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Release Info: Giacomo Puccini - Tosca - Sabata,Callas,DiStefano,Gobbi (1953/2002) 2 CDs
One of the great classics of the gramophone. Wonderful as Gobbi??™s and di Stefano??™s performances are, and superbly dramatic as de Sabata??™s conducting is, it is the unique Callas in the title role that provides the greatest marvel.??™ (Emi.com)
EMI Classics chose wisely for the 100th issue of its Great Recordings of the Century series: the landmark 1953 performance of Puccini's 'Tosca' which features Giuseppe Di Stefano, Tito Gobbi, Victor de Sabata leading the forces of the La Scala orchestra and chorus, and the inimitable Maria Callas. There is no doubt as to the status of this 'Tosca' as one of the greatest operatic recordings of the 20th century. The combined talents of all parties involved make for a document of singular artistic excellence. Di Stefano in the role of the doomed hero Cavaradossi is at his finest, his glorious tenor voice in peak form. The brilliant acting and singing of Gobbi make for a chilling portrayal of the villainous police chief Scarpia. The conducting of de Sabata is spaciously lyrical as well as sharply dramatic as he elicits an inspired performance from the La Scala musicians. But it is the remarkable vocal artistry of Callas that carries this performance into the realm of the sublime. She is the very embodiment of the title character, and her dynamically brilliant interpretation of the role conveys an emotional intensity that is spine-tingling. This is essential listening and a must for any collection.
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