HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Toshiba/Angel) Georges Bizet – Carmen (Callas/Gedda)

Reposted, now with FF links
Beautiful, by Toshiba restored and improved recording of “THE” Carmen by EMI
Nevertheless, i had to improve here and there a little bit
Sorry that there is only the cover of the box: the complete libretto is in japanese language

# Composer: Georges Bizet
# Performer: Maria Meneghini Callas, Nicolai Gedda, Andrea Guiot, Jaques Mars
# Orchestra: Orchestre du Theatre National de l’Opera Paris
# Conductor: Georges Pretre
# Vinyls (1964)
# Number of Discs: 3
# Format: Flac
# Label: Toshiba/Angel (EMI)
# DR-Analysis: DR 14
# ASIN CD: B000002RXS
# Size: 2.82 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server:

This recording was made near the end of Maria Callas’s career. It is a role she never sang onstage, but it suited her almost perfectly, and she gives a deep, compelling performance on this recording. The mezzo-soprano tessitura was comfortable for her voice, and the role did not call for a pretty sound. Nor did the recording studio require the kind of huge vocal power expected in an opera house. And furthermore, the character of a strong-willed, capricious, sexually compelling woman who thinks exclusively of herself was close to the offstage personality that made Callas so famous. –Joe McLellan

There are so many Carmen-recordings, every mezzo, contralto and even sopranos attempted it, even coloratura-sopranos like Patti (The only flop in her illustrious career) and Sills (Sadly miscast, she was better in Massenet) tackled the role. Yet the truly great Carmens can be counted on one, well, maybe two hands. The earliest recording, featuring dramatic soprano Emmy Destinn is amazing but not in great sound (Obviously). The next great Carmen would be Rise Stevens, in a rather unknown studio-recording. I prefer her live-recording by a long shot. A seductive, dark mezzo of rarely matched beauty. After this Victoria de los Angeles takes the crown. The Spanish Falcon-soprano, who was also a sublime Charlotte (Only Vallin was even greater) was an elegant, velvet-like, seductive gypsy with cold elegance. A very refined portrait of a character that has been portrayed as a slut way too often. The most fabulous Italian Carmen is without a doubt Giulietta Simionato whose live-recordings with di Stefano and Corelli thrill, excite and seduce with their fire, lust and passion. And then came Maria Callas, a Greek soprano whose repertoire was that of a true soprano sfogato, anything from belcanto to Wagner’s Isolde and Brünnhilde could be found there. She had been approached to do Eboli, Carmen, Dalilah, Marie (!) and other roles she sadly never sang on stage. Callas describes Bizet’s Carmen vs. the original Carmen as described in Prosper Merimee’s novel. Her Carmen has elements of both. The independent lust for freedom, the way she drives men to insanity cruelly, how she uses and manipulates them with her charms only to abandon them after a short time. Escamillo, her last lover clearly states that Carmen’s “love” is short-lived. And that is what we hear in Callas’ portrayal. When obeyed she oozes charm and sexual energy, when opposed or held she breathes fire. Her Carmen finds her man’s weakness and thrusts her vocal dagger into it without mercy and when she has won him over at last she purrs like a kitten. Her habanera is not a song for men, it is the philosophy of her life without a care in the world. She defies life and death and Callas, who sounded so light and tender as Amina sounds dark, luscious and haunting here. Her segeduilla has the nature of the heartless seductress. For her freedom she is willing to do anything. As she says later when someone askes her why she’s in love with him: “He’s a pretty boy and he pleases me!”. In the gypsy song we hear one of the hottest scene ever recorded in the studio. Callas’ fierce “Tralala!” is almost orgasmic. Imagine her, the dark beauty that she was, dancing this scene! In the love-scene she first toys with him, when he has to obey the bugle-call she mocks him, tortures him. This is responded to with Don José’s flower-song, one of the sweetest arias imaginable. But Carmen is not satisfied. He must come with her! Notice how Callas’ sounds dangerously fierce, yet warm and smooth on “La libérté!”. As we hear the third act only a shadow of her desire remains. She sounds positively annoyed with him and when Escamillo comes her voice blooms to new beautiful heights despite the forlorn, even sad tone of the card-aria before where Carmen sees her own death in the cards. Act four contains some of the most glorious singing Callas ever recorded. Observing the tenderness in the short love-duet with Escamillo I assume that Carmen is truly in love for the first time. There is no danger in her voice, just love. But the confrontation with Don José who went with his former friend and fiance to console his dying mother had to come. In this duet we hear Callas at her wildest, proudest and most defying. She treats him coldly, the only time we hear a glint of feeling is in her confession of loving Escamillo. The more Don José begs, threatens or cries, the colder and distant Callas’ Carmen becomes. When he kills her after Carmen throwing the ring into his face there is a void, everything sounds so forlorn and tragic with Carmen gone forever. Callas may not be a natural mezzo like Stignani, Cossotto or Baltsa but she, like Price after her and Ponselle before her brought a unique, fatally charming character to life. Being surrounded not only by the best Don José on records, Nicolai Gedda, but also by the shamefully underrated Giuot as Michaela whose warm, sweet and innocent soprano is made for Michaela and the brilliant Massard, the fabulous Rigoletto and Athanael from the Rigoletto and Thais recordings with the divine Renee Doria nothing can go wrong. Pretre conducts with verve and elegance, the sound is absolutely glorious. Do not miss this Carmen, it’s an amazing experience!

Analyzed folder: /96kBizCar_Cal/96k Bizet Carmen Callas
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR14        -1.08 dB     -19.97 dB     Side1.wav
DR15        -0.86 dB     -21.31 dB     Side2.wav
DR14        -1.07 dB     -20.58 dB     Side3.wav
DR13        -1.00 dB     -19.81 dB     Side4.wav
DR14        -0.08 dB     -18.92 dB     Side5.wav
DR13        -0.79 dB     -18.37 dB     Side6.wav
Number of files:    6
Official DR value:    DR14


  • Baritone Vocals [Escamillo] – Robert Massard
  • Baritone Vocals [Le Dancaire] – Jean-Paul Vauquelin
  • Baritone Vocals [Morales] – Claude Cales
  • Bass Vocals [Zuniga] – Jacques Mars
  • Chorus – Choeurs René Duclos, Choeurs D’Enfants Jean Pesneaud
  • Chorus Master [Zbor René Duclos] – Jean Laforge
  • Composed By – Georges Bizet
  • Conductor – Georges Prêtre
  • Libretto By – Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halévy
  • Libretto By [Prema Noveli] – Prosper Mérimée
  • Mezzo-soprano Vocals [Mercédès] – Jane Berbié
  • Orchestra – Orchestre National De L’Opéra De Paris
  • Soprano Vocals [Carmen] – Maria Callas
  • Soprano Vocals [Frasquita] – Nadine Sautereau
  • Soprano Vocals [Micaëla] – Andréa Guiot
  • Tenor Vocals [Don José] – Nicolai Gedda
  • Tenor Vocals [Remendado] – Jacques Pruvost, Maurice Maievski

Ripping Infos

  • RCM: Okki Nokki
  • TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
  • System: Special Edition Denon DL 103
  • Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box II
  • Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
  • Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
  • Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
  • Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
  • Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Light de-Clicking with ClickRepair, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising

If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.

  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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Click on the “Donate”-button. Thank you very much !

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41 thoughts on “HD-Vinyls 24/96 (Toshiba/Angel) Georges Bizet – Carmen (Callas/Gedda)

  1. re Callas-Carmen

    This is your file at Fileserve

    Folder / File Size
    Total file size: 0 Bytes

    How do we download a file with ZERO bytes?

  2. I’ve never heard Callas do Carmen….this should be interesting. Better than the Resnik/DelMonaco you posted? Better than Berganza? Migenes? ….. we shall see my friend, we shall see…

    • Carmen was the battle horse of Callas, her greatest (best?) role….All the time of my life i always heard or read of the equation: Carmen = Callas
      But, try to answer you by yourself, if this edition is better than the Decca/Resnik/Del Monaco…
      Decca has the better sound, Del Monaco is the greatest Don José of all times…in the Carmen-role, of course for me, Callas is the number 1…followed by Cotrubas, for me the greatest Carmen-after-Callas…followed by a few other good Carmens.
      Nevetheless, your ears and your heart decide, which edition isthe best 🙂

  3. Dear Rach, now it’s the listening report of my favorite Opera ( probably the easiest but …)
    N°1 The RipMan is still here (mysterious ?when you tell: I had to improve here and there a little bit…. Where the noise ? dynamic ?) 😉
    N°2 The Angel La Callas +Toshiba engineers+Rachmaninov produce an historical version
    N°3 If you compare with a CD version Rip in 24/96k listen in a same conditions:
    PC+Sound card E-MU202 with Asio Driver+proton Amplifier+JBL S2600 (first listening with a headphone Sony MDR CD1700)
    You beat it easely the sound seem to be washed , the dynamic is real (better with the JBJ than the headphone) We have a beautifull mid range and bass lot of details in the high frequencies? The improvement is every where, it’s not a 50% more but enough to recognize it in a blind test.
    One thing is strange :we have a better sound of the concert hall on CD and the Singers seem to be close to me in, the Rach version ??
    Sorry for my English I hope that allpeople could understand my feeling and try this Very good High Definition Carmen.
    I know that my system is not the best ( far from….an ideal) but enough to see the difference.
    So my Hit parade is
    1-Rach-Toshiba Angel +PC listening
    2-CD Rip24/96 (better than 16/44)+PClistening
    To conclude:
    I realy love High Def Music 24/96 or 24/192 from good source +good Ripman.
    Recently I’ve listen high def 24/192 from HD Tracks and compare with a vinyl Rip 180g in 24/96, The vinyl Rip Win the files from HD Tracks are Compressed and the music is flat.

    Thank’s For all this Job Rach you’re my Angel. 😀

    • mon cher ami…
      first of all, thank you very much for your good report.

      I have to say: the japanese sound engeneers have done a very good job…..once (+30 y ago) i had the “normal” version on vinyl and it is in my remembrances not so clear, living and really good sounding like the Toshiba’s one.

      Anyway, the only things i improved are – of course, light scratches and light rumble elimination….

      …..and gave a little bit more “soul” to the good sound.
      (What “soul” means, i think you can imagine it…..and how i do this? OK, this is a professional secret, sorry :D)

      But i did nothing concerning the fact that you feel the singer closer to you….

      Surely this is a merit of the Toshiba-men that – i know it from several jazz and rock records i have/had – are really genious.

  4. rastabill, now you make me want this more than ever….grr…come on hotfile…
    I think we all agree about the quality of Rachs rips. Even on my low end system I am amazed at the sound produced by some of them compared to cd versions.

    Can’t wait to hear this….

  5. I adore Callas too – how could I not, I’m Greek – and almost in all cases her versions are supreme to me (I take out Kundry and La Forza….) so her Carmen is super even though it was one of the four roles she recorded complete without ever having sung it live in an opera house (the others were her legendary recordings of Pagliacci, Boheme and Manon Lescaut – the Ballo Amelia she recorded and after a year also sung live at LaScala) This recording also goes against the general Callas “rule” that says “the earliest of her is the better” since it was her last one.
    But I must say that the recordings by Victoria de los Angeles and Teresa Berganza have always been closer to my heart because they are closer to the original Carmen that is a French 19th century work debuted in the Opera-Comique and sung belcanto, not the verismo piece that many sopranos (Ponselle, Horne, Baltsa, Resnik, Migenes…) have turned her into. Carmen is not Nedda! I never heard the famous Solti Carmen with Tatyana Troyanos, does anyone have it? Callas sings her with the greatest seriousness, like she sung her Norma, not over-acting or turning her into a vulgar whore as was the custom for many decades.
    More importantly, dear Rachmaninov: Ileana Cotrubas sung Carmen?!!!! When, where? How did I not know about it?! I love her! She sung Carmen or maybe Michaela? Is there a recording of her in this role? Please enlighten me.

    • Victoria de los Ángeles sang Carmen??..I must hear that! So much I have yet to hear and learn…..I’ve never even heard of Tatyana Troyanos or Ileana Cotrubas until today…lots of googling ahead of me tonight…

      By the way, it’s always great to read discussions and information about the stuff posted here – some of us who are only just beginning down this road appreciate it immensely.

  6. Oh, it’s ok mr. Rachmaninoff, I cried a bit but I got over it, hehe. She is Michaela next to Berganza’s Carmen in the famous DG studio work.
    De Los Angeles not only sung Carmen, she is considered the greatest interpreter of the part ever! Her recording with Gedda under Sir Thomas Beecham (1958, DECCA) is legendary (one can find it in torrents easily) She sings like an angel, as always.

    • My brother in Milan owns the Los Angeles-Carmen…this bandit never wanted to loan…ehm…to give me that Carmen. I loaned..ehm….received many many records of him, but not this Carmen set….i must something to convince him. I must make him a proposal, that he cannot refuse, Don Vito…..

      • ahhhhh, I have solved a mystery! I tried many times to post a reply, and each time it wouldn’t let me, giving me no error message. It seems Whatever has put a ban on using the names of certain, well known torrent sites….

  7. Wieder einmal großen Dank für eine weitere Perle aus deinem Repertoire. 🙂
    Wenngleich ich mit dem hören gar nicht mehr hinterherkomm’. 🙁

    • Hallo G….freut mich, dass es dir gefällt 😉 DL uns speichere, irgendwann findet man die Zeit.
      PS: sind noch zwei Super-Carmens am kommen….

  8. Hi Rachmaninov. First of all, thank you for posting. But, actually, I find this file quite difficult to listen to. It stops continually. Is this normal? (sorry for my macaronic english)

    • Io sono italiano (nativo) ma anche tedesco. Ho tutte e due le cittadinanze.
      Piacere di leggere che hai risolto il problema audio e che riesci a gustare la mia musica 😉

  9. Ciao, ieri sera ho fatto sentire questa meraviglia a un mio amico appassionato della Carmen. Era senza parole… Grazie! Avrei un quesito, per capire: il lavoro di “improve” lo fai su tutte le registrazioni o solo su quelle che ritieni lo necessitino, che so, per età, tecnologia ecc.?

    • Solo se necessario….prima un po’ spesso (anche se lo stesso raramente). Dopo aver migliorato i pezzi dell’Impianto sempre meno, quasi verso zero.

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