- Audio CD (Oct. 25 1990)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: CD
- Label: Universal Music Group
- ASIN: B0000041RY
- In-Print Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,552 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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La Sonnambula CD
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|3. La Sonnambula: Act One - Scene 1 - Viva Amina! (Lisa)|
|4. La Sonnambula: Care Compagne, E Voi, Teneri Amici (Amina)|
|5. La Sonnambula: Sopra Il Sen La Man Mi Posa (Amina)|
|6. La Sonnambula: Lo Più Di Tutti, O Amina (Alessio )|
|7. La Sonnambula: Perdona, O Mia Dietta, Il Breve Indugio (Elvino)|
|8. La Sonnambula: Prendi: L'anel Ti Dono (Elvino)|
|9. La Sonnambula: Domani, Appena Aggiorni (Elvino)|
|10. La Sonnambula: Vi Ravviso, O Luoghi Ameni (Rodolfo)|
See all 17 tracks on this disc
|1. La Sonnambula: Act I, Scene 2: Osservate! L'uscio E Aperto (Contadini)|
|2. La Sonnambula: Act I, Scene 2: È Menzogna (Elvino)|
|3. La Sonnambula: Act I, Scene 2: D'un Pensiero E D'un Accento (Amina)|
|4. La Sonnambula: Act I, Scene 2: Non Più Nozze (Elvino)|
|5. La Sonnambula: Act II, Scene 1: Qui La Selva E Più Folta Ed Ombrasa (Contadini)|
|6. La Sonnambula: Act II, Scene 1: Reggimi, O Buona Madre|
|7. La Sonnambula: Act II, Scene 1: Vedi, O Madre, E Afflitto E Mesto (Amina)|
|8. La Sonnambula: Act II, Scene 1: Viva Il Conte! (Elvino)|
|9. La Sonnambula: Act II, Scene 1: Ah! Perchè Non Posso Odiarti (Elvino)|
|10. La Sonnambula: Act II, Scene 2: Lasciami: Aver Compreso Assai Dovresti (Lisa)|
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Joan Sutherland, never noted for dramatic intensity, seemed more at home in roles that appealed to sentimentality rather than the tragic emotions of pity and fear. She still had that appeal and a voice in prime condition when this, her second Sonnambula, was recorded. Her appealing, uncomplicated musical personality is just right for this simple, innocent little story of a peasant girl who sleepwalks into--and later out of--a compromising situation that temporarily endangers her impending marriage. She has been given a supporting cast that is (with occasional small lapses) a joy to the ears. --Joe McLellan
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I also didn't expect to like Pavarotti in this recording but he too, surprised me. His singing is brilliant and the voice is almost as fresh as in the 70s. Luciano's gorgeous, ringing lyric tenor brings Elvino to life. Ghiaurov is a marvel as usual and the rest of the cast competent. The older Bonynge is a better conductor. Sutherland's Amina can be heard at her full glory in the early '60s (the live recording with Cioni is strongly recommended) but I really enjoyed this late recording.
The rest of the cast is generally better in the 1980 version. Monti's Elvino, not even very interesting with the best Amina--Callas--in 1957, is even more strained and thin in 1962, with some problematic intonation. Pavarotti in 1980 may be a bit too robust for the role, but it is a passionate and committed interpretation. Corena in 1962 cannot compare, on any level, with Ghiaurov's richly shaped singing as the Count in 1980. Sylvia Stahlman is a good Lisa in 1962, but still has the piercing sound often associated with this role. Isobel Buchanan's rounder tone in 1980 is most welcome. There is not much to choose between the Teresas of Margreta Elkins in 1962 and Della Jones in 1980; both are satisfying.
Conductor Bonynge designs more sculpted, thoughtful musical shapes in 1980 than in 1962, where there is a certain sogginess and dreariness of rhythm. His more elastic, vital approach in 1980 is aided by the far more centered recorded sound as well as a better orchestra and chorus: Florence May Festival personnel in 1962 had some moments of ensemble and intonation problems. However, there is a bizarre cut at the end of the 1980 version under discussion: after Sutherland sings "Ah non giunge," the work just stops, the final chorus entirely omitted. If this is a decision based on an alternate original text, it is not even hinted at in the notes. Aside from this, both recordings are very complete (though no modern tenor has ever recorded the music in the original high keys written for Rubini, the Elvino of the opera's premiere). One must weigh the pros and cons of the two recordings.
Of course, for a real, truly touching, three-dimensional characterization of the title character, Sutherland, for all her great singing, is not in the same class as Callas, whose singing in this role is at least as daring and inventive, as well as infinitely more expressive. Sadly, her 1957 studio recording on EMI has terrible cuts and indifferent conducting.
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