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Rossini - La Donna del Lago / Caballé, Bonisolli, Hamari, Bottazzo

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 17, 1999
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Product Details

  • Performer: Gioachino Rossini, Piero Bellugi, Montserrat Caballé, Franco Bonisolli, Julia Hamari, et al.
  • Audio CD (August 17, 1999)
  • Parental Advisory ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Opera D'oro
  • ASIN: B00000K0W8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,664 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Here's a recording I disliked on first hearing. By the second playing I began to enjoy it; and now this performance is on Halvor's Personal Favorites List. The excellent Chorus and Orchestra of RAI Torino are conducted with expertise and flair by Piero Bellugi in this lively reading. Montserrat Caballe's lush, sumptuous vocalizing and her elegant phrasing are the highlights of this 1970 live performance. This may even be one of her better recordings! Franco Bonisolli is more musically subtle than other times I have heard him. He sings more gracefully and is less noisy, though he does have the necessary muscle to carry over large ensembles. His vocal articulation is also much better than I had expected it to be. Julia Hamari also has a beautiful voice and can handle the coloratura of her big aria quite well. Hers is a straightforward reading; there are no embellishments to speak of. The rest of the soloists, especially Paolo Washington, are extremely good. The recording itself is somewhat bright sounding, and has a very quiet audience for a live recording. There is also little or no stage noise, cluing me that this was a concert performance, probably taped for Italian radio broadcast. As for other things, there is an English synopsis, but no libretto at all. (The libretto is probably inane anyway.) This is a highly enjoyable performance available at a bargain price. (The folks at Opera d'Oro done good here!) Four thumbs up! Go for this one!
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Format: Audio CD
Caballe is sensational. She is far better tahn Riciarelli on Sony. This is one of her best recordings ever.
Franco Bonnisoli of course is crazy - everyone says so. He is a real hoot here. If you don't know his voice be prepared for a surprise. He has a very dark baritonal voice with a huge top. He is most famous for his Manrico. He recorded it with Von Karaian and Price. He sounds quite a bit like Mario Lanza but perhaps has even worse musical taste.
La Donna has of course two lead tenor parts. One was written for Andrea Nozzari the other for Giovanni David. Nozzari's roles were written to exploit his bigger and more dramatic voice with many low extensions. The Neopolitan Rossini operas didn't have baritone roles. Instead they had the unique Nozzari tenor parts.
The David parts were written for a higher and sweeter voice. Today Chris Merrit makes his living on the Nozzari parts. Merrit of course has the best low notes of any major tenor in opera history. The David parts are now-a-days taken by someone like Stanford Olsen - someone with a very free light and beautiful sound.
Strangely enough Bonisolli chooses to sing the David role. I told you he's crazy. It isn't really right but it is wonderful. You won't hear anyone else sing Oh Fiamma Soave like this.
The other tenor doing the Nozzari role has a very strange strangled sound. Pity. He's the worst of the three Roderick's on record.
Buy this recording for Caballe and Bonisolli.
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By A Customer on October 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is alive recording but the sound is good. I agree that the singers are not necessarily (especially the men) my first choice in this music, which is very difficult, and very high lying. Yet, they come across with excitement. Caballe is wonderful, but Hamari does nothing for me. To me, she hasn't the slightest clue of how to make this music come alive.
For those into live recordings, and pirates, there is a far better recording of this work with Marilyn Horne and Von Stade. It is sung with real excitement and with all the masterful embellishments those singers are able to do. It far surpasses the studio recording with Ricchielli (which is boring at times), and the sound quality is clear.
This recording of this work is very good, but if you can find the other, it is superior.
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By A Customer on March 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The sound quality on this label varies dramatically, but be assured that the sound on this recording is EXCELLENT.
The music is exceptionally good, and the performances are first rate.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
First of all, this is a glorious opera; why it does not get more accolades as one of Rossini's best is a mystery to me. Perhaps, it's the story-but who cares when you can hear such incredible music and singing on this very well recorded version.

In addition to Caballe's beautiful singing, I was very impressed by the conducting of Piero Beluggi; much betterand more precise than Muti's rushed version.

It's just one great melody after another which will fill your head with sweet sounds for days after listening to it. A steal at this price
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Format: Audio CD
Caballe is in superb form on this recording and this is a good enough reason for me to listen to it even if it isn't Rossini's most inspired work.

Almost anything Caballe performed prior to 1972-3 is strongly recommended. On this 1970 broadcast her voice blossoms and makes this her best Rossini recording. I can see how one can fall in love with this lake lady!

The tenors however offer rather outdated singing especially since we nowadays enjoy so many great Rossini singers. It's certainly interesting to hear the muscular Bonisolli in this light role. To be fair, he does sound more elegant than on other occasions but he simply isn't a Rossini voice. Bottazzo specialised in bel canto but I'm not impressed and Sinimberghi is here past his prime. Hamari and the young Washington are fine on the other hand.

Maestro Bellugi dissapointed me in the opera's best moment; the finale. He speeds up so much it's a wonder how Caballe keeps up with him. I guess he wants to make it exciting but fails in my opinion.

Caballe is one of the finest Donnas ever but I'd hardly call this the best recording of the opera. Anderson is tiny on the Muti recording and Ricciarelli past her prime. Devia and Florez performed the work wonderfully in 2001 but the recording isn't commercially available. Then again, is it worth looking for a best Donna del Lago recording?
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