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Maria Callas - Bellini: Norma (1954) [Remastered 2014]

Classic | Author: artmuss | 2-12-2014, 18:46
Maria Callas - Bellini: Norma (1954) [Remastered 2014]
Artist: Maria Callas
Title Of Album: Bellini: Norma
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Warner Classics
Genre: Classical Music, Opera, Romantic
Total Time: 2:40:26
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Quality: Lossless 48kHz/16bit / 96kHz/24bit
Total Size: 442 mb / 1.62 gb (Digital Booklet)

This 1954 Norma is something of a miracle, capturing as it does, Callas in her signature role at the perfect moment. Slimmed down physically and vocally, the diva is still capable of all the vocal fireworks with which she galvanised audiences when heavy, now also blessed with the ability to spin out delicate piano phrases and take her singing to an even more intimate level of artistry.

Norma is the role Callas sang most often in the theatre, amounting to 89 performances between 1948 and 1965. She used the opera for important debuts – including London, New York and Paris – and made two commercial recordings. Five complete live performances of Norma also survive, and various scenes and arias were captured in the theatre between 1948 and 1965. Franco Zeffirelli’s legendary 1964 Paris staging was Callas’s final new production of an opera; by that time her interpretation had reached a level of incomparable refinement, but the physical strain of the role overcame her. Little more than a month after a 1965 revival, Callas bid farewell to the opera stage.

Here, over a decade earlier, she is in spectacular voice – and with 45 Normas under her belt, already the supreme interpreter of the role. From the first note of her entrance Callas is the mistress of bel canto, incisive delivery of recitative is followed by a sublime ‘Casta Diva’, perhaps her most beautiful on record. The first duet with Adalgisa features one of those incomparable Callas moments – a dazzling diminuendo on a high C, seamlessly arced into a descending ‘string of pearls’ chromatic run. In the climactic Act I trio, death-defying leaps to brilliant forte high Cs give vent to Norma’s rage at Pollione, while infinite tenderness makes ‘Mira, o Norma’ a moment of supreme delicacy. In the opera’s final scene, her voice is entirely at her command, her powerful declamations and searing high-voltage high notes dissolving into a passionate plea for her children. One feels that, had Callas recorded only this Norma, she would still rank as the 20th century’s greatest operatic artist.

TRACKLIST:

Disc: 1
1. Norma: Overture - Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
2. Norma, Act 1: "Ite Sul Colle... Dell Aura Tua Profetica" (Oroveso, Chorus) - Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
3. Norma, Act 1: "Svanir Le Voci!" (Pollione, Flavio) - Mario Filippeschi, Paolo Caroli, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
4. Norma, Act 1: "Meco All'Altar Di Venere" (Pollione) - Mario Filippeschi, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
5. Norma, Act 1: "Odi?... I Suoi Riti A Compiere" (Flavio, Chorus, Pollione) - Paolo Caroli, Mario Filippeschi, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
6. Norma, Act 1: "Me Protegge, Me Difende Un Poter Maggior Di Loro" (Pollione) - Mario Filippeschi, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
7. Norma, Act 1: Allegro Assai... (Orchestra) "... Norma Viene" (Chorus) - Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
8. Norma, Act 1: "Sediziose Voci" (Norma, Oroveso, Chorus) - Maria Callas, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
9. Norma, Act 1: Casta Diva (Norma, Chorus) - Maria Callas, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
10. Norma, Act 1: "Fine Al Rito E Il Sacro Bosco" (Norma, Oroveso, Chorus) - Maria Callas, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
11. Norma, Act 1: "Ah! Bello A Me Ritorna" (Norma, Oroveso, Chorus) - Maria Callas, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
12. Norma, Act 1: Andante (Orchestra) " Sgombra È La Sacra Selva" (Adalgisa) - Ebe Stignani, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
13. Norma, Act 1: "Eccola! Va, Mi Lascia Ragion Non Odo" (Pollione, Adalgisa) - Mario Filippeschi, Ebe Stignani, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
14. Norma, Act 1: "Va, Crudele, Al Dio Spietato" (Pollione, Adalgisa) - Mario Filippeschi, Ebe Stignani, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
15. Norma, Act 1: "Vieni In Roma" (Pollione, Adalgisa) - Mario Filippeschi, Ebe Stignani, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin

Disc: 2
1. Norma, Act 1: Allegro Agitato (Orchestra) "...Vanne, E Li Cela Entrambi" (Norma, Clotilde) - Maria Callas, Rina Cavallari, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
2. Norma, Act 1: "Adalgisa!...Alma Costanza" (Norma, Adalgisa) - Maria Callas, Ebe Stignani, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano,Tullio Serafin
3. Norma, Act 1: "Oh! Rimembranza!" (Norma, Adalgisa) - Maria Callas, Ebe Stignani, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
4. Norma, Act 1: "Ah! Si! Fa Core E Abbracciami" (Norma, Adalgisa) - Maria Callas, Ebe Stignani, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
5. Norma , Act 1: "Ma Di'...L'Amato Giovane?" (Norma, Adalgisa, Pollione) - Maria Callas, Ebe Stignani, Mario Filippeschi, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
6. Norma, Act 1: "Oh! Di Qual Sei Tu Vittima" (Norma, Adalgisa, Pollione) - Maria Callas, Ebe Stignani, Mario Filippeschi, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
7. Norma, Act 1: "Perfido!...Or Basti" (Norma, Adalgisa, Pollione) - Maria Callas, Ebe Stignani, Mario Filippeschi, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
8. Norma, Act 1: "Vanne, Si: Mi Lascia, Indegno" (Norma, Adalgisa, Pollione, Chorus) - Maria Callas, Ebe Stignani, Mario Filippeschi, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin

Disc: 3
1. Norma, Act 2: Introduction - Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
2. Norma, Act 2: "Dormono Entrambi" (Norma) - Maria Callas, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
3. Norma, Act 2: "Ola! Clotilde!" (Norma, Clotilde) - Maria Callas, Rina Cavallari, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
4. Norma, Act 2: "Me Chiami, O Norma!" (Adalgisa, Norma) - Ebe Stignani, Maria Callas, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
5. Norma, Act 2: "Deh! Con Te Li Prendi" (Norma, Adalgisa) - Maria Callas, Ebe Stignani, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
6. Norma, Act 2: "Mira, O Norma" (Norma, Adalgisa) - Maria Callas, Ebe Stignani, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
7. Norma, Act 2: "Cedi! ... Deh! Cedi!" (Adalgisa, Norma) - Ebe Stignani, Maria Callas, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
8. Norma, Act 2: "Si, Fino All'Ore Estreme" (Norma, Adalgisa) - Maria Callas, Ebe Stignani, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
9. Norma, Act 2: Allegro Maestoso (Orchestra) "...Non Parti?" (Chorus) - Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
10. Norma, Act 2: "Guerrieri! A Voi Venire" (Oroveso, Chorus) - Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
11. Norma, Act 2: "Ah! Del Tebro Al Giogo Indegno" (Oroveso, Chorus) - Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
12. Norma, Act 2: Andante Maestoso (Orchestra) " Ei Tornera Si!" (Norma, Clotilde) - Maria Callas, Mario Filippeschi, Ebe Stignani, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Paolo Caroli, Rina Cavallari, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
13. Norma , Act 2: "Sguilla Il Bronzo Del Dio!" (Chorus, Oroveso, Norma) - Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Maria Callas, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
14. Norma, Act 2: "Guerra, Guerra!" (Oroveso, Chorus, Norma) - Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Maria Callas, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
15. Norma, Act 2: "Ne Compi Il Rito, O Norma?" (Oroveso, Norma, Clotilde, Chorus, Pollione) - Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Maria Callas, Rina Cavallari, Mario Filippeschi, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
16. Norma, Act 2: "In Mia Man Alfin Tu Sei" (Norma, Pollione) - Maria Callas, Mario Filippeschi, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
17. Norma, Act 2: "Gia Mi Pasco Ne' Tuoi Sguardie" (Norma, Pollione) - Maria Callas, Mario Filippeschi, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
18. Norma, Act 2: "Dammi Quel Ferro" (Chorus, Norma, Pollione, Oroveso) - Maria Callas, Mario Filippeschi, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
19. Norma, Act 2: "Qual Cor Tradisti, Qual Cor Perdesti" (Chorus, Norma, Pollione, Oroveso) - Maria Callas, Mario Filippeschi, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
20. Norma, Act 2: "Norma! Deh! Norma, Scolpati!" (Chorus, Norma, Pollione, Oroveso) - Maria Callas, Mario Filippeschi, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin
21. Norma, Act 2: "Deh! Non Volerli Vittime" (Chorus, Norma, Pollione, Oroveso) - Maria Callas, Mario Filippeschi, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano, Tullio Serafin

Recorded April 23 & May 3, 1954, Cinema Metropol, Milan
Recorded in cooperation with E.A. Teatro alla Scala, Milan
Producer: Walter Legge · Balance engineer: Robert Beckett
Newly remastered from the original tapes at Abbey Road Studios

With high definition, you’ll be able to experience sounds which have only been heard up till now by people who were either present at Callas’s recording sessions, or who had access to the unique master tape,’ says Allan Ramsay, one of the team of engineers responsible for this remastering of all Callas’s studio recordings. ‘And digital editing software has become so sophisticated that we can correct problems which were insoluble even a few years ago. The listener will experience something as close as possible to the actual recording sessions.’

It sounds miraculous. Ramsay describes his aim for the project:

"The best way to explain a high-definition remastering is to use the metaphor of a digital camera,’ he says. ‘Imagine the difference in image clarity between a 1-megapixel camera and a 12-megapixel camera. It gives an idea of the resolution we’re now able to achieve. A cymbal crash, for instance, creates frequencies that are audible to the human ear, but it also creates supersonic harmonics, which are not. Those harmonics can still be experienced as a vibration in the air, even if you can’t hear them. Until now it has not been possible to reproduce those frequencies for the public, as the possible range on a CD [which operates at 44.1 kHz and 16 bits] is too low. With high-definition, which can operate at 96 kHz and 24 bits, we’re extending the range higher, and with more detail, than ever before. You’ll experience that supersonic cymbal-crash almost as if you had been in the recording studio when it was made."






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