Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gaetano Donizetti, Jules Massenet, Giuseppe Verdi|
La Stupenda ~ The Supreme Voice of Joan Sutherland
Genres: Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Listen to the aria from Esclamonde - an "Wagnerian" style of orchestratal writing written for a true dramatic coloratura, which was exactly the type of singer that Joan Sutherland was. No one today or yesterday can touch this. That aria alone is worth the cost of this two cd collection. In the beginning, after extremely fast staccati, she hits and holds two of the most powerful high D's I can recall hearing. Other highlights are the Lucia mad scene, the Puritani polanaise, and the "Santo di Patria" from Verdi's Attila - which must be heard to believe. In this aria, Sutherland attacks her cabelettas the way Callas would have - extremely aggressive! Another big highlight is the unbelievably difficult concerto for coloratura and orchesta - another gem that only La Stupenda could sing. You have to hear it to believe it."
I don't think there is a better title than "La Stupenda"
Trevor Gillespie | San Jose, California United States | 01/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love Ms. Joan Sutherland. I discovered her unique voice in a compilation recording that I bought on the Opera Gala label (a London/Decca sub-label). It was just one piece that she was on, but it started a love of her voice and singing. I've since bought a number of Joan Sutherland CDs, but this compilation is the tops. The concerto for coloratura soprano sounds like it must be a grueling piece for a singer, but Ms. Sutherland makes it sound like it's a magic carpet ride. Her voice floats, soars, and radiates with seemingly ease. Definitely, this is the highlight of the two CD set, but all of it is great stuff."
Trevor Gillespie | 12/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"simply beautiful singing. what makes this unique is that this collection contains recordings anywhere from 1958 to as late as the 80's. there are two cds, which makes it a good value. most of the materials are from her stupendous period, but there are one or two from her droopy period. but 90% of the items here are beautiful indeed. the highlights: the queen of the night aria, duet with horne from semiramide that is out of print, the coloratura concerto, the fabulous duet from traviata (wow!), and the very first recording of the mad scene done by sutherland (1958) that even supercedes her first complete lucia with tenor cioni(1960). to give you the importance of this mad scene, it was recorded before her legendary debut as lucia at covent garden in 1959! at this period, sutherland did not scoop, or droop, or whatever. she follows maestro tullio serafin, who insisted on pure coloratura precision ( he also coached callas ) and he insisted that sutherland will surpass callas as a coloratura, and he was right. not to put down the fantastic contribution by perhaps an even more important diva than la stupenda. the two divas are the greatest contribution to the annals of opera than all other divas combine. i love them both dearly. but perhaps i am even more prone to callas because she is the complete package, both voice, technique, and artistry. but sutherland is impressive because of complete control of everything that rossini, donizetti, and bellini ever wrote. just how she is able to achieve vocal lines that are nearly impossible with ease is perhaps god's gift to her. she is superhuman when she opens her mouth. yes, unfortunately, she is not that that convincing when she needs to act, but the level of bravura is so high, that one leaves her performances in disbelief. and for that alone, she is in the same caliber as callas. of course, these days, we have no callas and sutherland. we don't even have roberta peters or renata scotto. so we have these recordings. so we are lucky that the recording studio left us with these fabulous excerpts. this very first recording of the mad scene from lucia is not available anymore, and it is, by far superior to both of sutherland's takes of the same mad scene from two complete recordings of lucia di lammermoor, sutherland/cioni(1960), and sutherland/pavarotti(1971). this mad scene, about 1958 or early 1959 is the most magnificent one that sutherland has put on records. i mean it, i would have paid a hundred dollars just to get this, it's that good. she attacks all the high notes and holds them. and the voice is so girlish, and so at east at the highest of notes. and at this period, the high e flats are huge, they explode. even my best friend, who hates opera reacted by, "oh, my gosh", when he heard this in my car stereo when we were heading to the mall. i mean it, if you think that the complete recording in 1960 of lucia is special, this one is that much better. in fact, i don't think as perfect singing of this mad scene will ever be heard again. sorry i keep going on, but i really feel that this take of the lucia mad scene is even more stupendous than her singing in general of various taxing arias from "art of the prima donna". the reason, she attacks everything from the top, and mammoth high notes (especially high e flats) that are twice or three times the size of her high notes later in her career. i don't think in our life time, we'll ever hear such perfection again. alas."