ClassicsOnline Home » PUCCINI, G.: Turandot (Callas, Fernandi, Schwarzkopf, La Scala, Serafin) (1957) > Review List

PUCCINI, G.: Turandot (Callas, Fernandi, Schwarzkopf, La Scala, Serafin) (1957)

Composer(s):Puccini, Giacomo
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Opera
Catalogue 8.111334-35
Label Naxos Historical
Quality   320kbps

Puccini’s Turandot , first performed in 1926, was the only work in which Callas sang that was younger than herself and is a perfect vehicle for a dramatic soprano with a steady, steely and brilliant voice capable of rising to top C.Although she had last sung the strenuously demanding title rôle on stage in 1949, her subtlety is apparent in this dramatically and musically effective 1957 recording. Schwarzkopf (Liù) and Fernandi (Calaf) perfectly complement Callas as the legendary Chinese princess whose icy heart is melted by the power of love.


Review By David Denton,Naxos,January 2009

With engagements hard to find, the young Maria Callas had often sung the taxing role of Turandot , but had long dropped it from her repertoire by the time she made this 1957 recording. She brought all her skill and artistry to prevent it “wrecking my voice”, and sought the help of the conductor, Tullio Serafin, who used urgent tempos that released her from the high notes as soon as possible. Unlike the great Turandots, such as Eva Turner and Birgit Nilsson, she could  never power her way through the music with that imperious disdain Puccini must have imagined. Instead she laced her voice with the chill of this cold and calculating Princess, yet unable to hide the stress she was under in the high passages. If Callas was looking to protect her voice, the young



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