Search - Vincenzo Bellini, Richard Bonynge, Joan Sutherland :: Bellini - Norma / Sutherland · Horne · J. Alexander · R. Cross · LSO · Bonynge

Bellini - Norma / Sutherland · Horne · J. Alexander · R. Cross · LSO · Bonynge
Vincenzo Bellini, Richard Bonynge, Joan Sutherland
Bellini - Norma / Sutherland · Horne · J. Alexander · R. Cross · LSO · Bonynge
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #3

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Joan Sutheland, the supreme singer, the supreme artist
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Joan Sutherland is beyond praise in this definitive recording of Norma. Her singing makes all the other Normas obsolete ( Callas, Caballe, Ponselle ). Only Sutherland sings the arias and duets in their original keys. Callas and Ponselle say that Norma is their most difficult role, yet they sing everything one FULL note lower than what was originally written. That is ridiculous! Imagine the Immolation Scene from Gotterdamerung transposed one note down. Or how about transposing Nessum Dorma from Turandot one note down. The result, of course is that it loses most of its excitement. Now imagine all of Norma's arias and duet one note up, the way it's supposed to be sung...the way Sutherland sings it here and during her prime on actual stage performances ( note: even Sutherland transposed Norma's music down in her later years, ie the late 1970's and 1980's ). Norma in the original keys is beyond the reach of Caballe and certainly Callas, but not for Sutherland and Horne, they had a field day with the higher keys! Listen to this Norma and you'll be amazed at Sutherland and Horne's showmanship and artistry."
La Stupenda is stupendous
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This was actually the first recording of Norman I ever owned ( refering to the Norma with Sutherland, Horne, Cross, and Alexander, not confusing it with the rerecording made with Pavarotti and Caballe ). I have worn out at least two copies of it. I also own three versions by Maria Callas ( one that includes Joan Sutherland as Clothilda ). I have also seen both artists perform this opera. Comparisons are really silly, as they approached the opera from different vantage points. However, like one hears in this recording, Sutherland always sang it beautifully and accurately. Callas is not represented truly on record, as in performance she was not consistant, and the first act ( in her recordings act one is divided into two acts ) she usually was not good at all, rather terrible, and the voice only came into its own later in the evening. However, in this recording, one is instructed in the art of bel canto interpretation. Sutherland adds embellishments to her arias ( some actually used by the creator of the role -- Pasta ), as was the custom at the time of its writing. She blends well with Horne, and together they create a wonderful atmosphere ( even if in the world premiere of the opera Pasta was more a mezzo and Grizi a soprano ). The only sad thing to me is the cutting of all the actually endings of many of the greatest duets and ensembles so high notes could be added. Bellini wrote some interesting music, that is never recorded, as postludes to these pieces. Still this recording is wonderful, and those who are not familiar with Norma will find this version easy to take, and enjoyable to listen to."
The Queen of bel canto!
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There are three Sopranos I consider to be the prima Donna's of the Century. They are Renata Tebaldi, Birgit Nilsson, and La Stupenda. Sutherland's interpretations are beautifully and technically mastered. The cast is great, especially with Marilyn Horne. I think that Carlo Bergonzi would have been a great Pollione, not to take anything from John Alexander. The overture is heart-stopping, and once you've caught your breath, if you don't die after hearing Sutherland and Horne, you should be ready to die during the final scene where Norma begs Oroveso to spare her children as she prepares to die."