Bellini La Sonnambula

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Vincenzo Bellini, (Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Gioachino Rossini, Charles-François Gounod, George Frideric Handel, (Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes, Thomas (Augustine) Arne, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Label: The Classic Sound

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

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Catalogue Number: 452 298-2DCS2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
(La) Sonnambula Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
(La) Sonnambula Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Hamlet (Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
(La) traviata Joan Sutherland
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
(Les) Huguenots Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Giacomo Meyerbeer Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Semiramide Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Gioachino Rossini Composer
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Semiramide Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Gioachino Rossini Composer
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
(Les) Huguenots Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Giacomo Meyerbeer Composer
Joan Sutherland
(I) Puritani Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
(I) Puritani Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Faust Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Charles-François Gounod Composer
Norma Joan Sutherland
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
(La) Sonnambula Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Rigoletto Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Joan Sutherland
Samson Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
George Frideric Handel Composer
(I) Puritani Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Lakmé Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
(Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes Composer
Joan Sutherland
Lakmé Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
(Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes Composer
Joan Sutherland
Norma Joan Sutherland
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Hamlet Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
(Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
(La) traviata Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Joan Sutherland
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Roméo et Juliette, 'Romeo and Juliet' Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Charles-François Gounod Composer
Joan Sutherland
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Faust Joan Sutherland
Charles-François Gounod Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Otello Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Joan Sutherland
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
(La) traviata Joan Sutherland
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
(I) Puritani Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Joan Sutherland
Artaxerxes Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Thomas (Augustine) Arne Composer
Hamlet Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
(Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
(La) Sonnambula Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Norma Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Hamlet Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
(Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas Composer
Rigoletto Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
(Die) Entführung aus dem Serail, '(The) Abduction from the Seraglio' Joan Sutherland
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Norma Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Otello Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Giuseppe Verdi Composer

Composer or Director: Vincenzo Bellini

Genre:

Opera

Label: Grand Opera

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

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Catalogue Number: 448 969-2DMO3

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
(I) Puritani Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus
Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra
Margreta Elkins
Pierre Duval
Ezio Flagello
Giovanni Foiani
Renato Capecchi
Richard Bonynge
Piero de Palma
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Joan Sutherland

Composer or Director: Carl Heinrich Graun, Giovanni Bononcini

Label: Grand Opera

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

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Catalogue Number: 448 977-2DMO2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Montezuma Monica Sinclair
Rae Woodland
Carl Heinrich Graun Composer
Elizabeth Harwood
Joan Sutherland
Richard Bonynge
Joseph Ward
Lauris Elms
Ambrosian Singers
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Griselda Ambrosian Singers
Lauris Elms
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Richard Bonynge
Giovanni Bononcini Composer
Joan Sutherland
Spiro Malas
Monica Sinclair
Margreta Elkins

Composer or Director: Vincenzo Bellini

Genre:

Opera

Label: Grand Opera

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

ADD

Catalogue Number: 448 966-2DMO2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
(La) Sonnambula Richard Bonynge
Nicola Monti
Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus
Joan Sutherland
Sylvia Stahlman
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Margreta Elkins
Giovanni Foiani
Angelo Mercuriali
Fernando Corena
Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra

Composer or Director: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Genre:

Opera

Label: Grand Opera

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

ADD

Catalogue Number: 448 973-2DMO3

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Don Giovanni Marilyn Horne
Pilar Lorengar
Ambrosian Singers
Gabriel Bacquier
English Chamber Orchestra
Donald Gramm
Richard Bonynge
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Composer
Joan Sutherland
Clifford Grant
Werner Krenn
Leonardo Monreale
The occasion of Dame Joan Sutherland’s seventieth birthday in November 1996 has prompted Decca to reissue these opera sets from the 1960s, all for the first time on CD. The two-disc recital, “The Art of the Prima Donna” has hardly ever been out of the catalogue since 1960, and was previously on two CDs in the Grandi Voci series – now it’s remastered for Classic Sound.
Because she is so closely associated with the bel canto operas of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, it is important to remember that it was partly in eighteenth-century operas that Sutherland achieved her early successes, before that famous Lucia in 1959. She had sung in Le nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflote, Don Giovanni and Der Schauspieldirektor at Covent Garden, Glyndebourne and in Vancouver, as well as making her mark in Handel’s Alcina and Samson. In 1967 when Sutherland and Bonynge recorded extracts from Bononcini’s Griselda and Graun’s Montezuma, such works were not just rare but mostly unheard of. Both selections are hugely enjoyable, with Sutherland given a unique opportunity in Griselda to act a man’s part, Ernesto, and yes, she does darken her voice somewhat. The title-role is taken by Lauris Elms, who proves to have a dashing technique; there is a duet in which she is joined by Monica Sinclair that has all the panache one associates with Sutherland and Horne at the same time.
In Montezuma it’s nice to hear another souvenir of Elizabeth Harwood, and Sutherland sings an elaborately decorated bravura aria, complete with, I suppose, rather unauthentic flute obbligato. For latter-day early music enthusiasts these performances are probably a bit quaint now, but they were pioneering efforts and Richard Bonynge gets everything moving with great sparkle and charm, as well as period feel. Of the four opera sets this is the one I would recommend especially.
Don Giovanni was one of Sutherland’s first recordings, Donna Anna in the Giulini set, recorded for EMI in 1959. Ten years later she returned to the part for Bonynge’s version. This created something of a sensation when it first came out, as no one had attempted a chamber reading of this opera before. Of course we have now heard all the Mozart-Da Ponte works done on period instruments and with all kinds of different ‘authentic’ approaches. There are currently 36 other recordings of Don Giovanni in the catalogue, so it is enough to say that this one would still get on to the short-list. Gabriel Bacquier is the subtlest Giovanni, every inch the relaxed nobleman playing with fire. Sutherland’s Anna for Giulini was deliberately more ‘girlish’ – as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf revealed in her interviews with JBS last year, Walter Legge encouraged Schwarzkopf to be more shrewish to contrast with Sutherland. Here Pilar Lorengar is a much warmer Elvira and Marilyn Horne an earthy Zerlina – she gets the extra duet with Leporello (the excellent Donald Gramm). Werner Krenn is a very light-voiced Ottavio, and he does some quite daring decorations in “Il mio tesoro”. Bonynge takes some of the recitatives rather slowly, but it is a landmark set in its way, with nothing precious about its attempts at period performance.
La sonnambula was Bonynge’s and Sutherland’s first Bellini recording, although their second version (Decca, 4/87), which has Pavarotti as Elvino, is in better sound. Sutherland’s Amina in the early 1960s was sung with such extraordinary freedom and exuberance that this is the set to have, indeed even now I think it would emerge as the best Sonnambula on disc. It’s no good comparing Sutherland with Callas at this late stage – but it is inevitable where this is concerned, especially as the Elvino, Nicola Monti, also sings the role with Callas on her EMI studio recording (9/86). No Sutherland admirer is going to convert to Callas in this opera, but it is fascinating to find one’s remembered reactions sometimes wrong. (Callas does superb things in the coloratura of “Sovra il sen”, Sutherland is full of dramatic fire in the scene in the inn.)
Sutherland and Bonynge also recorded I puritani twice. The earlier version, reissued here, is a very fine performance, but it was outclassed by their later effort (4/89) – with Pavarotti as Arturo – indeed I think that 1973 I puritani is Sutherland’s supreme achievement in Bellini on disc.
As for “The Art of the Prima Donna”, there cannot be any admirers who haven’t already got this, so for newcomers to Sutherland on disc one can only say – listen and wonder. Her voice, even throughout its range right up to the high E, always keeping its natural quality, is heard at its early fullness. (On her birthday, BBC Radio 3 broadcast some opera excerpts recorded in the early 1950s – it was extraordinary how much thinner her voice sounded then, even though she had roles such as Aida and Agathe in her repertory.) Perhaps the best tracks of all are the first two on the first disc, “The soldier tir’d” from Artaxerxes and “Let the bright seraphim” from Samson, but every track is beautiful. “Casta Diva” – her earliest attempt at it – is certainly her most limpid recording of this prayer, “Bel raggio” from Semiramide has sparkling decorations, quite different from the ones she sang on the complete recording six years later, and the whole thing ends with the Jewel Song from Faust. It was a big voice and sounded at its best in larger theatres; listening to “O beau pays” from Les Huguenots, I could see Sutherland in my mind’s eye, in pale blue silk, as Marguerite de Valois at the Royal Albert Hall in 1968. Despite all the recordings that have come since, I cannot imagine anyone, coming to it for the first time, being disappointed in “The Art of the Prima Donna”.'

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