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Alcina
Joan Sutherland, Fritz Wunderlich, Norma Procter
Alcina
Genre: Classical
 
This recording is the first official release in any format of this once-in-a-lifetime concert performance featuring Dame Joan Sutherland and Fritz Wunderlich. In 1959 performances of Handel were just beginning to embrace t...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Joan Sutherland, Fritz Wunderlich, Norma Procter, Jeannette van, Nicola Monti, Thomas Hemsley
Title: Alcina
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Original Release Date: 1/1/2008
Re-Release Date: 1/27/2009
Genre: Classical
Style: Opera & Classical Vocal
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 028947780175, 028947780175

Synopsis

Album Description
This recording is the first official release in any format of this once-in-a-lifetime concert performance featuring Dame Joan Sutherland and Fritz Wunderlich. In 1959 performances of Handel were just beginning to embrace the original instrument movement making this recording an invaluable historic record of performance practice. In addition to musicological interest, the CDs present Joan Sutherland at the beginning of her illustrious career in the full bloom of youth. She was flown in as a last minute replacement for the scheduled soprano and proceeded to give a virtuoso performance of the demanding title role. Full of Handel's gorgeous melodies and with vocal fireworks in bountiful supply, it is no wonder that Sutherland completely awed the German public. She is joined by Fritz Wunderlich, the acclaimed German tenor, in their one-and-only collaboration. He as well was a last minute replacement and rises to the exacting demands of Handel. His rich and pliant tone is perfectly suited to the technical and dramatic demands of the opera. Start the Handel (1685-1759) celebrations in 2009 with this rare gem of a release.

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CD Reviews

A RARE TREAT FOR SERIOUS HANDEL COLLECTORS
R. Olsavicky | Butler, Pa. USA | 07/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a first class remastering of a radio broadcast from Cologne in 1959. This recording has been around for some time as a PIRATE; but never in this fine of a remastering. DGG has done an excellent job. Now that job would be insignificant if the performance wasn't as great as this one; and this is a STUNNING PERFORMANCE!!!
Here are some things you should know:
1) It is not note complete; there are some cuts.
2) Sutherland is simply astounding. Not only is the voice great; but I have never heard her so dramatically involved. Her attention to the text, her diction, her emotional involvement and dramatic conviction are beyond anything one would expect from her. She is literally boiling with anger and rage at times. This live broadcast makes one wonder who or what changed her emphasis from drama to her emphasis on just lovely tone and "droopy" diction. I'm a Sutherland fan (as well as Callas, Sills, Caballe and Price to name a few). I've even seen them all live multiple times in Opera and Recital however, NOTHING PREPARED ME FOR THIS FROM SUTHERLAND!
3) Wunderlich is just Wunderlich. He always has just a rich, free, full, beautiful sound. He learned this part in five days to save the performance. Now one gets to hear him sing a somewhat lower tenor transposition in this performance. It almost seems like a Baritone with extra High Notes. He pulls this off wonderfully!
4) The conductor and orchestra are top notch. The Cappella Coloniensis is one of the very early Authentic Baroque explorers in this infancy of Historically Informed Performances. We have since moved on; but, with their pioneering start!
5) This is the only time we will every get to hear Sutherland and Wunderlich together. What a DREAM DUO!
6) The rest of the cast is good to very fine!
In summing up here is a performance of this opera in the early days of exploring the Handel Operas. It is not as one expects today with excellent mezzo-sopranos and today's countertenors being casted in some of these parts; i.e. Wunderlich as "Ruggiero." However, it is valid for what it is... a start of a major Handel Revival; A bold attempt to look at what has laid on the shelves collecting dust. We in this current age are so blessed to have so much more music being explored and being recorded or videoed than any previous generation.
HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!"
Simply stupendous
L. Carter | Perth, Western Australia | 12/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Lets be brief and to the point. The sound engineering/remastering of this live concert recording is to be applauded. Its hard to believe that this is sourced from 1959. (If only those live Callas recordings could have this treatment.) No Sutherland fan should be without this set.Its a joy to hear such fresh voiced and clear tones.Heartily recommended."