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Evening With 2
Evening With 2
Offered by nagiry
Price: CDN$ 7.91
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5.0 out of 5 stars FLAWLESS, March 19 2004
This review is from: Evening With 2 (Audio CD)
For the people who think that Callas' voice was full of flaws - expert musicians find flaws only in her later recordings- this early recital will make them realise the Vocal Phenomenon Maria Callas was.
G M Moore, the distinguished Voice Teacher, used the ending of this rendition of Lakme's aria in a BBC3 interview as a sample of a "stunning coloratura technique" as he describes it. Here Callas after singing flawlessly arpeggios and scales, sings a trill that the famous teacher characterizes perfect -a B-C sharp trill that if you just manage to play slowly you will realise how perfectly intoned you can hear the 2 different notes interchanging- and she ends up to a glorious not E flat as usual but high natural E perfectly intoned.
To even consider that in the same recital she sings Lady Macbeth and Abigaile along with Lucia's Mad Scene will only prove what a wonder of NATURE Maria Callas was.
The Abigaile aria is also the Best I have ever heard... the famous 2-octave-leap from high C to low C 2 octaves below is executed fearlessly and then she delieves an "Anch'io dischiuso" with Bel Cantistic Beauty and Legato...
In the same CD you will find another virtuoso aria from Callas' Armida... the remarkable D'amore al dolce impero which Callas sings a bit less decorated than in her live Firenze 1952 Armida where her voice had expanded from a contralto low G all the way to a Queen's high F exhibiting a vocal range no other exhibited in live singing in the 20th century...

V2 1964 Arias
V2 1964 Arias
Offered by music4sure Ca
Price: CDN$ 15.60
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This review is from: V2 1964 Arias (Audio CD)
These are roles that as Callas would put it: "Everybody could sing them", thus they never fit to her incredibly difficult onstage repErtoire... this is 1964 and the voice is not what it once was but there is the Musicianship, the Colors and above all the Miraculous Callas' Phrasing, a virtue that none can teach and with which Callas was born... Alfred Brendel had said he had learnt how to "phrase" by Callas, and he is a Pianist (one of the greatest who ever lived!)
You must hear Callas' "O cielo dove son Io..." where her voice exhibits absolute perfection of the DARKEST Color... then later one in the Cabaletta, when she cries out to herself "Colpa, colpa..." your heart will stop, I'd say Callas at her very best in this phrase...
But the most astonishing piece for me here is Desdemona's Scene... when she begins singing it's as if you are trasfered into the desperate world of Desdemona... she calls for Emilia and you feel she is a woman knowing her Destiny... then an AMAZING moment, Callas says the word: "Salce salce salce" and each time there is a Bizarre totally unexplainable effect created as if TIME STOPS!!! As if everything freezes... this is for me one of Callas' most amazing vocal effects and one that no matter how hard I've tried I cannot explain it with my mind... Just hear how she says the word Salce... I think that the reviewer below also felt the same thing...
Kiri Te Kanawa had also in her live Ottelo tried to produce a similar effect and I must admit she had achieved it...
Indeed some high notes sound strained here and there but these are truly priceless recordings and above all the way these pieces should be sung!!!


5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF CABALLE'S BEST, March 19 2004
This review is from: Aroldo (Audio CD)
If you have come to realise that Caballe in studio always sounded like a school student trying so hard to be something she wasn't, and even if her voice in studio showed its major flaw which was her inability to reach high notes Forte without sounding like screaming -a Tebaldi effect I'd say- then you must dwell into Caballe's live recordings which reveal a totally different singer.
First of all her high notes sound easy and comfortable sung all piano or pianissimo or even pianississimo sometimes.
Second she adds coloratura that in studio she didnt even dare to sing and she sings it with a speed that characterizes more virtuosic singers ... I personally believe this is the greatest portrait of Mina we have and her big arias can truly be compared with the studio recordings of Mina by Callas whose steps Caballe follows here interpretively. The phrasing is exactly as Callas', yet Caballe sets her voice free to sing as it desires and the result is Magnificent. We have a passionate, wonderful Mina...
The sound is very good and there is also a sub-echo that creates the most wonderful effect for Caballe's Voice.
This recording is the best Aroldo out there and not only Caballe fans should have it, as it is an example of truly remarkable singing by the Spanish Diva...

Verdi: Il Trovatore
Verdi: Il Trovatore
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5.0 out of 5 stars CALLAS: THE GREATEST SINGER OF ALL TIMES, March 17 2004
This review is from: Verdi: Il Trovatore (Audio CD)
Callas was the Greatest Operatic Singer of the 20th century and she won't be surpassed unless Nature decides to compete with itself and try to create again a Human so Perfect as Callas to Illuminate the world of Opera..
If anyone needs the Authoritative Analysis of her Miraculous Voice by the distinguished Vocal Teacher Gerald Martin Moore in BBC3 just email me and I will send it to you...
Oh and for the record Callas never even once in her lifetime sang a second role to none!!! She sang for the fist time when she was 13 years old as a child prodigy the extremely heavy role of Santuzza in Cavaleria... Since then she never sang anyone's maid but was the No1 her entire life...

Norma Comp
Norma Comp
Offered by USA_Seller_4_Canada
Price: CDN$ 104.14
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ONE AND ONLY NORMA, March 17 2004
This review is from: Norma Comp (Audio CD)
Callas was, is and will be the ONE and ONLY Norma ever...
There will never be another Norma that will come even close to Callas...
Callas WAS Norma, vocally, dramatically and interpretively... even the timbre of her Voice has the silvery quality of Norma...
As for Clotilde, you should know that Callas never in her Life from the Age of 14 when she first sang Santuzza never sang a SECOND ROLE. She is the only singer of the 20th century who never even once sang a second role in an opera even when she was 14 years old...

The Salieri Album
The Salieri Album
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5.0 out of 5 stars CRAZY EXHIBITIONISTIC SINGING, March 17 2004
This review is from: The Salieri Album (Audio CD)
I never trully loved Cecilia Bartoli because although I love virtuoso singers I don't like it when virtuosic exhibition is the primary goal. The Great Elisabeth Schwarzkopf had said: "I never exhibited my voice... perhaps I should have but I never did" ... well if you are a believer of that you will realise that Bartoli is an over-exhibitionistic singer... all she does is singing endless vocal exercises that as Gruberova's sometimes end up being very boring.
But on the other hand this is a truly fantastic virtuoso singer who may not add vocal colors at all in her singing -vocal colorizing is the most Difficult and Rare of all virtuosic virtues- but she certainly sings with a speed and breathing control that actually makes you think: this woman has the Artistic Insanity inside her... I mean she truly sounds crazy...
Salieri's compositions are exactly as history has described them, good but he tried to replace the lack of Ingenious Composition with fioritura that only the most talented castrato could sing.
Nevertheless, you will find here some charming melodies with embelishments that will make you dizzy...
Although I am not a Bartoli fan I truly think that if you love Virtuosic singing you will truly love this...As for me, I believe that vocal embelishment must come as the cherry on the top of a wonderful cake that the composer has cooked using Melody and Harmony and NOT as the cake itself...

Elektra Comp (Ger)
Elektra Comp (Ger)
Offered by RevivalBooksUK
Price: CDN$ 210.46
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5.0 out of 5 stars TRAGEDY, March 15 2004
This review is from: Elektra Comp (Ger) (Audio CD)
Speaking from a Greek point of view regarding the most difficult theatrical species ever created: Tragedy, one should think that Strauss really managed to create such a complex music to support characters that have "left" the Human Status as they have become the very personification of their Primitive Passions.
Elektra is for me the most difficult opera ever written to be interpreted and to be understood by any audience. Birgit Nilsson is not my favorite Elektra, Astrid Varnay is. But Nilsson manages to make this role her own by being tremendously dramatic -the Legendary Diva frequently used to wake up from her laziness which led her to give many indifferent-boring performances and produced real Masterpieces of Drama... this is one of them (it is a common joke in opera how Karajan used to try and wake Nilsson up from her frequently boring singing with phrases like: "More passion Frau Nilsson, more passion, imagine you are NOT getting paid for what you sing here!!!" and that's why she hated him of course...
In any case this is not one of Nilsson's boring performances. She uses her "awakened" Dramatic Genious to BLAST vocally everybody... she actually kills people in this opera with her voice...
In the Great Invocation to her dead father "Agamemnon, Agamemnon..." dressed with Strauss' most ingenious motif Nilsson will make you shiver!!!
In the role of Chrysothemis I must prefer Rysanec and as for Klytamnestra I must say that Martha Modle has made me be truly frightened...
Two other Elektras I like: Varnay's and of course the famous Nilsson, Rysanec, Resnic, Windgassen, Janowitz/Bohm live Elektra in Vienna in 1965... that was truly a Legend...

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5.0 out of 5 stars thank you, March 15 2004
This review is from: Carmen (Audio CD)
... as for Agnes, her opening lines of L amour est un ... are so voloptuous and beautiful s if coming from the depths of the most velvet chest register...

Callas At La Scala
Callas At La Scala
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5.0 out of 5 stars DIVINA!, March 14 2004
This review is from: Callas At La Scala (Audio CD)
Callas here is before any deterioration could be heard in her voice. She sings like a Goddess in this recital.
The most reasured of all pieces is "Ah non credea mirarti" of course. The way Callas sings the syllable "Ah..." has such a sad vocal colour that it will make your heart shutter. The dramatic depth and the Beauty of the Voice is breathtaking here and above all the Legato in this aria, the unbreakable line is a miracle that truly reminded me here that of Ponselle's. I have not heard such a steady vocal line by none other than Ponselle. "Ah non giunge" is sung without the fioritura overload that Bernstein had written for Callas and that is probably because Serafin was a highly conservative director who cared about the Bel Canto music and not the excessive distoring fioritura...
While I was listening to Callas singing this without-a-tenor-"Ah non credea" a twisted thought came to my mind... What a miracle of modern tecnology would be if Juan Diego Florez's Voice who is the Greatest Elvino of the last 100 years, could be added to Callas' "Ah non credea"... That would be a miracle! (just like Natalie Cole had done to her father's Unforgettable).
This is a recital that finds Callas in extremely beautiful voice and scandalous vocal health... Besides her unbelievable performance just cover your ears and hide your crystals cause the high notes will break evrything in the house...

Handel: Ariodante
Handel: Ariodante
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5.0 out of 5 stars ESSENTIAL HANDEL ..., March 13 2004
This review is from: Handel: Ariodante (Audio CD)
Ariodante is probably the Greatest Opera Handel ever wrote along with Alcina and Gulio Cesare.
I am astonished to read that the tempo of Scherza Iinfida annoyed some listeners... sometimes I believe some people are either forced by someone to write such things...
The very slow tempo of Scherza Infida can be no other... it is what we call a Lament... now very few people could write a fast lament and even fewer if NONE singers could interpret a fast lament. Anyway... any comparison with Hunt's Ariodante is simply ridicilous even though Hunt is an Extraordinary Baroque singer with many referential performances...
Listen to Cieca Note by von Otter a fast yet so captivating aria where the repetitions in the music bring such a musical delight that you can't deny that Handel was a Unique Genious not only in Melody Writing but also in Drama and in writing the most musical and dramatical Variations in his da capo arias (thank God the variations here are original and not coming out some mediocre conductor's mind destined to serve the high notes of some coloratura Diva - we all know whom I mean!!!)
The second treasure of this recording is Ewa Poddles... one of the Greatest Voices of the last 30 years with the most impressive musicianship and a three octave range blessed with the ability to coloraturize from her contralto register all the way to ther high C... Poddles alone could make me buy this recording.
The third treasure is Mincowski who has been inspired either by God or by the Spirit of Handel himself to conduct this Historical for me recording.
This performance is one of the few Classical Performances we get these days of vocal pluralism and interpretive poverty...

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