And there is a useful Web site called getcdprices.com which does a good job
of searching through other Web sites to display prices for CD. Thanks.
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On Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 12:33 AM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> It's worth watching the price for the new big Callas set on Amazon. I
> bought it yesterday for $168, and I see now that it is back up to $235.
> The price seems to pop up and down.
> Stay tuned with the Sound Recording Reviews in ARSC Journal regarding this
> I have read criticisms by Andrew Rose that some items in the new set are
> not on pitch. We'll see.
> It seems incredible to me that EMI, followed now by Warner, have never seen
> fit to issue one single commercial Callas recording in a hi-def format.
> For years this batch of recordings was EMI's classical cash cow, but they
> have never really given them the respect that was due. I hope that
> situation has been fixed, but hi-def reissues are still called for.
> Tom, it would be very exciting to have some of the Mercury three channel
> recordings done in hi-def transfers. Unfortunately, the Mercury/Ricordi
> Medea is not one of the diva's best recordings, being outclassed by a
> number of her live recordings in that great part.
> What has been sorely missing up to now are good sounding reissues of the
> early Cetra Callas operas, La Gioconda and La traviata, made from original
> masters, as opposed to dubbing the records (a la Naxos). Those recordings
> ought to be in the big new Warner set since Warner owns Cetra.
> Also, one doesn't really need to be a Callas fanatic, Callas queen, or fan
> of "The Lisbon Traviata" to love Callas' recordings. Love of music served
> up well will suffice. Record buyers have been proving that for decades.
> John Haley
> On Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 5:20 PM, Alex McGehee <[log in to unmask]>
> > Thanks, Tom. You always shed new light on things. And as to Callas
> > fanatics, Callas queens, fans of "The Lisbon Traviata", etc. Yes, there
> > really is a reason to go gah, gah for the eight years of her prime.
> > like Rosa Ponselle, was a voice that comes along once in a lifetime if
> > we're lucky. Who else today can do chromatic runs like hers? Who else
> > the gamut of human emotions like her? She had a messy, sad life in many
> > ways, but by God could that woman sing.
> > -- Alex McGehee
> > On Dec 2, 2014, at 5:03 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
> > > I believe this project started under EMI. Andy Walter at Abbey Road did
> > all or most of the remastering. Andy is a real ace, I just worked with
> > on new remastering for the upcoming Mercury Living Presence Box Set 3
> > (release due in spring 2015).
> > >
> > > Unfortunately, EMI has always had some sort of a phobia about going
> > to the 3-track first generation master for Callas's Medea, which was
> > recorded by Mercury for Ricordi. The 3-tracks were returned to EMI in the
> > early 60's, after EMI bought Ricordi. As far as I know, EMI has always
> > the 2-track provided to Ricordi by Mercury, which was a second-generation
> > dub of the master 3-track.
> > >
> > > If the Callas fanatics out there can raise enough ruckus with Warner
> > Classics, and shake about $10k loose, I stand ready to see those 3-tracks
> > done right. I'll clean all the old splices, replace what's needed, do a
> > Plangent Process transfer, and remaster in high resolution. I just did
> > with other 3-tracks, the process works incredibly well. A 10k budget is
> > very cheap compared to 1990s halcyon days. And by the way, EMI also got
> > back 3-tracks of all of the non-Callas operas Mercury recorded for
> > plus all of the Halle/Barbirolli and Halle/Weldon material recorded for
> > Pye. EMI has never gone back to the 3-tracks with any of this, so
> > everything issued in modern times does not sound nearly as good as it
> > The main issue with classical back-catalog is money, but with the old
> EMI I
> > always thought it was ego also (those tapes were NOT made here so why
> > we bother with this strange American format). I don't know if this
> > moved over to Warner Classics. Warner Music's pop/rock and jazz divisions
> > have been very aggressive about remastering back-catalog material in high
> > resolution formats, and going back to master tapes quite often.
> > >
> > > -- Tom Fine
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Alex McGehee" <
> > [log in to unmask]>
> > > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > > Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2014 4:22 PM
> > > Subject: [ARSCLIST] Callas Re-issues
> > >
> > >
> > >> Hey gang!
> > >> I find it interesting that no one has commented on Warner's
> > of Maria Callas's recorded EMI legacy. EMI really milked these recordings
> > and frankly each new reissue was worse than the first one done in the
> > 1980s –– many problems well documented by the diva's devotees.
> > >>
> > >> Warner went back to the original masters supervised the new issues
> > an engineering team that new what it was doing (though maybe not in
> > some of the tapes) and the results truly are revelatory. I think the
> > and Colortura Arias" recording from 1954 is one of the top ten Desert
> > Island discs and high-up even there. Warner has done a tremendous service
> > to Callas's great gift. And yes the box weighs a ton and would break a
> > if dropped. But Warner finally achieved what EMI never managed to do,
> > despite the small fortune EMI made off the dramatic soprano of the 20th
> > century. I think it's worth shelling out those extra bucks for this. I
> > raided a jar with a stash of three years of pocket change. Has anyone
> > managed to hear these remasterings? I'd be interested in your thoughts.
> > >>
> > >> Alex McGehee
> > >>