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Lucia Di Lammermoor

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 1959 a young Australian soprano burst upon the international scene with a sensational performance of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. That soprano was Joan Sutherland, and now, 50 years later, Decca celebrates the prima donna in her most acclaimed role. Decca proudly presents, in a deluxe limited-edition, the soprano's 1971 landmark recording of Donizetti's opera. All the principal singers are here caught at the pinnacle of their careers, making this, quite possibly, the most beautiful Lucia ever captured on record. Presented in a high quality, hard-back book format, the complete recording also features the complete, fourlanguage libretto, copious photographs and a special note from conductor Richard Bonynge. In addition, a third CD includes Sutherland's recordings of the Mad Scene both from her 1959 debut Decca recital (The Art of the Prima Donna) and her first recording of Lucia under Sir John Pritchard.

About the Artist

Lucia: JOAN SUTHERLAND Edgardo: LUCIANO PAVAROTTI Enrico: SHERRILL MILNES Raimondo: NICOLAI GHIAUROV Alisa: HUGUETTE TOURANGEAU Arturo: RYLAND DAVIES Normanno: PIER FRANCESCO POLI Orchestra & Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden Conductor: Richard Bonynge
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Product Details

  • Performer: Chorus of the Royal Opera House
  • Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
  • Conductor: Richard Bonynge
  • Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
  • Audio CD (August 4, 2009)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B00217A6J0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,762 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor (Deluxe Edition)

This set was released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Joan Sutherland's debut as Donizetti's Lucia... and what a wonderful concept! We get not only Sutherland's 1971 recording of Lucia complete for the first time on two CD's, but also get a bonus CD which features her two big solo scenes not only from her first recording of Lucia under Sir John Pritchard, but also from her even earlier first solo recital for Decca conducted by Nello Santi. After listening to Sutherland in her second complete Lucia, one simply can't imagine the title role being sung any better... but she actually in some ways did vocalize it better in her earlier efforts... However, there are trade-offs. The earlier versions give us the voice pure, fresh, and bright in the first blossom of youth. The coloratura is pristine and one is constantly impressed by the power of her vocalism. By the time of her second effort the voice was more luxurious, and aptly more sensuous... this is not only a more "interesting" sounding voice, but also the voice of a more womanly Lucia... The sound is larger, fuller, and consequently rather more satisfying in the long run. I heard Sutherland in this role in 1970 and this is the voice that I recall hearing in the theatre where her rich lower tones impressed almost as much as the stratospheric high notes. Still, there are places (such as the cabaletta to her opening aria and some sections of the Mad Scene) where she caresses the vocal line in a more affectionate manner in her earlier efforts where some of the tempi are a bit more relaxed. Plus there was something special about that early Sutherland sound that makes one want to have both... and with this set one can indeed have both!
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The complete opera recorded with the best cast ever, everyone in their best moments, with better sound. Plus the early studio Lucia records of Sutherland's young voice without the weak cast of that years.

I'll just tell what you can expect from this Deluxe Edition.
Will it be of any help? I guess so.

Why is the 1971 record the best one?
- Dame improved her cabaletas making then impossible to copy/imitate. There are no best end for "Quando rapito in estasi" The staccato is legendary. ***
- Her platinum voice shines a lot because it isn't so girlish as 1959 nor so mature as her 1983 DVDs.
- The cast could not be better. You can let it play without skipping tracks. Raimondo's duet rocks.
- The sound is clean and powerful.
- The opera is totally complete.

This is a 2009 Limited Edition of the June-July 1971 complete opera studio record. What remains? What changes?

1. The case is made of paper. In fact, it's just a hard cover book with some photos, one short message from Bonynge, the libretto (english, german, french, italian) and a schedule with all the dates and places La Stupenda sung the entire opera Lucia during her career.
2. While in the previous one in 1971 there were 3 discs to make possible record the very complete opera as wrote its composer, here the masterpiece was remaster so it stills complete but it does fit only 2 cds. The remaster also improved the sound to 96khz-24bit.
3. All the 3 cds come in thin paper envelopes inside the hard cover book.
4. The picture cover is excactly the same as its size.
5. The 3rd cd is just for rare bonus material, it includes:

Tracks 1 to 7 - Recital, April 1959, Studio record:
1) Ancor non giunse!
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There is little to add to the previous review which is all encompassing. The sound quality of Decca's recordings in the 1960s and early 1970s has a deep focus presence that is the aural equivalent of Greg Toland's deep focus cinematography in Citizen Kane. One gets an almost three dimensional mental picture of the sound stage. We are now used to DVD performances so anything that heightens the reality of an audio recording helps to lessen the impact of the loss of visual image. The recording itself is vivid and bright with Decca's usual concentration on the midrange so that vocals are slightly boosted. Beginning with Solti's celebrated Ring Cycle, Decca recordings such as Lucia di Lammermoor and L'Elisir d'amore are legendary, some of the finest examples of the art of recording opera.

Dame Joan sounds splendid with a vocal tessitura of stunning range. She is at the zenith of her career. The youthful Pavarotti has a voice of pristine elegance that can best be described as gem-bright and glacial in its clarity and icy hardness. Sherrill Milnes and Nicolai Ghiaurov are both splendid, adding counterweight to the performance of the two stars. The famous Sextet is beautifully balanced vocally and worth the acclaim it has received over the years. The Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden under conductor Richard Bonynge are superb. This is a nearly faultless production. Sometimes the recording can sound slightly too reverberant but that may be an artifact of the 96khz-24 bit remastering. The extreme clarity of the remastered recording may have artificially boosted the sonic attributes of an empty Kingsway Hall, London. None of this is detrimental to the overall excellence of this CD set.
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