This new Nimbus issue of two CDs features extended extracts from the best of the recordings made by Giuseppe Di Stefano (1921-2008) between 1950 and 1956. It also features some of the finest singers and conductors of the 1950s; chief among these is Maria Callas. These discs serve to commemorate her greatness almost as much as that of Di Stefano.
I for one was not familiar with the extracts from the 1950 "La Bohème" made in very distinguished company. It proves to be one of the most moving and accomplished interpretations I have ever heard - especially the searing closing scene.
The benchmark "Tosca" is too well known and its manifest virtues too often praised to make it necessary for me to rehearse them once more. This is the definitive recording and nothing else has ever rivalled or ever will rival it.
The "Rigoletto" has almost the same status. I would imagine that anyone who does not already possess these recordings will acquire them on the strength of these extracts.
The set comes an informative note by Alan Bilgora. The transfers by Nimbus are impeccable; there always was a hint of overloading in the originals but with performances of this quality one doesn't give that a thought. Ralph Moore MusicWeb-International