zefiro by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Nicola Monti (Tenor), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
15. I puritani: Vieni fra queste braccia by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano), Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
16. Tosca: Mario! Mario! Mario!...Son qui. by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Carlo Bergonzi (Tenor), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
17. Tosca: Or tutt è chiaro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Tito Gobbi (Baritone), Maria Callas (Soprano), Giorgio Tadeo (Bass)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
18. Tosca: Senti l'ora è vicina by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano), Carlo Bergonzi (Tenor)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
19. Norma: Mira, o Norma by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Christa Ludwig (Mezzo Soprano), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
20. Norma: In mia man' alfin tu sei by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano), Franco Corelli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
21. Lucia di Lammermoor: Verranno a te sull' aure by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Ferruccio Tagliavini (Tenor), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
22. Lucia di Lammermoor: Soffriva nel pianto by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Piero Cappuccilli (Baritone), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
23. Il barbiere di Siviglia: Dunque io son la fortunata by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano), Tito Gobbi (Baritone)
Conductor:  Alceo Galliera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
24. La Gioconda: Stella del marinar! by Amilcare Ponchielli
Performer:  Fiorenza Cossotto (Mezzo Soprano), Maria Callas (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Italy 
25. Carmen: Près des ramparts de Seville "Seguidilla" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
26. Carmen: Non, tu ne m'aimes pas by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; France 
27. Carmen: C'est toi! C'est moi!...Carmen, il est temps encore by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Maria Callas (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Devine September 6, 2013 By charles naudi (forestville, nsw) See All My Reviews "Maria in her versatile best" Report Abuse
 The Legendary Duets February 23, 2013 By doris barrett (Binscarth, MB) See All My Reviews "Maria Callas has never been on my top 10 list,but after hearing her heartbreaking rendition of La Mamma Morta in" Philadelphia",have acquired a couple of her recordings Not the most beautiful voice but I find that I listen to every note she sings. There is a lovely selection of duets on this C.D. A very good addition to my collection." Report Abuse
 A Somewhat Brief Review January 29, 2013 By George D. (St. Louis, MO) See All My Reviews "Maria Callas. Enough said." Report Abuse
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