The Very Best of Maria Callas [Angel]

The Very Best of Maria Callas [Angel]

by Maria Callas

CD

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Overview

The Very Best of Maria Callas [Angel]

This collection is titled The Very Best of Maria Callas, which isn't quite true. Another EMI compilation, Maria Callas: The Legend, is more deserving of that distinction -- if, indeed, it is possible to fit "the very best" of such a great singer onto a single CD -- for Callas is at her vocal peak on every track. What we have here, however, is a more honest portrait. Callas was a singer of profound artistry and interpretive powers, but even her fans admit her vocal flaws. Take "Porgi amor," from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, for instance. It was one of Callas's last recordings and was made when the voice showed audible signs of wear and tear. Even so, it is a touching performance that is chock-full of musical insight. But there's also plenty in this collection that shows the diva at her indisputable best. The program mixes French and Italian arias, including some for which she was most famous, such as "Vissi d'arte" (from Puccini's Tosca), "Casta Diva" (from Bellini's Norma), and "Suicidio" (from Ponchielli's La Gioconda). The final track, "Pace, pace mio Dio" (from Verdi's La Forza del Destino), deserves special mention as it was one of her great portrayals -- yet this deeply moving performance rarely finds it way onto albums of this sort. No texts to the arias are provided, but there are extensive notes, biographical material, some marvelous photos, and a discography that will help those just coming to Callas's art to take the next step.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/12/2002
Label: Warner Classics
UPC: 0724355723024
catalogNumber: 57230

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