Maria Callas made this recording of La Gioconda, one of her signature roles, with her career after her vocal problems had begun, but this performance captures her at her best. She was especially pleased with her performance and wrote, "It's all there for anyone ... It is indeed all there - the passion, the penetrating characterization, the security and technical control, the vocal sheen and power. The cast does contain some minor singers as well as international stars, the principals are in excellent form and make this a consistently fine account of the opera. Piero Cappuccilli is in powerful voice, making Barnaba genuinely menacing. Fiorenza Cossotto's pure-voiced Laura is a fitting foil to Callas. Tenor Pier Miranda Ferraro is not a household name, but he brings Enzo to life with a strong, secure voice, and his "Heaven and sea" is not the most thrilling ever recorded, it's entirely respectable and full of passion.Antonino Votto leads the Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala in a taut and dramatically urgent reading of Ponchielli's rich score, and sing and play with full, robust tone. The recorded sound is clean, spacious, and well-balanced.
Ponchielli - La Gioconda, Maria Callas / Antonino Votto, ED1 B&S UK EMI SAX 2359-2361
AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins [-]
ORIGIN : Gt. Britain.
LABEL : EMI/Columbia.
CONDITION OF BOX COVER & TEXT: VG+. VG+. No Libretto.
CONDITION OF THREE RECORDS : NM-.
RECORD GRADING DEFINITIONS
MINT: Never opened, still in original shrink wrap.
NM: Opened, appears unplayed.
EX: A few very light surface hair-line marks with no major deterioration to the sound quality.
VG: A few light scratches and/or scuffs creating audible background noise. There is no skipping or jumping on this record unless indicated in the condition description.
A plus or minus (+ or -) denotes slightly better or slightly less than a grade, eg. VG+.
Each record has been cleaned and played to ensure the accuracy of the following grading