Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Vincenzo Bellini, Montserrat Caballé, Jon Vickers|
Bellini - Norma / Caballé · Vickers
Listen to Samples
J. Anderson | Monterey, CA USA | 09/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Caballe considered this to be THE performance of her career, that blustery night in Orange, and while this recording doesn't offer the inestimable vantage of the filmed version, there is enough glory here to end any further idle speculation over naming the greatest interpreter of the role of Norma! More finely attuned than Sutherland's Norma (where Caballe sings Adalgisa), with transfixing work from Jon Vickers in the prime of his enormous gifts, this is the 'Norma' of the ages. There will certainly never be another like it! Caballe's 'Casta diva' is hung like the stars - singing so laden with a divine patience, pathos, and musical presence that one can scarcely breathe! Of all of Montserrat Caballe's recorded versions of this aria (and there are many), this is without question the most breathtakingly cultured in its beauty and profundity; it is exalted, and truly is one of the very few genuine masterpieces of recorded operatic art. The fioratura is spun down from the open sky, it had no precedent, and indeed for all time will surely have no echo. This is singing that Maria Callas, for all that her contribution shall remain, never even dreamed, as indeed Callas herself to the credit of her humility understood, sending to Caballe, as she did late in her life, the earrings she wore on stage during her own assumptions of the role. When shown the video performance of this recording, Maria Callas, in perfect Callas-esque understatement, merely remarked "ah, but they have made her look too beautiful." But of course she knew that this performance was so very much more. Caballe doesn't sing, she incarnates. Throughout the whole of her performance, Montserrat Caballe is as inspired as are the fierce winds insistent. Veasey's Adalgisa comes at times as almost coarse simply because it must stand arrayed against the divine virtues of Caballe's Norma. Patane is always a perfect companion at the podium, though there are moments when the orchestra seems to fail the singing- rhythmic indiscretions mostly, of course outdoor performances tend more often than not to rupture cohesion along these lines. But these are insignificant quibblings. One must not even air them, I think, beside the majesty of Caballe's accomplishment. This recording is an ineffacable, ennobling, and overpowering human artistic achievment. It is impossible to adequately praise it."
A WELL WEATHERED PERFORMANCE
Shawn Chua | Singapore | 06/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording has catapulted into legendary status not only for the intensity of performance but also the conditions in which it was made. On that fateful evening in Orange, the Mistral blew in and threatened cancellation of the performances. However, Caballe managed to press on for continuation and for that, we are eternally in her debt. This performance showcases Caballe in the title role, in which, she commits the best reading in her career. Indeed, it was Callas, herself perhaps the greatest Norma, who even heaped praises on the performance. Despite the sub-standard quality of the live recording, we are still able to take in the full splendour and magnificence of Bellini's masterpiece. From start to end, the orchestra delivers flawless accompaniment to the voices of the soloists who give commendable performances. Caballe appropriately takes full credit for the success of the evening. Her rendition of the characters trials and tribulations is well fleshed out by her voice of immaculate phrasing and stentorian power. In wrath, in passion, in plea, in surrender, her every note is tinged with a sublime ecstatic quality. She is well partnered by both her Pollione and Adalgisa, who aid and abet in the duets and scenes. The performance is whipped into a frenzied pace and climaxes, sending the evening into close, with the entire audience erupting with jubilation. Indeed, this was a night the stuff of which legends are made . . ."
Pretty amazing stuff
daniel vasquez | Atlanta, GA United States | 02/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording is perhaps one of the great normas on record. i actually urge everyone to get the video of it, and have this copy lying around for the car stereo. i am mainly a callas fan, and really dont think that there is "ONE TOSCA" or "ONE NORMA" or any of that nonesense. There are many aspects of callas' art that evade caballe, and the vice versa. to compare is to do an injustice, for art is not quantitative. what i see in the video is caballe being remarkably involved and dramatic. everything seems to be in perfect place. stylish....very elegant. the phrasing is impeccable. the ONLY "boo boo" that i think she makes is in a particular section of "ah non tremare" where she sings "trema per tei figli" (bad italian...am at work now...cant check libretto) and she sings that with that weird "machinelike" attack that so marred marylin horne's singing. but that is just a little fruit fly in the velveta cheese platter. the breath control is out of this world, and unlike many other performances, caballe actually manages to make quite the stage presence. if you watch the video you can get this incredible idea of what an animal she was. she barely opens her mouth ... i mean...barely! and the whole open field is FLOODED with sound...where is it coming from? her ears? its remarkable to watch...how does she do it. im a norma collector...so why not get them all? this, along with either callas studio recording, the first sutherland set, the very interesting scotto recording, and the one with deutekom in the gala label, are must haves...(but get the video first!)daniel"