Wilson Pereira <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>The other day I was browsing in a local record store and I found
>two Callas's recordings of Bellini's Norma: the first one is in mono
>sound, recorded in 1954 (Mario Filippeschi/Ebe Stignanini/Nicola Rossi
>Lemeni/Tulio Serafin/EMI Callas Edition), and the other one is in stereo,
>recorded in 1960 (Franco Corelli/Christa Ludwig/Nicola Zaccaria/Tulio
>Serafin/EMI Callas Edition). Price of the first set: about US$ 26.55.
>Price of the second set: about US$ 38.15. Which is the best one?
Both of them. But seriously, in the early recording you get the benefits
of a vocally fresher Callas and Stignanini, with the downsides of weaker
casting, older recording techonology, and a more youthful interpretation.
The 1960 recording enjoys better sound, Franco Corelli, Christa Ludwig,
and a more mature Callas interpretation. That being said, 1960 is getting
dangerously close to Callas' farewell. Her "Casta diva" wobbles a bit on
top a gets somewhat harsh, but there is also some beautiful middle-voice
tones and ensemble work.
Despite these flaws, I find myself turning to the 1960 recording over the
earlier one if for no other reason than the better cast and the more mature
approach. I think you'll find that pick backed by many print sources as