Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Sir John Pritchard, Joan Sutherland, Renato Cioni|
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
At last, a remastered Dame Joan's first Lucia
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is it! This is it! I bought this and was blown away at the wonderful remastering that shows off the real Joan Sutherland sound.
Everyone knows that this is Joan's finest Lucia that she recorded for Decca. And now it's available in far better sound. Making it a must for every opera fan!
This Lucia is definitely better than the second. Even though the second Lucia is still outstanding.
What makes this first Lucia definitive is that Joan Sutherland retained that wondrous voice she had when she recorded "The art of the Prima Donna" album when she taped this Lucia. After this one, her diction started to get a little off. But not here.
Finally, Sutherland fans all over the world can hear the real Sutherland sound, and her spine-tinkling high notes in full volume, not compressed as in most of her recordings.
This Lucia is my favorite recording of any opera I own. And that includes Joan Sutherland's Norma."
The Queen of Opera
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have 2 Callas Lucias, 4 Sutherland Lucias, Moffo's Lucia, Peter's Lucia, Caballe's Lucia, Sill's Lucia and a few others. So I cosider myself a good critic when it comes to this opera.
The best Lucias are the ones with Callas, Sutherland, and Sills.I would not want to be without any of these. Although the Roberta Peter's and Anna Moffo's are also very interesting and lovely.
Here, I'll take on Sutherland's most spectacular Lucia, her 1960 Decca recording(and that surpasses her 1959 live version with Serafin in my opinion).
In 1960, Sutherland's voice was huge and clear as it was in her "Art of the Prima Donna" best seller. And sorry to say she will never sing like that again. Saying who was the most spectacular Lucia of our time is a personal thing. But I dare say that most knowledgeable Lucia fans will say that either this or the 1959 live Lucia are the most breathtaking.
The voice. It is so clear, the squillo so dramatic, the tone quality so girlish and innocent and high notes so rocket like and precise. And that's just to start.
The trills are, of course legendary. Everyone knows that they are the spinning of two notes so fast yet you can still distinctively hear both notes. That is unique among even the most famous coloraturas. In our time, only Sills at her best could come close to it.
The staccato are fast, dartlike, loud, and dead on. No one in recent times can touch these in her mad scene. Only Tetrazzini or perhaps Galli-curci had the speed. But did they have the size? I think not. Sutherland's staccati are among her most unique and tremendous talents.
The fioratura is like a string of pearls. Always distinct from its neighbor, and each one as lovely as it's neighbor. Also, in this Lucia, her tempo for the runs are very precise. Which is not always the case for many of her later Lucias and other roles. The arpeggios in the mad scene are breath-taking to say the least. I know of no one else who can even attemp those. Well, perhaps Beverly Sills.
Now for the incandescence high notes. They are in a class of its own. No one in memory had high notes with such ring, clarity, immense size and squillo than Dame Joan's. But what makes it even more incredible is how precise and dependable they are. Since I've had the pleasure to hear her Met Lucia, I can safely say they are the best on this planet.
Now, to the highlights of this definitive Lucia...all Sutherland, of course.
Regnava nel silenzio is exquisite. She uses the most girlish of tones, almost cold, silvery, to chill the listener. Then comes the series of trills before Quanto repita that have to be heard to believe! The fast aria is joyous with gigantic high notes that are as effortless as you can get. And the voice! The fioratura! Spectacular is an understatement. She crowns the cabaletta with a perfect high D, although surprisingly, she did not hold it. ( We can't have everything ).
The duet with Edgardo is lovely and delicate. Sutherland didn't use a large sound. Instead, she sounds flowing, and effortless, with lots of ring and soared on all the high notes. I actually think that Decca undermiked her here...But nevertheless, the effect is lovely indeed.
The duet with Enrico is shere vintage Sutherland. She takes the optional series of fioratura flawlessly, all the time creating sounds that is both sad and ravishing. She crowns the duet with another flawless huge high D.
The sextet is another highlights that Sutherland has no rivals. She simply soars, and soars, and soars - above the orchestra, above the other singers, and above the orchestra. The repeating high B's are full of fire, ring, and they are so powerful that one has to gasp to wonder where the power of these mammoth high notes are coming from. AT the same time you also hear this innocently sounding girlish voice of the utmost clarity. She ends the great ensemble with another perfect high D flat, of course...no problem.
After a few more arguments with Enrico, the diva concludes act2 with a gigantic high D that she holds and holds. A phenomenal high D that actually convade feelings of extreme sorrow.
Finally, the mad scene from the 1960 Lucia. And it is the best thing that Joan Sutherland ever put on record. First of all, she was in powerful voice. Second, she was dead on. Thirdly, she hit every imaginable coloratura obstacle with complete precision and perfection that one can only drop their jaws in disbelieve. This mad scene put her 1971 mad scene seem to shame. We all know the cadenzas of her mad scene. And this one is the only one that has not one note out of place. It is so perfect that even the engineers can't use their tricks to make it better. Every trill, staccato, arpeggio, chromatic scales, and high notes textbook perfect. All sung with the most beautiful, silvery, and pure soprano sound of that era, or any era for that matter. It is the mad scene of a lifetime. And she concluded it with a trill on high B flat that no other coloratura soprano can do as perfectly as her even if they trilled it one octave lower. Yet the two notes of the trills are even more defined from its neighbor then Joan's lower trill. This is remarkable. Only Sutherland can produce high trills of this caliber. And then after that, she produce a titanic high E flat to end all high E flats. I have to admit she could have held this note a bit longer, but it is so perfect that it is not necessary.
Skipping to the final aria, Sutherland again was a singing machine again. The highlight of this famous aria are her trills. These trills are short and are low. Yet only Sutherland can produce them with great size, speed and accuracy. Again, the two notes of the trills are coordinated with its neighbor. Perfect, what can I say?
The last high E flat was again gigantic and she really holds this one. Ending her part of Lucia di Lammermoor in grand fashion.
So there it is, Sutherland's best Lucia. In my opinion, the best in the entire catalog, and quite possibly the best in the history of Donizetti's masterpiece."
Greatest Lucia of our generation
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sutherland is the definitive Lucia. So much has been written about her legendary performances that I can think of no words to describe her brilliance voice and astonishing coloratura.
But here is what one of the most famous critics of the U.S.,
Henry Long in the New York Herald-Tribune wrote of Sutherland's Lucia in 1961. The same period that this studio Lucia is recorded.
Mr. Henry Long in the New York Herald-Tribune, stated:
"She can sing like a flute--but the sound is never flutey; she can sing staccatos that can cascade like raindrops; he trills are not the usual uneasy vacillation between two neighbouring tones, but an utterly musical warbling that a pianist could not execute with more security, and she can make a melody arch as if it were supported by marble columns".
Another influential music critic Harold C. Schonberg, wrote in the New York Times,
"There have been others of this generation who have had bigger voices: Milanov, Tebaldi, or Nilsson can produce more volume. There are others who may have a sweeter quality of tone -- de Los Angeles, say, or Price. Callas undoubtedly for temperament. But there is none around who has the combination of technique, vocal security, clarity and finesse that Miss Sutherland can summon".
Indeed, the Met audience agree, at the end of Lucia di Lammermoor, they gave Dame Joan Sutherland 30 curtain calls."