Joan Sutherland: The Art of the Prima Donna

Record and Artist Details

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

Genre:

Opera

Label: Decca

Media Format: CD or Download

Catalogue Number: 425 493-2DM2

Joan Sutherland: The Art of the Prima Donna

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Norma Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Joan Sutherland
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
(Les) Huguenots Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Giacomo Meyerbeer Composer
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
(La) Sonnambula Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Lakmé (Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
(La) Sonnambula Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Otello Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Lakmé Joan Sutherland
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
(Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes Composer
Norma Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Rigoletto Joan Sutherland
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
(La) traviata Joan Sutherland
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
(Les) Huguenots Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Giacomo Meyerbeer Composer
(I) Puritani Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Faust Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Charles-François Gounod Composer
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Roméo et Juliette, 'Romeo and Juliet' Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Charles-François Gounod Composer
Semiramide Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Gioachino Rossini Composer
Joan Sutherland
Otello Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Semiramide Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Joan Sutherland
Gioachino Rossini Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
(Die) Entführung aus dem Serail, '(The) Abduction from the Seraglio' Joan Sutherland
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Norma Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
(La) Sonnambula Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Faust Charles-François Gounod Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Joan Sutherland
Hamlet Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
(Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Samson Joan Sutherland
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
George Frideric Handel Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Semiramide Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Gioachino Rossini Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Artaxerxes Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Thomas (Augustine) Arne Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Joan Sutherland
Rigoletto Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
(La) traviata Joan Sutherland
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
(La) Sonnambula Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
(Les) Huguenots Giacomo Meyerbeer Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
(Les) Huguenots Giacomo Meyerbeer Composer
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
(La) traviata Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Joan Sutherland
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Norma Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
Vincenzo Bellini Composer
Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Joan Sutherland
Thirty years on, and one might well fear that the critical excesses of (relative) youth will have to be expiated at last. Was this recital really as marvellous as some of us thought at the time in spite of the reservations of our elders and betters? And does it stand now, as subsequent comparisons have tended to suggest, not so much as the early work of a great singer in the making, but rather as containing much of the material by which her achievements as a singer can be most favourably judged?
The issue now on mid-price CD presents an opportunity for revaluation, and I must say that in its light my own answers to both questions are strongly affirmative. Its merits include all of the expected qualities—the exceptional purity of tone, the brilliant fluency, the fullness and freedom on high—as well as others that seem to have passed unappreciated in earlier days. The scenes are characterized: not merely 'sung with expression' but actually in character, so that the artist's identity changes from one item to another, if not exactly as with a wave of Callas's magic wand, at least a good deal more completely and convincingly than most of the singers whose operatic recitals have come before us recently. Norma's admonitions are delivered by quite another character than the one who gave the bright Seraphim their orders; the ''vergin vezzosa'' of Puritani has a pretty vulnerability that is distinct from the wistful girhshness of Juliette at her first ball and Ophelie's misty bewilderment is different again. The Queen who sings dreamily of Touraine is not the Mantuan girl who lovingly repeats the dear, fictitious name of Gualtier Malde. Desdemona's anxiety, Constanze's determination, Marguerite's wonderment, are all real presences here as are the scales, trills, staccatos and other anticipated accomplishments. Rather less happily, the second question is also justified. In later years came the droopy portamentos, the dull vowels, the hazy line, and eventually the loosening tone; and generally (not always) when comparisons can be made with later recordings the version here is found to be preferable. But there, we knew it at the time. If Sutherland, for some reason, had decided to make no more records after this album, her place among the great would still have been assured. Two further points: one, in spite of all this, the recordings do less than justice because they hardly suggest to someone who did not hear Sutherland in those years just how ample, house-filling a voice it was, and two, how well the clarity of CD brings out the rumble of underground trains in the Queen's cadenza and what sounds like a yell from the squash-courts in Violetta's ''croce e delizia''.'

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