EMI Callas Lisbon 1958 La Traviata? AWFUL!!!
The performance is excellent, of course, but the transfer is one of the poorest that gramophone history has ever saw! This EMI release was made based on the tapes recorded via radio when the performance was broadcasted in 1958 by RDP (Radio Difusao Portuguesa - Portuguese Radio). The EXCELLENT news is that there is a brand new transfer of the EXACTLY same performance based not on those EMI tapes but by the master tapes owned by RDP (the original source, then). The difference is ABSOLUTELY HUGE! This new release made by the label "Pearl" using those tapes, sometimes makes you wonder if the performance was recorded in mono or stereo! I have both releases, the "EMI" and the "Pearl". Despite the excellent booklet included in EMI edition the Pearl Edition is far superior (specially in matters of sound).
All in sum: the EMI sounds like a bad recording broadcasted in 1958. The "Pearl" edition sounds like you're listening the original mono (almost stereo!) master tapes made in 1958!
Finally, I would like to say that this transfer and Re-equalization was not made by Pearl Engineers but by a engineer and opera scholar named Mike Richter. Shamefully, Pearl hasn't credited Mr. Richter on the booklet but apparently he doesn't seem to mind at all.
For more information about the transfer search on Google for "Callas recording update".
Just buy the new Pearl edition! Even if you already have the EMI edition!
I bought the EMI edition for the excellent booklet notes and substituted the CDs for the ones released by Pearl.
For those wanting more details of the Pearl Edition search for "B0009K8L8E" (without the quotes) on Amazon site. This is the product ASIN Number.