Great singing, if not all the drama
RobertSNY | New York, NY | 05/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is Dame Joan's first recording of the opera. She was to record it again many years later with her voice somewhat past its prime. This recording remains the ultimate in bel canto vocal mastery. There is nary a note imperfectly or unconvincingly sung in this entire recording -- and that includes the rest of the cast as well. Indeed, the pairing of Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne is one of the operatic miracles of the 20th century. For sheer bravura, for the ultimate in beautiful and exciting singing, they cannot be beat.
True, Sutherland lacks the temperament to fully realize the powerful drama and conflicting emotions in the way Callas could -- and I wouldn't want to be without one or two of her recordings. But there are times I just want to sit back and revel in gorgeous singing, Bellini's beautiful melodies, and a musically, if not dramatically, perfect presentation of Norma. This recording more than amply fits the bill.
And by the way, don't just take my word for it. This is the same recording that is so glowingly reviewed in its past incarnation on these very pages."
Agree with RobertSNY
Kyle E. Lockhart | Texas USA | 05/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great version of NORMA. It is really sung quiet beautifully. There are sections in the duets between Horne and Sutherland that are often cut in other recordings. They are moments that should not be missed. I would recommend one of the Callas sets as well as this one if you enjoy bel canto and want to hear this opera performed in two very different, but both amazing, recordings!"
One of the greatest recordings of this opera.
Daniel G. Madigan | Redmond, WA United States | 04/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Norma from the early 60s with Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne, and John Alexander is bel canto opera at its zenith.These artists are not to be judged by casual listeners who play these operas on CD players in cars. This. like all great artistic statements, must be savored, and knowledge about the opera. a bel canto opera, and its background helps, as well as a sense of what singing opera is all about, especially when you listen to Joan Sutherland.
Do not pay heed to the reviews here by people who know nothing about singing or opera in general or particular. Their viwes are absurd.
Buy this and never fell that one momnent of listening has been wasted. Sublime!"