Joan Sutherland is at her best in this, one of Rossini's last and most serious operas. There is plenty of very complicated music to perform for all the singers, and most of them are up to the task. Of course, Sutherland al... more »so recorded the role commercially with the brilliant Marilyn Horne, but that's currently out of print other than in excerpts. At a bargain price, this set is recommended. --Robert Levine« less
Joan Sutherland is at her best in this, one of Rossini's last and most serious operas. There is plenty of very complicated music to perform for all the singers, and most of them are up to the task. Of course, Sutherland also recorded the role commercially with the brilliant Marilyn Horne, but that's currently out of print other than in excerpts. At a bargain price, this set is recommended. --Robert Levine
"Yes, this is not the legendary Semiramide with Sutherland and Horne. But it is also very good. There is no doubt that Sutherland is THE Semiramide. Nobody ever comes close. She was just spectacular as this Babylonian queen. Her voice and technique was at her peak in this recording. Sinclaire had a right voice for Arsace and was very involved but lacked the solid technique for Rossini's singing. Other supporting casts were good. Bonynge did a superb job at conducting. The sound quality is fine for the live recording. With the very budget price, I recommend this recording over the extremely expensive DG album with Struder and Lamore which suffer mostly from the unimaginative conducting by Marin. I wish Decca will re-reissue the Sutherland/Horne recording soon. That one is THE Semiramime to die for."
Grandmother of Norma
Howard | 11/30/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Semiramide is the most difficult bel canto ever written. It simply calls for the greatest dramatic coloratura soprano in the world. And in this century, only Sutherland can sing this role to perfection. Her duets with Horne are just too beautiful to be true."
Sutherland is excellent - The rest are quite poor
Howard | 11/06/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Sinclair is by far the worst Arsace on any of my four different full length versions. Horne is always the best although Larmore is also wonderful. When this recording was made there were essentially no men who could sing the music. More recent recordings with Frank Lopardo, Stanford Olsen and Gregory Kunde as Idreno are much to be preferred. Ramey is the best Assur on records, although Pertusi is also very good.The best CD is the Studer, Larmore, Olsen and Ramey recording. Studer is very spirited and accurate but lacks the tonal warmth of Sutherland. Buy the Studer CD first get this one as a supplement."
I have the Sutherland/Horne version
Howard | Valley guy | 08/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"And Sinclair is no match for Horne, who was the greatest coloratura mezzo of her time. But Sutherland alone makes this five stars. She actually sings better here than in the recording with Horne. And this is budget price."