£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Some items
to consider


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

The Callas Effect
Maria Callas (soprano)
Various orchestras and conductors
Mono/Stereo ADD, 2 CDs + DVD
DVD: The Callas Effect – Aspect Ratio 16:9; Sound LPCM Stereo
Track-listing at end of review
EMI CLASSICS 0843562 [CDs: 77:53 + 75:28; DVD: 70:00]

Experience Classicsonline

This makes a good Callas set for beginners. It contains arias that showcase a good section of her most successful repertoire and it captures her voice at its best. Exactly when it is captured remains a mystery, however: the set’s main problem for pre-existing fans and aficionados is that, while it contains information about where and with whom each track was recorded, we are not given any dates. Given the variable nature of Callas’ voice, the multiple occasions on which she recorded many of her roles, and the speed of her vocal decline, this is a serious oversight. However, while this may put off collectors it won’t discourage first-timers. They will also be helped by the sumptuous packaging: the CDs and DVD are housed in a luxurious hardback book with glossy photos and full texts and translations. There is also a very good essay from Ira Siff giving an overview of her career and including some lovely personal recollections, as well as analysing her significance for her art.

The excerpts themselves are well chosen to showcase Callas at her best. I was most pleasantly surprised by the French excerpts which are sung sensitively and with an unusually perceptive ear for French style. Her Donna Elvira is also very interesting, if rather unlovely. For those who are already Callas fans the chief attraction may be the DVD. As you might guess from the title, The Callas Effect, its main aim is to pin down what made Callas special and to pick out some examples of that from her career. It does that fairly well, though it tells us nothing new, instead reiterating commonplaces such as how effective her acting was and how she always used the music to deduce how to give a gesture or action on stage. It focuses disproportionately on her contribution to the 1964 Zeffirelli Tosca at Covent Garden, interviewing some who were involved in that production either as extras or chorus members. There are also extensive extracts from the filmed Act 2. These might not tell us anything new, but they serve to underline just how magnetic a stage presence she really was, as well as what vocal beauty she was capable of even at that late stage in her career. There are some (very unhelpful) interviews with superfans who, somewhat amusingly, are given the title of “Opera connoisseurs”, and with modern singers, such as Joyce DiDonato, who comment on her significance for the art of singing. The most interesting moments, however, come from those who collaborated with her professionally, such as John Copley and John Tooley. Tooley tells a fascinating story of how he offered her Santuzza at Covent Garden as a return to the stage, long after she was supposed to have retired, with the mouth-watering prospect of Domingo as Turridu. We will have to be content with dreaming about what that would have been like! She refused but, he tells us, years later she admitted to him that she should have done it.

So while aficionados probably won’t find much to inspire them here, it’s not a bad way in for those who may want to explore Callas’ legacy on disc. It’s also very good value for money and would make a good gift for someone.

Simon Thompson

Track-listing

Disc 1
Il Barbiere di Siviglia (1997 - Remaster)
1 Una voce poco fa 6:53

I vespri Siciliani, '(The) Sicilian Vespers' (1997 Digital Remaster)
2 Mercè, dilette amiche (Bolero) 4:02

Gianni Schicchi (1997 Digital Remaster)
3 O mio babbino caro 2:35

La Bohème (1997 - Remaster), Act I
4 Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì 4:49

Rigoletto (1997 Digital Remaster), Act I, Scene 2
5 Gualtier Maldè ... Caro nome (Gilda/Borsa/Ceprano/Marullo) 7:31

La Traviata (1997 Digital Remaster)
6 Ah, fors'è lui 3:18

Lakmé (1997 - Remaster)
7 Où va la jeune indoue (Bell Song) 8:06

Faust (1997 Digital Remaster)
8 Un bouquet! ... Ah! je ris (Jewel song) 5:29

Samson et Dalila (1997 Digital Remaster)
9 Samson, recherchant ma présence...Amour! viens aider ma faiblesse! 4:11

Carmen (1997 Digital Remaster), Act I
10 L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera) 4:19

Mignon (1997 - Remaster)
11 Ah, pour ce soir ... Je suis Titania (Polonaise) 5:09

Alceste (1997 Digital Remaster)
12 Divinités du Styx 4:23

Norma (1997 Digital Remaster)
13 Casta Diva 5:33

Macbeth (1997 - Remaster)
14 La luce langue 4:08

Turandot (1997 - Remaster), Act II
15 In questa Reggia 6:25

Disc 2
Tosca (2002 Digital Remaster), Act II
1 Vissi d'arte (Tosca) 3:17

Madama Butterfly (1997 Digital Remaster), Act II
2 Un bel di vedremo 4:42

Suor Angelica, 'Sister Angelica' (1997 Digital Remaster)
3 Senza mamma, O bimbo 5:36

La Wally (1997 Digital Remaster)
4 Ebben?...Ne andrò lontana 4:51

Andrea Chenier (1997 Digital Remaster)
5 La mamma morta 4:53

Il Trovatore (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 4 Scene One
6 D'amor sull'ali rosee (Leonora) 4:03

Il Pirata
7 ... Col sorriso d'innocenza (Act 2) 3:42

Ernani (1993 - Remaster)
8 Surta è la notte .... Ernani! Ernani, involami 6:11

Aida (1997 - Remaster)
9 Ritorna vincitor (Act I) 7:07

Carmen (1997 Digital Remaster)
10 Carreau! Pique! (Card Scene) 3:38

Don Giovanni, K.527 (1997 - Remaster)
11 In quali eccessi, O Numi!...Mi tradi quell'alma ingrata 6:33

Don Carlo (1997 - Remaster)
12 Tu che le vanità 10:36

La Gioconda (1997 Digital Remaster), Act 4
13 Suicidio! 4:16

Manon Lescaut (1999 Digital Remaster), ACT 4
14 Sola, perduta, abbandonata 5:04

Disc 3
The Callas Effect
1. Introduction 3:47
2. Humble Beginnings 3:08
3. The New Star 2:39
4. Norma at Covent Garden 2:38
5. Records and Romance 0:39
6. La Traviata 4:02
7. Il Trovatore 4:25
8. Bringing drama to the opera stage: Tosca 37:59
9. Concerts 3:39
10. Audience Response 5:23
11. High Society and Fashion 5:05
12. Losing Voice 4:01
13. 'Sola, perduta, abbandonata' 5:28
14. The Callas Effect today 3:12
15. Conclusion 0:55

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.