Maria Callas : Mad Scenes

Donizetti : Anna Bolena - Thomas : Hamlet - Bellini : Il Pirata

Maria Callas with Nicola Rescigno conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra (1958)

EMI SAX 2320

Testament Records : LP 180 gram

Brand New and Sealed Record

  • Contents & Details

    Gaetano Donizetti (1797 - 1848) : Anna Bolena
    A1 - Piangete Voi? Al Dolce Guidami Castel Natio, Act II (From "Anna Bolena")
    with Monica Sinclair (contralto), John Lanigan (tenor), Joseph Rouleau (bass), Duncan Robertson (tenor) and Chorus
    Ambroise Thomas (1811 - 1896) : Hamlet
    B1 - A vos jeux
    B2 - Partagez-vous mes fleurs
    B3 - Et maintenant ecoutez ma chanson (Act 4)
    Vincenzo Bellini (1801 - 1835) : Il Pirata
    B4 - Oh! s'io potessi
    B5 - Col sorriso d'innocenza (Act 2)

    Recorded in September 1958.

    Surprisingly, Maria Callas (1923 - 1977) did not make complete recordings of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena and Bellini’s Il pirata, though, as the queen of La Scala, she enjoyed triumphs in both roles in 1957–1958. The vocally and dramatically demanding final scenes of both operas feature in this recital with Ophélie’s mad scene from Ambroise Thomas’s Hamlet, another coloratura extravaganza. When this recital first appeared in 1959, Gramophone wrote: “This is a most remarkable record, not only for its material … but for its astonishing vividness and dramatic poetry … It has been a thing of much wonder for me.”

    The "golden age" of recordings was from 1955 to 1965, at the beginning of the LP and the stereo era, where pure vacuum tube amplification helped produce recordings demonstrating unparalleled fidelity and warmth, lifelike presence and illumination.

    This Testament Records LP, revived from the EMI-Columbia catalogue, was remastered at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London, using pure analogue components only, from the original studio tapes through to the cutting head, and was pressed at Pallas.

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