Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested CDs
A complete "Norma" experience.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording is truly faithful to Bellini's written score, as no music is cut or greatly embellished. You wouldn't really notice, however, as singers, conductor, and orchestra alike make this opera come alive with fire and beauty. Caballe was a justly celebrated Norma, with the vocal size and flexiblity demanded by this most challenging role. You can feel the emotions she must have felt and radiated on the stage listening to her. This is a great performance by a great artist. Cossotto was known not just for her Verdian roles, she also wowed audiences with her portrayal of Aldagisa; her voice is a great match to the soprano's, particularly in vocal color (her high Cs sound as if they were intended by the composer, which, after all, they were). A young Domingo brings a heroic nobility to the role of Pollione, and I agree with the below review, that his high C is rare (and Pollione has only one), but it is sung wonderfully here, as is Domingo's whole performance, true to his legend. Raimondi's deep bass voice carries off the role rather high tessitura role of Oroveso with ease, never lacking in drama. Even the brief vocal appearences from Flavio and Clothilde fit well into the fabric of the whole. Bellini's orchestral writing may not have been all that impressive to some, but the orchestra, conducted by Maestro Cillario, conveyes drive and emotion, particularly during the overture; you know this is an age of opera long past, yet it seems fresh, new, and invigorating. This is a wholly enjoyable recording of a masterpiece of bel canto, and I recommend it highly. Each participant does their part to make this recording a triumph."
The True Bel Canto Norma
Rudy Avila | Lennox, Ca United States | 11/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"More than any other studio recording of Bellini's Norma, this studio recording from the late 60's is the most definative of bel canto style Norma. The other recordings always lack the beautiful element and instead become either verisimo or dramatic, nearly Wagnerian drama. Maria Callas' Normas in the 50's were sheerly dramatic and she was armored like a Druid warrior vocally speaking. The same applies to Shirley Verrett and Grace Bumbry's Normas in the late 70's. Joan Sutherland sings in bel canto fashion but lacks dramatic appeal. Montserrat Caballe understood the significance of both the text and the beauty of the music. She is the Norma with the most balanced harmonics. She is in her prime in this recording and she essays each scene with bravura. Her Spanish compatriot Placido Domingo has the perfect voice for Pellione and for once does not have the harsh timbre that some Pelliones have had. His is a purely lyrical and romantic portrayal that one even feels sympathy with this character. And of course his voice blended with Caballe's is glorious. Fiorenza Cossotto is the most dramatic Adalgisa I have ever heard, with the exception of Shirley Verrett's Adalgisa on Beverly Sill's Norma studio recording which is yet to see the light of day on remastered recording. Ruggero Raimondo, singing nothing spectacular does a fine job as Oroveso. This is the most beautiful Norma you will ever hear."
Very good Norma but it did get better
Bogdan Iliescu | Iasi, Romania | 12/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I got this Norma for it is one of my favourite operas and for some of the cast. Most of all I wanted to hear Caballe singing Norma. And her performance was very pleasing to my ears. She understood very well her character and manages to express it also very well all over the score. Her voice is in a very good shape and the phrasing makes the music sound convincing. The rest of the cast does a pretty good job and manages to offer a strong performance of Bellini's capo d'opera. A plus for Raimondi and Cillario as they manage the score vividly and in a very good style.
But from my point of view this recording can't surpass Callas' recording under Tulio Serafin. That recording inspires the drama from the very beginning. Callas, Corelli and Ludwig are a more credible trio in every aspect and seem to be more into characters, both as psychology and conflicts. Serafin conducting has more authority and drives the musical narration to a livelier finale.
Overall, this recording is a pleasing one and, as it doesn't have any major flows and contains some very nice performances, must be, in my opinion, part of a collection of Norma great recordings."