Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gaetano Donizetti, Bruno Campanella, Orchestre du l'Opera de Paris|
Donizetti - La fille du régiment
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I PREFER THIS TO THE SUTHERLAND-PAVAROTTI
L. Mitnick | Chicago, Illinois United States | 10/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"At the outset, I have to say that this opera is one of my least favorites. Somehow, it just doesn't communicate with me. I lived with the Sutherland-Pavarotti recording on London for a long time, listened to it occassionally, and then left it on the shelf. I know that both of them were acclaimed for their performances on this London recording, and of course, Sutherland and Pavarotti's singing certainly merit such acclaim. That said, however, I found both of them very ungainly in this music. Pavarotti, to me anyway, -even with those nine consecutive high C's in the firsts act aria, sounds too bulky and heavy for the part of Tonio. Sutherland too, whose bel canto repertoire encompassed such olympic roles Norma, Semiramide, Maria Stuarda, and Beatrice di Tenda, sounds to my ears anyway, too mature for the role of the young Marie. A lot of these misgivings are remedied by this EMI recording, which is actually culled from two live performances in 1986. June Anderson was young, vocally blooming, and sounds quite plausible in this role ------ far more so than Sutherland. She may lack Sutherland's sheer bel canto vocal abandon, but she does characterize her role, and makes you actually pay attention to her. Alfredo Kraus was 59 years old (!) when this performance took place. Incredibly, the top C's are still there -------not as rousing as Pavarotti's, perhaps, but they are perfectly secure. Krause never possessed a voice like the roly-poly Italian, but his elegance and vocal refinement were much cherished. Moreover, he used his vocal instrument with care and caution. His Tonio is an impeccable assumption, and his singing is frequently very beautiful. There's a lot of audience applause here, which adds to the atmosphere of a live performance, and all the procedings have an "opera comique" type of ambience. I still am not a great fan of the opera, but I certainly appreciate the way it is presented here. Who knows? I may even come to like it better."
A good alternative to Pavarotti/Sutherland
R. Broadhead | Southwestern USA | 02/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This Fille du Regiment is a very nice, lower-cost alternative to the Pavarotti/Sutherland recording on Decca. As noted by another reviewer, this is a live performance and crowd noise and stage noise accompany the performance. The music is recorded clearly and distinctly. There is not too much crowd noise except for well-deserved applause after some of the better arias and duets. There is in places a fair amount of stage noise of folks stomping around, etc. which can be a bit distracting when it occurs.
Alfredo Kraus makes a very good and enjoyable Tonio and manages to hit all of those high notes (at 59 years old!). His voice is clear and fluid, and somewhat gentle as was his trademark. Still, it is not up to the level of Pavarotti on Decca - and whose is? Pavarotti as Tonio was a performance that comes once in a lifetime. Kraus was past his prime and just a bit weak when this was recorded; it would have been interesting to hear him in this role at 40.
On the other side, a young June Anderson makes an excellent Marie. Just a bit short of Sutherland perhaps, but still very strong and clear with an excellent range in this difficult role. She is a delight.
The Orchestra of the National Opera of Paris under the direction of Bruno Campanella comes through very clearly and has a decidely French lilt to its playing. It is very enjoyable, but pacing is a bit uneven in places.
This recording has some formidable competition, especially from Pavarotti/Sutherland. Under other circumstances, this might be a five-star recording, but it is a definite notch below its best competition. Still, it is a delightful and enjoyable performance and at about 1/2 the price of the Decca version is an excellent choice."