Bellini: La Sonnambula with Cecilia Bartoli

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Bellini: La Sonnambula with Cecilia Bartoli

Dear Forum Members,

I recently purchased Bellini: La Sonnambula  with  Cecilia Bartoli  ( 478 1087 dho2 Decca DDD).  I will have to say I was quite disppointed with the recorrding. I though that Cecilia Bartoli  was almost lack luster in performance.  For instance I found that a couple of high notes were missing in some arias ( that are there in the Sutherland recording) and the final "Ah non giunge" I thought was flat.My question is have other forum members listened to this version and if so what was their impression ?

 

Thanking you in advance.

 

 

RE: Bellini: La Sonnambula with Cecilia Bartoli

Welcome to the forum, Amfortas.

I have briefly referred to this recording in the thread of Bartoli's Norma. This Sonnanbula is a supposedly "first ever endeavour" to present the work in its historic perspective, performed with "period instruments" and a mezzo for the the leading role.

Whether I found it successful, I may say this particular case may create some mix feelings. The conductor and the orchestra are working fine. De Marchi is a well-known conductor for period performances and his expertise is working in this "recreation" of an "original" Sonnambula. Some of the singers are quite good as well: Florez and D' Arcangelo are quite to the point of fine singing. The problem lies with the tilte role. With all these great sopranos of mainly the past and recently of at least Dessay, Bartoli is the "odd woman out". In her own merits, she is fine, but she cannot possibly be compared with all these very fine belcanto singers who have sung the role and, in particular, with the significant prowess of a Sutherland or the maturity and unique style of a Callas.

For a not so impressive but quite good recording, with two strong and solid singers for the two leading roles, you may try the Naxos recording with Luba Orgonasova and Raul Gimenez. You won't be let down. Orgonasova, in her first years was a truly great strong soprano. Besides, only for the title role and the conductor (Viotti), you may try the Gruberova's recording on Nightingale. She performs the role with unique presence and great musicianship.

Parla

P.S.: By the way, I feel compelled to commend you on the choice of your Wagnerian pseudonym and your quite interesting avatar.

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