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Posted October 1, 2010
I initially bought this recording...but then it bothered me so much that I returned it and got the Callas 1956 recording on EMI. It has it's good points. For example, Caballe's "Morro' ma prima in grazia" is ravishing with her amazing diminuendo on the last note to a haunting pianissimo. She is notorious for the extreme control she has over her voice. However, she is also notorious for having a kind of hefty, breathy sound. I own her RCA recording of Pagliacci with Domingo and Milnes and didn't notice this kind of singing, but I did notice it here. Carreras does some very fine singing in this recording, but at times his high notes sound extremely strained...almost like it takes a second for his vibrato to start. Patricia Payne as Ulrica is ok but nothing in comparison to Fedora Barbieri or Larissa Diadkova, who I saw sing the role live. Payne has a decent lower range but as soon as she sings higher it becomes strained, with little control "up top." When she enters with "E' lui, e' lui" it sounds like she's choking...that was probably the one thing that made me want to return this recording the most. Ingvar Wixell, while not my favorite baritone, does a nice job on this recording. His "Eri tu" is especially remarkable. Sona Ghazarian is, aside from Wixell, probably the strongest member of this cast as Oscar. She has a bright, vibrant tone and is always audible but not over the top. Overall, this is an ok recording but I wouldn't recommend it. You'd be better off buying the 1956 Callas recording or the Pavarotti recording on Decca with the great Solti conducting.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.