«Casta Diva, che inargenti»: l’interpretazione di Maria Callas (1954)
This article presents a transcription and analysis of Maria Callas’ 1954 performance of «Casta Diva, che inargenti» (the Andante sostenuto assai with which Norma’s Cavatina begins in Bellini’s opera of the same name). The analysis is aimed, on the one hand, at detecting interpretive stylistic features, according to a widely applied approach in performance studies. On the other, it intends to verify whether the performative dimension identifies structures inscribed in the compositional text, revealing latent factors that cannot be detected through the traditional analysis of the score. In particular, the focus is on the metric-rhythmic and psycho-cognitive criteria that pre-constitute the rallentando in the melodic climax, not prescribed by the composer but established in the performing tradition.
Norma – «Casta Diva» – Maria Callas – Performance analysis – Performing tradition