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  • Bellini: La Sonnambula (complete opera live 1955) with Maria Callas, Giuseppe Modesti, Leonard Bernstein, Chorus & Orchestra of La Scala, Milan
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Bellini: La Sonnambula (complete opera live 1955) with Maria Callas, Giuseppe Modesti, Leonard Bernstein, Chorus & Orchestra of La Scala, Milan Live, Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Live, Original recording remastered, November 5, 2002
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Viva! Viva Amina!...tutto è gioia, tutto è festa (Coro/Lisa/Alessio)Eugenia Ratti/Pierluigi Latinucci/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 5:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: In Elvezia non v'ha rosa (Coro/Lisa/Alessio)Eugenia Ratti/Pierluigi Latinucci/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Care compagne (Amina/Coro)Maria Callas/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 2:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Come per me sereno....Sempre, o felice Amina (Amina/Tutti)Maria Callas/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Sovra il sen la man mi posa (Alessio/Amina/Lisa/Teresa/Coro/Notaro)Pierluigi Latinucci/Maria Callas/Eugenia Ratti/Gabriella Carturan/Giuseppe Nessi/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Il più di tutti, o Amina (Alessio/Amina/Lisa/Teresa/Coro/Notaro)Pierluigi Latinucci/Maria Callas/Eugenia Ratti/Gabriella Carturan/Giuseppe Nessi/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Perdona, o mia diletta (Elvino/Amina/Tutti/Notaro)Cesare Valletti/Maria Callas/Giuseppe Nessi/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Prendi: l'anel ti dono (Elvino)Cesare Valletti/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 5:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Scritti nel ciel già sono...Ah! vorrei trovar parole (Tutti/Elvino/Amina/Lisa)Cesare Valletti/Maria Callas/Eugenia Ratti/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Domani, appena aggiorni (Elvino/Tutti/Amina)Cesare Valletti/Maria Callas/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein0:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Come noioso e lungo il cammin..Vi ravviso, o luoghi ameni...È gentil, leggiadra molto (Rodolfo/Lisa/Tutti)Giuseppe Modesti/Eugenia Ratti/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 7:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Contezza del paese (Elvino/Rodolfo/Teresa/Lisa/Coro)Cesare Valletti/Maria Callas/Gabriella Carturan/Eugenia Ratti/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: A fosco cielo, a notte bruna (Elvino/Rodolfo/Teresa/Lisa/Coro)Cesare Valletti/Giuseppe Modesti/Gabriella Carturan/Eugenia Ratti/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Basta così. Ciascuno si attenga (Rodolfo/Teresa/Tutti/Elvino)Giuseppe Modesti/Gabriella Carturan/Cesare Valletti/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 1:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Elvino! E me tu lasci (Amina/Elvino)Maria Callas/Cesare Valletti/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 2:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 1: Son geloso del zefiro errante (Amina/Elvino)Maria Callas/Cesare Valletti/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 7:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 2: Davver, non mi dispiace (Rodolfo/Lisa)Giuseppe Modesti/Eugenia Ratti/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 2: Che veggio? (Rodolfo/Amina/Lisa)Giuseppe Modesti/Maria Callas/Eugenia Ratti/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 2:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 2: O ciel! che tento? (Rodolfo/Amina)Giuseppe Modesti/Maria Callas/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 4:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 2: Osservate: l'uscio è aperto (Coro)Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 2: È menzogna (Elvino/Coro/Lisa/Amina)Cesare Valletti/Eugenia Ratti/Maria Callas/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 2: D'un pensiero e d'un accento (Amina/Elvino/Coro/Alessio/Teresa)Maria Callas/Cesare Valletti/Pierluigi Latinucci/Gabriella Carturan/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 5:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act I, Scene 2: Non più nozze (Elvino/Tutti/Amina/Lisa/Alessio/Coro/Teresa)Cesare Valletti/Maria Callas/Eugenia Ratti/Pierluigi Latinucci/Gabriella Carturan/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 1: Qui la selva è più folta ed ombrosa (Coro)Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 6:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 1: Reggimi, o buona madre (Amina/Teresa)Maria Callas/Gabriella Carturan/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 4:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 1: Vedi, o madre....è afflitto e mesto (Amina/Elvino)Maria Callas/Cesare Valletti/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 1: Viva il Conte! (Voci lontane/Elvino/Amina/Teresa/Coro)Cesare Valletti/Maria Callas/Gabriella Carturan/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 1:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 1: Ah! perché non posso odiarti (Elvino/Teresa/Coro)Cesare Valletti/Gabriella Carturan/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 4:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 2: LasciamiEugenia Ratti/Cesare Valletti/Giuseppe Modesti/Pierluigi Latinucci/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 1:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 2: De'lieti auguriEugenia Ratti/Cesare Valletti/Giuseppe Modesti/Pierluigi Latinucci/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 1:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 2: E fia pur vero, Elvino (Lisa/Elvino/Rodolfo/Alessio/Tutti)Eugenia Ratti/Cesare Valletti/Giuseppe Modesti/Pierluigi Latinucci/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 1:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 2: Signor Conte, agli occhi miei (Elvino/Rodolfo/Coro/Lisa/Teresa)Cesare Valletti/Giuseppe Modesti/Eugenia Ratti/Gabriella Carturan/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 2: Lisa mendaceCesare Valletti/Giuseppe Modesti/Gabriella Carturan/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 4:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 2: Signor?...che creder deggio? (Elvino/Rodolfo/Teresa/Coro)Cesare Valletti/Giuseppe Modesti/Gabriella Carturan/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 2: Oh! se una volta sola (Amina/Rodolfo/Teresa/Tutti)Maria Callas/Giuseppe Modesti/Gabriella Carturan/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 6:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 2: Ah! non credea mirarti (Amina/Elvino)Maria Callas/Cesare Valletti/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 5:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. La sonnambula (2002 - Remaster), Act II, Scene 2: No, più non reggo (Elvino/Amina/Rodolfo/Coro)Cesare Valletti/Maria Callas/Giuseppe Modesti/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 2:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. La Sonnambula (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Scene 2: Ah! non giunge uman pensiero (Amina/Tutti)Maria Callas/Coro Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala, Milano/Leonard Bernstein 4:46$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 5, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live, Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B000069V7N
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,066 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Maria Callas had worked with Leonard Bernstein at La Scala on Medea in 1953. Here, in '55, they were together again for a very different heroine. While Medea is all vengeance and rage, Amina in Sonnambula is a delicate, sweet, village girl whose sleepwalking confuses the locals into thinking she's unfaithful to her fiancé. Of course, she's exonerated and all ends happily. This role is one of the tests of a great bel canto soprano. There are miles of coloratura, grand leaps, long-breathed melodies, and high notes galore. Callas is at her peak here, singing with delicacy and girlish tone, with fine filigree and sheer loveliness. She makes us care about this character--quite a feat. Tenor Cesare Valletti is her elegant, sweet-toned, and expressive fiancé, and the rest of the cast is fine. Bernstein knows which parts of the score to race through and which to linger over. The remastering of this once-quite-terrible-sounding recording has rendered it acceptable. But even if it weren't (and if you own Callas's other EMI recording of this opera), the wonders of this set--at midprice--are worth hearing. --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 29 customer reviews
This recording of La Sonnambula is a necessity in any opera lover's collection.
The Cultural Observer
He put his well-rehearsed orchestra through their paces and injected drama, fire and electricity into the music.
L. E. Cantrell
Indeed, this recording documents some of Callas' most lyrical singing that has ever been captured on record.
Vincent Lau

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Lau on December 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD
To be frank, I initially approached this 2CD set, the first official release of the live recording of that legendary 1955 production of La Sonnambula at La Scala, with a fair amount of trepidation, for the LP set that I owned (released by a private Italian label years ago) is in such atrocious sound that renders the LPs virtually unlistenable. Happily, the sound engineers at EMI have done an excellent job in re-mastering the tapes and we now are able to admire this fabulous historical performance in decent sound with the additional benefits of the articles and full libretto (with translation) that come with this treasurable release.
Maria Callas was, of course, the central attraction, and indeed the raison d'etre, for this Visconti-directed production and, judging from what we hear on this set, she was in excellent form on the first night (when this recording was taped). In portraying the innocent and virginal village girl Amina, Callas uses her meltingly tender tone to enchanting effect, whether in her serene reflection of the beauty of nature or her sweet anticipation of marital bliss. Indeed, this recording documents some of Callas' most lyrical singing that has ever been captured on record. Her mesmerising interpretation of the sleeping walking scene would, by itself, ensure her a lasting place in the annals of operatic singing. Conjuring a magical half-lit tone which most convincingly evokes the fragility and the melancholic musings of a girl whose mind is then residing in the realm just beyond consciousness, this mistress of bel canto not only demonstrates how to phrase the long melodies of Bellini with liquidity and musicality, she also shows how these purely vocal devices can contribute towards expression. Her coloratura singing is also brilliant with top E flats securely in place.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By MatteoL on January 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
She was the most beautiful, most exciting singer I ever saw. Live this sounded even more beautiful and here Callas, who scared me to death as Medea, looked so fragile and touching... I also saw Sutherland and Scotto afterwards... I'll never forget the Visconti-production with Callas. Listen to her and Valletti and admire Bernstein. In my day this was what we called heaven... Enjoy!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By The Cultural Observer on December 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This recording of La Sonnambula is a necessity in any opera lover's collection. Featuring Maria Callas at the prime of her career, one cannot ignore the fact that despite the quality of this live recording, the sheer interpretation of Bellini's Swiss village girl in this Sonnambula should never be condoned. At 1955, Callas' voice was at its peak form, fresh without the many characteristics that would detract non-fans from her recordings. It was during this time too that she worked with the famed American conductor Leonard Bernstein, one of the most dexterous and passionate interpreters of the score. Also included in this collaboration was the famed film director Luchino Visconti, and it was this trio that brought the spotlights of opera into this rare gem of a Sonnambula. The other Sonnambula, the live Koln Sonnambula with Votto, comes with a much superior cast and an even more superior sound, but this Sonnambula should never be overlooked for the numerous trills and embellishments that Bernstein had designed for Callas' voice in this performance. Overall, I'd give it a six stars for the magic of her interpretation, but minus one star for the mediocre sound.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The very few ignorant people on these pages who dismiss this performance of "Sonnambula" are not to be taken seriously. They don't understand music OR Bellini. 1955 was probably Callas' greatest year as an artist, and she was in stupendous voice. This "Sonnambula" is in the Malibran-Pasta tradition. Callas uses Bellini's harmonies to their greatest advantage - her two and a half downward cadenza to low A flat in the first cabaletta is in the words of John Ardoin, "rooted in Bellini's harmonic structure". Her coloratura here is astounding ---- and at breakneck speed -- yet her lyrical singing is so beautiful that it's painful. Cesare Valletti is a priceless Elvino, and in the duets, both he and Callas sound like a violin and a viola. Bernstein is an outstanding Bellini conductor, and the entire performance is one never likely to be bettered anywhere by anybody. The sound is decent, except for some distortion in one of Valletti's arias in the second half of the opera, as well as some more just before Callas' superlative final cabaletta. But this is not nearly enough to make you not enjoy this set. It's a jewel.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By L. E. Cantrell VINE VOICE on November 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
SOURCE: Live performance from La Scala in Milan, March 5, 1955.

SOUND: Weak, inadequate, antiquated, muffled, limited and frustrating. I am reminded of the output of the first generation of pocket-sized transistor radios that were such a craze when I was in junior high school--the ones that made the Bakelite-cased, table model AM radios at home sound so resonantly mellifluous. Audiophiles who suffer the vapors on hearing digital recordings made with last week's equipment, walk away right now. This is not for you. The only reason for listening to this recording is the performance. Live with its technical inadequacies.

CAST: Amina - Maria Callas (soprano); Elvino - Cesare Valletti (tenor); Teresa - Gabriella Carurani (mezzo-soprano); Il Conte Rodolfo - Giuseppe Modesti (bass); Lisa - Eugenia Ratti (soprano); Alessio - Pierluigi Latinucci (bass); Un Notario - Giuseppe Nessi (tenor). CONDUCTOR: Leonard Bernstein with the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro alla Scala, Milano.

TEXT: The standard cuts that were traditional for a century or more are observed.

COMMENTARY: In 1955 La Scala presented "Sonnambula" in an expensive new production overseen by Luchino Visconti, who served as producer, director and all-around prop for Maria Callas. It marked the second occasion in which Callas and Leonard Bernstein worked together in an opera house. Callas was still at her peak, but not long before, a bobbled high note during a performance of "Andrea Chenier" had occasioned an outburst of boos and whistles, something that Maria Callas would remember far more clearly than the cheers she had also earned that night. Callas believed that the sharks were beginning to circle--and she was probably right.
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