Marie Gicquel / Photo credits: JOSÉE LORENZO / INA / INA VIA AFP 10:03 a.m., December 04, 2023

100 years after the birth of Maria Callas, French musicians, who call themselves the "archaeologists of sound", have found unpublished recordings of the great singer. Two years of digging to find nuggets forgotten for decades.

100 years after her birth, Maria Callas is still intriguing. The diva's recordings were the quest of French scientific musicians, nicknamed "the archaeologists of sound". For more than two years, they have been rummaging through and searching for unreleased recordings.

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"You are overcome with an absolutely incredible emotion"

Classical music labels dreamed of getting their hands again, or rather their ears, on the lost recording of this opera given by Maria Callas in 1955 in Berlin. The pianist Frédéric d'Oria-Nicolas did it. "In the first <> seconds, you know right away if it's something exceptional or not, because you're overcome with an absolutely incredible emotion," he says.

>> LISTEN - Listen to Maria Callas in At the Heart of History!

"It feels like it was recorded yesterday"

With his team at The Lost Recordings, these sound archaeologists, the only ones in the world, explore the cellars of European radio stations to find abandoned soundtracks. "In the archives of the RBB radio station, at the Berlin radio, we found the original tapes of that Callas recording. It took more than four months to restore them and the result is staggering. It feels like it was recorded yesterday," he continued.

Unearthed archives of Ella Fitzegarld, Oscar Peterson, to resurrect moments of grace from another time. "We didn't really understand how these nuggets could have been forgotten for decades," says Frédéric d'Oria-Nicolas. These sound archaeologists are welcome to look for the nuggets of the Europe 1 archives.