Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Vincenzo Bellini, Richard Bonynge, London Symphony Orchestra|
Bellini: Norma; I puritani; La sonnambula; Beatrice di Tenda [Box Set]
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La stupenda is stupendous
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Bellini box of 10 cds features complete recordings of
La Sonnambula, I Puritani, Norma and Beatrice di Tenda
recorded by Joan Sutherland and husband Richard Bonynge
between 1962 and 1966. The first three were recorded a
second time by the couple with different casts in the 1970s
and 1980s. They are not to be confused with these versions.
Joan Sutherland was at her absolute peak when these recordings
were made. In Sonnambula and Puritani the sound she produces
is utterly awesome - the sheer beauty, purity, range and
virtuosity of the voice are quite simply breathtaking -
these are truly dazzling performances. The casting though
not quite at her level is more than adequate.
In Sonnambula tenor Nicola Monti is light and attractive and
though he cannot go all the way at the top he sings with con-
siderable elegance and charm - bass Fernando Corena has a big
colorful voice and offers a very sympathetic portrayal.
In Puritani tenor Pierre Duval has a strong voice with an
impressive upper register and blends excitingly with Sutherland
in their duets - Renato Capecchi and Ezio Flagello are both
sonorous and offer sturdy performances.
The Norma of 1964 is by now a classic - foremost it preserves
the formidable partnership of Joan Sutherland and Marilyn
Horne at their very peak producing a stream of beautiful and
exciting singing. John Alexander and Richard Cross are well
schooled singers and offer strong support - this is also the
only absolutely complete version sung in the original keys.
The somewhat neglected Beatrice di Tenda is no less worthy
than the other three operas - Sutherland is again on top of
things with beautiful and poised singing while Cornelius Opthof
is appropriately malevolant as Fillipo - as the second couple
we have the fine Josephine Veasey and a young and seductive
Luciano Pavarotti. Richard Bonynge presides over all this with
stylish conducting - the sound is excellent. These operas come
with synopsises but no librettos and Puritani is presented in
a slightly abridged version. If you are an early Sutherland
devotee and/or Bellini lover this box is well worth considering.
A great price
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These are all prime Sutherland recordings. So what are you waiting for? At these prices you should order these at once!Bravissima, diva."
elisrilamore | 12/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've never heard such mind-boggling coloratura in my life!! Joan Sutherland was not human when she sang coluratura. And those spectacular high notes are thrilling beyond imagination!! Thanks to Decca for releasing these spectacular performances in a budget box set! Now we have on record probably the greatest voice in the 20th century.For those wondering what's the uproar about Sutherland. Here's the deal. For most sopranos, if they are loud, they can't sing fast - that is, loud sopranos (dramatic) sopranos cannot do trills, coloratura, etc. properly. And their high notes are limited - maybe up to high D flat or high D - above that they are not singing but sreeching. And if the soprano is fast as a bird (i.e. can do trills, coloratura, sing Queen of the Night and hit all the high F's), they can't sing loud. So if you turn up the orchestra volume, you can't hear them. Sutherland is the one soprano who can sing both loud and fast. She can trill, do coloratura and the orchestra will not drown her out. Also, her high notes are spectacular. Her high F's, high E's, high E flats, high D's, high D flats are spectacularly loud. While human sopranos screech these notes, Sutherland sang them and sang them magnificently above orchestras and choruses at full volume!!A true treasure of the classical catalogue. If you haven't heard sutherland, you haven't heard opera."