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Comment: Original London/Decca 1987 Import Release Made in West Germany by PolyGram. Discs Like New, creased libretto cover. complete with Liner Notes. IN STOCK, IMMEDIATE SHIPPING
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Bellini - La Sonnambula / Sutherland · Pavarotti · Ghiaurov · NPO · Bonynge Box set

4.1 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, February 9, 1987
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available.
Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Rating:
Release Date: 9-FEB-1987

Amazon.com

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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Product Details

  • Performer: Vincenzo Bellini, Richard Bonynge, Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, National Philharmonic Orchestra, et al.
  • Audio CD (February 9, 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041RY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,777 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
First, let me say I decided to review this La Sonnambula after I saw so many reviewers that rated it with one or two stars (!!!) because of a weak and immature argument: she was too old to sing Amina! I think the point should be exclusively her voice, her technique, her interpretation. Even if you don't like this recording, please write a review that explains clearly and intelligently your reasons. Singers like Joan Sutherland, Birgit Nilsson or Leonie Rysanek could still thrill an audience in their late 50's or even in their 60's! I'm not claiming Sutherland is in her very peak here or this is the best La Sonnambula to own, however I suppose a review is a compilation of your thoughts and opinions and not a commentary with two or three words.

This was recorded in 1980, when the digital era was still blooming. One of the best advantages of this recording is exactly the clear, ample and sweet sound, which shows perfectly the excellent voices joined here. At the time this was recorded, there wouldn't be any better cast than this: Joan Sutherland, the best coloratura soprano of her time, even in her late career; Luciano Pavarotti, who had the most incredible high notes and the most flawless vocal technique to sing the difficult role of Elvino; and Nicolai Ghiaurov, who was simply the greatest basso still singing at that time.

Joan Sutherland at this period of her career had lost the youthful, velvety and pure sound of her voice and the unhuman ease at the top. However, let's not make comparisons. Whatever imperfections her voice has gained as she aged, this is still La Stupenda! The creamy and huge sound, the impeccable coloratura, the ringing high notes are still there, though they obviously don't come as easy as twenty years earlier.
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By A Customer on August 6, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is hands down the Sonambula to have. It's a wonderful cast, and boy!, do they sing up a storm! Yes, I know some of the pieces have been transposed down, but Joanie & the Big P. really tear into this stuff & the result is a tremendous amount of fun. Let's face it, the Callas recording is marred by disfiguring cuts and an indifferent supporting cast. Callas is also an acquired taste, the voice can be irritating, infuriating, and downright coarse whatever the artistry behind it. The earlier Sutherland recording is also complete, but it lacks the verve of this recoding. She was certainly sumptuous, (so it's worth finding) however she seems to be having more FUN this time around. Besides, who can pass up Pavarotti for the light voiced whining of Niccola Monti. He made a mess of the Callas Recording also. Plus you get the wonderful Nicolai Ghiaurov. Get this recoding and just ENJOY it. There are some things that shouldn't be over analyzed and Sonambula certaily qualifies.
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By A Customer on September 7, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Sutherland's sheer pyrotechnics are still here, but unfortunately, gone are her famous high notes. I hear pushing on ALL the high notes here. The great voice that was the envy of the operatic strastosphere is only human, and to hear that vocal phenomenon, listen to Dame Joan's earlier Amina she recorded over 10 years earlier. At that time, Sutherland was beyond criticism.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the second best Sonnambula to this opera fan. The best being the one recorded by Joan Sutherland in 1962. Sutherland is ever so slightly past her prime here, but still a huge force to reckon with. Pavorotti is also quite good. But to have heard the best there is, check out Dame Joan's earlier set.
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By A Customer on February 7, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I thought that the Callas perfomance was excellent. This one is even better. The recording is excellent and the voices magnificent. One thousand stars.
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By A Customer on May 22, 1999
Format: Audio CD
If this is supposed to be Joan Sutherland past her prime, I can't imagine how great she must have been when she WAS in her prime. Well, prime or not, I enjoy her and the rest of the cast very, very much. This is great singing to me.
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Format: Audio CD
Granted, Sutherland should have recorded Sonnambula with Pavarotti much earlier but she didn't, it happens. I still find this a beautiful recording with Sutherland at her best considering the stage of her career. This is one of her greatest late recordings. Even at this age one realises this is a role perfect for her voice. Some of the highest notes don't come easy (and this can be fascinating at times) but I know a dozen other coloratura sopranos who even in their prime don't have such a blooming upper register. The agility is still remarkable albeit a few messy trills. Last but not least I also feel she communicates the character wonderfully. If only there were more aged sopranos like her around today.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
...Sutherland's earlier Sonnambula, recorded in 1962, shows a fresher voice, much freeer on the high notes. That recording was unbelievably brilliant, this one is very good. London/Decca should re-release the earlier version on it's budget label. It would sell!
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