The Art Of The Primadonna
Decca SXL 2256/7
Format: 2LPs 180g 33rpm / standard sleeve
Manufacturer: Speakers Corner
Original label: Decca
Release Date: 2013-03-02
Status: in stock
"The Art Of The Primadonna" - Joan Sutherland sings arias from operas by Thomas Arne, Vincenzo Bellini, Leo Delibes, Charles Gounod, Georg Friedrich Händel, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gioachino Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi, a.o.
The 'art of the prima donna' stands out like a shining star in the firmament of virtuoso song repertoire and the world of grand opera. And this double LP pays homage to this cult. It is of little importance that the majority of the divas who are praised in the cover text celebrated their success long before the days of the phonograph and that therefore no recordings of them exist. After all, Joan Sutherland with her wonderfully supple and artistically flexible soprano voice is more than compensation, and she gives us an idea of how these works would have sounded in the salons of the 18th and 19th century.
Joan Sutherland is wonderfully British in her poised rendering of the opening work, Thomas Arne’s coloratura aria "The Soldier Tir’d", and in Handel’s jubilatory "Let The Bright Seraphim". But she earned her honorary title 'La Stupenda' by singing Italian repertoire. With utmost ease, agility and remarkable clarity in the top register, her voice gets right to the heart of bel canto. One of the most exquisite and beautiful roles is demonstrated in the demanding aria "Casta Diva" from Bellini’s "Norma", here sung in the original key. How lucky we are not to have to imagine how this great singer might have sounded, but can listen to her amazing voice over and over again.
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head. All royalties and mechanical rights have been paid.
Recording: July and August 1960 in Kingsway Hall, London, by Kenneth Wilkinson
Production: Michael Bremner and Ray Minshull