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VERDI: Aida (Callas, Tucker, Serafin) (1955)

Composer(s):Verdi, Giuseppe
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Opera
Catalogue 8.111240-41
Label Naxos Historical
Quality   320kbps

Although Aida was one of the rôles which Maria Callas sang most, especially in the early years of her career, it is generally agreed that she was better suited to singing Norma, Violetta and Lucia. Nevertheless, when this 1955 recording was first released, Harold Rosenthal for Opera wrote: “for dramatic intensity and moments of heart-rending pathos [it] can have few equals”, while Dyneley Hussey enthused in the Musical Times that it was: “a great performance, splendidly recorded. Callas’ dramatic power and her ability to shade the beautiful vocal line here find the best imaginable medium”. In, for example, the opening phrases of the Act III love duet with Radamès, ‘Là, tra foreste vergini’, her voice has a limpidity which enables her to accomplish miracles of pianissimo shadings,



Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

This is arguably the finest commercial recording of an opera the Maria Callas ever made. With her portrayal of the Ethiopian princess wonderfully intense, opposite the masterfully dramatic Tito Gobbi as her father, Amonasro, this readily matches their similar partnership in Puccini’s Tosca. Their duet at the climax of the Nile Scene, following on Aida’s big aria, O patria mia has ever been matched, and though Callas’s top notes are not quite as firm as they had been in her live Covent Garden recording of two years earlier under Barbirolli (Testament), few will resist. Though Richard Tucker as Radames is not the subtlest of tenors, his is a fine, heroic performance, and Fedora Barbieri is an impressive Amneris. The mono sounds is clear and generally

Maria Callas was one of the most inspired interpretation musicians of the 20th century, yet on almost all her studio recordings are flaws in her vocal production.


Review By David Denton, Naxos,January 2007

From the sublimated slave in the opening act to the lover who cannot hide her passion for the heroic Egyptian, Radames, Maria Callas vocally lives through the torments of the captive Aida. Those arias sung by every great soprano are here so perfectly shaped that they blend into the opera rather than hogging the limelight and standing apart as we often hear. In that moment when she tells Radames of the joys they will have if they escape together her voice is exquisite. It has been said that it was not a role that suited her voice, and this recording was the last time she sang the part. But just listen to the last act, taken with a resigned beauty that seduces the ear and you are in a very special musical world. It was probably her presence that



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