Maria Callas - Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1959/2014) [Official Digital Download 24/96]

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Maria Callas - Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1959/2014) [Official Digital Download 24/96]

Maria Callas - Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1959) [Remastered 2014]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time - 120:45 minutes | 1,29 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklets

Each act of Puccini's episodic opera shows Manon Lescaut in a different light - from the ingénue of the first to the desperate, dying woman of the last. Though Callas never performed the role on stage, she captures every aspect of this passionate, but selfish and enigmatic character. In this particular Puccini opera, the tenor is by no means overshadowed by the soprano, and Giuseppe di Stefano duly dominates the gripping scene at Le Havre.The young Fiorenza Cossotto - a powerhouse in roles such as Amneris and Eboli - makes a cameo appearance as the Madrigal Singer.

Columbia’s recording of Manon Lescaut began in July 1957, only three days after the company had completed Turandot. On vinyl the sound was not an unqualified success – perhaps one reason, combined with anxiety about some of Callas’s unsteadier top notes, why the original release was delayed for three years. These problems seemed to vanish, however, once the recording was digitally remastered for CD.

Manon is one of four roles – the others being Nedda, Mimì and Carmen – that Callas recorded without having sung them on stage. This does not seem from her performance to have been any barrier to her accustomed method of plundering both music and text of a role new to her for psychological insights. Such interpretative understanding led Callas to present Manon throughout as the simple country girl. This holds whether she is precisely observing Puccini’s frequent ‘con semplicità’ instruction in Act I, transparently acting her new social position as Geronte’s kept woman, yielding to flaming passion at the return to her life of Des Grieux (both Act II) or dying in the Louisiana desert (Act IV). In this final scena, ‘Sola, perduta, abbandonata’, Callas finds the same uncanny empty tone in her voice that she used for other characters on the verge of death, in particular Mimì and Violetta.

The score of Manon Lescaut is frequently criticised for the supposed incoherence of its libretto (no fewer than six hands were involved, including Leoncavallo and Puccini himself) and its over-the-top immaturity. But Callas is careful throughout to reserve her emotional outbursts for where they will best tell a story whose almost filmic gaps anticipate later Puccini. Her way of doing this was often to isolate and concentrate on certain phrases within a set-piece. ‘Un freddo che m’agghiaccia’ catches the freezing cold of Manon’s feelings about loveless aristocratic life, ‘tu, tu, amore tu’ her feelings for Des Grieux (both in Act II) and ‘terra di pace mi sembrava questa’ (‘this seemed a peaceful land to me’) her hopes for salvation even in her final exile.

Tracklist:

01 - Act 1: "Ave, sera gentile" (Edmondo, Des Grieux, Chorus)
02 - Act 1: "Tra voi, belle, brune e bionde" (Des Grieux, Chorus)
03 - Act 1: "Ma bravo!" (Edmondo, Chorus)
04 - Act 1: "Discendono, vediam!" (Edmondo, Lescaut, L'Oste, Des Grieux, Geronte, Chorus)
05 - Act 1: "Cortese damigella, il priego mio accettate" (Des Grieux, Manon, Lescaut)
06 - Act 1: "Donna non vidi mai" (Des Grieux)
07 - Act 1: "La tua ventura ci rassicura" (Edmondo, Geronte, Lescaut, L'Oste, Chorus)
08 - Act 1: "La tua Proserpina di resisterti" (Edmondo, Des Grieux)
09 - Act 1: "Vedete? Io son fe dele alla parola mia" (Manon, Des Grieux, Lescaut)
10 - Act 1: "Non c'è più vino?" (Des Grieux, Manon, Edmondo, Geronte, L'Oste, Lescaut)
11 - Act 1: "Cavalli pronti avete?" (Lescaut, Geronte, Edmondo, Chorus)
12 - Act 2: "Dispettosetto questo riccio!" (Manon, Lescaut)
13 - Act 2: "Sei splendida e lucente!" (Lescaut, Manon)
14 - Act 2: "In quelle trine morbide" (Manon)
15 - Act 2: "Poichè tu vuoi saper" (Lescaut, Manon)
16 - Act 2: "Che ceffi son costor?" (Lescaut, Manon, Musician, Chorus)
17 - Act 2: "Paga costor!" (Manon, Lescaut)
18 - Act 2: "Vi prego, signorina" (Dancing Master, Geronte, Manon, Chorus)
19 - Act 2: "Oh, sarò la più bella!" (Manon, Des Grieux)
20 - Act 2: "Ah! … Affè madamigella" (Manon, Geronte, Des Grieux)
21 - Act 2: "Ah! Manon, mi tradisce" (Des Grieux, Manon)
22 - Act 2: "Lescaut! … Tu qui?" (Des Grieux, Manon, Lescaut, Sergeant)
23 - Act 2: Intermezzo
24 - Act 3: "Ansia, eterna, crudel" (Des Grieux, Lescaut)
25 - Act 3: "Manon! … Des Grieux!" (Des Grieux, Manon, Lamplighter)
26 - Act 3: "All'armi! All'armi!" (Lescaut, Des Grieux, Manon, Chorus)
27 - Act 3: "Il passo m'aprite" (Sergeant, Commander, Chorus)
28 - Act 3: "Rosetta!" (Sergente, Lescaut, Manon, Des Grieux, Chorus)
29 - Act 3: "Presto in fila! Marciate!" (Sergeant, Des Grieux, Comandante, Chorus)
30 - Act 3: "Ah! non v'avvicinate! … Come io piango ed imploro" (Des Grieux, Commander)
31 - Act 4: "Tutta su me ti posa" (Des Grieux, Manon)
32 - Act 4: "Manon, senti, amor mio! … Vedi, son io che piango" (Des Grieux, Manon)
33 - Act 4: "E nulla! Nulla!" (Des Grieux, Manon)
34 - Act 4: "Sola, perduta, abbandonata" (Manon, Des Grieux)
35 - Act 4: "Fra le tue braccia, amore" (Manon, Des Grieux)

Libretto: Domenico Oliva, Giulio Ricordi, Luigi Illica, Giuseppe Giacosa & Marco Praga after Abbé Prévost.
Recorded: July 18-27, 1957 at Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy.
Newly Remastered from the Original Master tapes at Abbey Road Studios, London, U.K.

Performers:
Maria Callas, soprano (Manon Lescaut)
Giuseppe di Stefano, tenor (Des Grieux)
Giulio Fioravanti, baritone (Lescaut)
Franco Calabrese, bass (Geronte)
Dino Formichini, tenor (Edmondo)
Fiorenza Cossotto, mezzo-soprano (Madrigal singer)

Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala Milan. Conducted by Tullio Serafin. Chorus master: Norberto Mola.


Analyzed: Dino Formichini, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (1)
Dino Formichini, Franco Calabrese, Giulio Fioravanti, Carlo Forti, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (2)
Dino Formichini, Giulio Fioravanti, Carlo Forti, Giuseppe di Stefano, Franco Calabrese, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (3)
Dino Formichini, Giuseppe di Stefano, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (4)
Dino Formichini, Giuseppe di Stefano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (5)
Giulio Fioravanti, Franco Calabrese, Dino Formichini, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (6)
Giulio Fioravanti, Giuseppe di Stefano, Maria Callas, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (7)
Giulio Fioravanti, Giuseppe di Stefano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (8)
Giulio Fioravanti, Maria Callas, Fiorenza Cossotto, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (9)
Giulio Fioravanti, Maria Callas, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (10)
Giuseppe di Stefano, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (11)
Giuseppe di Stefano, Franco Ventriglia, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (12)
Giuseppe di Stefano, Maria Callas, Dino Formichini, Franco Calabrese, Carlo Forti, Giulio Fioravanti, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (13)
Giuseppe di Stefano, Maria Callas, Franco Ricciardi,Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (14)
Giuseppe di Stefano, Maria Callas, Giulio Fioravanti, Giuseppe Morresi, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (15)
Giuseppe di Stefano, Maria Callas, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (16-21)
Giuseppe di Stefano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (22)
Giuseppe Morresi, Franco Ventriglia, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (23)
Giuseppe Morresi, Giuseppe di Stefano, Franco Ventriglia, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (24)
Giuseppe Morresi, Giuseppe di Stefano, Giulio Fioravanti, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Maria Callas, Tullio Serafin, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (25)
Maria Callas, Franco Calabrese, Giuseppe di Stefano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (26)
Maria Callas, Giulio Fioravanti, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (27-29)
Maria Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano, Giulio Fioravanti, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (30)
Maria Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (31)
Maria Callas, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (32)
Maria Callas, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (33)
Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (34)
Vito Tatone, Franco Calabrese, Maria Callas, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin / Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1957) (35)
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR12 -1.53 dB -17.87 dB 1:53 03-Act 1: "Ma bravo!" (Edmondo, Chorus)
DR12 -1.16 dB -18.51 dB 6:12 07-Act 1: "La tua ventura ci rassicura" (Edmondo, Geronte, Lescaut, L'Oste, Chorus)
DR16 -3.65 dB -24.39 dB 2:10 04-Act 1: "Discendono, vediam!" (Edmondo, Lescaut, L'Oste, Des Grieux, Geronte, Chorus)
DR13 -3.32 dB -20.34 dB 5:49 01-Act 1: "Ave, sera gentile" (Edmondo, Des Grieux, Chorus)
DR16 -4.35 dB -23.29 dB 1:50 08-Act 1: "La tua Proserpina di resisterti" (Edmondo, Des Grieux)
DR14 -0.44 dB -18.87 dB 3:01 11-Act 1: "Cavalli pronti avete?" (Lescaut, Geronte, Edmondo, Chorus)
DR9 -0.32 dB -12.39 dB 1:04 26-Act 3: "All'armi! All'armi!" (Lescaut, Des Grieux, Manon, Chorus)
DR11 -0.99 dB -19.07 dB 2:50 24-Act 3: "Ansia, eterna, crudel" (Des Grieux, Lescaut)
DR12 -7.41 dB -24.17 dB 2:14 16-Act 2: "Che ceffi son costor?" (Lescaut, Manon, Musician, Chorus)
DR10 -0.33 dB -15.98 dB 2:56 15-Act 2: "Poichè tu vuoi saper" (Lescaut, Manon)
DR9 -3.81 dB -17.69 dB 1:18 02-Act 1: "Tra voi, belle, brune e bionde" (Des Grieux, Chorus)
DR9 -0.30 dB -12.94 dB 3:03 30-Act 3: "Ah! non v'avvicinate! … Come io piango ed imploro" (Des Grieux, Commander)
DR9 -0.32 dB -14.94 dB 3:00 10-Act 1: "Non c'è più vino?" (Des Grieux, Manon, Edmondo, Geronte, L'Oste, Lescaut)
DR11 -1.83 dB -17.80 dB 4:38 25-Act 3: "Manon! … Des Grieux!" (Des Grieux, Manon, Lamplighter)
DR11 -0.64 dB -15.37 dB 3:33 22-Act 2: "Lescaut! … Tu qui?" (Des Grieux, Manon, Lescaut, Sergeant)
DR11 -2.45 dB -18.05 dB 4:15 05-Act 1: "Cortese damigella, il priego mio accettate" (Des Grieux, Manon, Lescaut)
DR10 -2.26 dB -17.82 dB 2:36 21-Act 2: "Ah! Manon, mi tradisce" (Des Grieux, Manon)
DR11 -2.36 dB -19.00 dB 3:11 31-Act 4: "Tutta su me ti posa" (Des Grieux, Manon)
DR10 -0.65 dB -14.89 dB 4:11 32-Act 4: "Manon, senti, amor mio! … Vedi, son io che piango" (Des Grieux, Manon)
DR10 -0.75 dB -19.13 dB 2:29 33-Act 4: "E nulla! Nulla!" (Des Grieux, Manon)
DR9 -0.32 dB -14.83 dB 5:00 34-Act 4: "Sola, perduta, abbandonata" (Manon, Des Grieux)
DR10 -2.66 dB -17.26 dB 2:37 06-Act 1: "Donna non vidi mai" (Des Grieux)
DR10 -0.33 dB -21.32 dB 0:45 27-Act 3: "Il passo m'aprite" (Sergeant, Commander, Chorus)
DR11 -1.33 dB -18.10 dB 0:40 29-Act 3: "Presto in fila! Marciate!" (Sergeant, Des Grieux, Comandante, Chorus)
DR9 -0.32 dB -14.24 dB 3:59 28-Act 3: "Rosetta!" (Sergente, Lescaut, Manon, Des Grieux, Chorus)
DR13 -1.59 dB -20.38 dB 3:11 20-Act 2: "Ah! … Affè madamigella" (Manon, Geronte, Des Grieux)
DR14 -1.97 dB -21.47 dB 2:35 12-Act 2: "Dispettosetto questo riccio!" (Manon, Lescaut)
DR10 -1.85 dB -17.33 dB 2:25 13-Act 2: "Sei splendida e lucente!" (Lescaut, Manon)
DR8 -5.20 dB -19.50 dB 1:19 17-Act 2: "Paga costor!" (Manon, Lescaut)
DR10 -1.18 dB -17.06 dB 4:27 09-Act 1: "Vedete? Io son fe dele alla parola mia" (Manon, Des Grieux, Lescaut)
DR10 -0.51 dB -15.51 dB 8:19 19-Act 2: "Oh, sarò la più bella!" (Manon, Des Grieux)
DR12 -0.32 dB -18.63 dB 7:05 35-Act 4: "Fra le tue braccia, amore" (Manon, Des Grieux)
DR8 -2.82 dB -16.54 dB 2:15 14-Act 2: "In quelle trine morbide" (Manon)
DR11 -0.32 dB -16.74 dB 5:18 23-Act 2: Intermezzo
DR11 -1.25 dB -18.47 dB 8:37 18-Act 2: "Vi prego, signorina" (Dancing Master, Geronte, Manon, Chorus)
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 35
Official DR value: DR11

Samplerate: 96000 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 24
Bitrate: 1434 kbps
Codec: FLAC
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