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The Art Of The Prima Donna / Joan Sutherland


Release Date: 10/10/2000 
Label:  London/Decca Legends Catalog #: 467115   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  George Frideric HandelVincenzo BelliniCharles GounodGiuseppe Verdi,   ... 
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden OrchestraRoyal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 49 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Art of the Prima Donna was originally released in, I believe, 1961, as two separate LPs. I first heard it a few years later, and it was the first time I'd heard Joan Sutherland. I didn't believe my ears--the bel canto revival was just beginning--and I'd never heard singing of such virtuosity. Here was what seemed like a very large voice--a sort of anti-Lily Pons and anti-Roberta Peters--tossing off roulades as if they were a natural mode of communication, taking what seemed to be hour-long lines in a single breath, racing up and down octaves without missing a note, and hurling high Ds and E flats about without losing tone or sounding puny, desperate, or crazy. I'd never heard any of I Puritani before, and Sutherland's "Son vergin Read more vezzosa" made me hysterical; by the time she sang "O rendetemi le speme...Qui la voce," I felt that I had to know every note Bellini ever wrote. When she sang "The Soldier Tir'd" from Arne's Artaxerxes my jaw dropped open--ocatve leaps, endless trills, whopping high notes. The Mad Scene from Hamlet made me want to hear the whole opera (which turned out to be a dud); Sutherland's Bell Song made me realize that Lily Pons had actually become famous because she sounded like a bell and had a cute belly-button. The only problem I had was that the LPs distorted on high notes and at the end of sides: This problem, needless to say, is gone. Sutherland in person, it turned out, was just as great, with a voice larger than any singer in the world, except, perhaps, for Birgit Nilsson and Jon Vickers. Now Dame Joan is silent, but this set tells the truth: She was one of the 20th century's greatest singers--perhaps one of the greatest ever. You must own this set.

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Samson, HWV 57: Let the bright Seraphim by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1743; London, England 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: English 
2. Norma: Casta diva by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 12 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Sediziose voci..." 
3. I puritani: Son vergin vezzosa "Polacca" by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
4. I puritani: Qui la voce sua soave by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "O rendetemi la speme..." 
5. La sonnambula: Come per me sereno...Sovra il sen by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with " Care compagne..." 
6. Faust: Ah! je ris de me voir si belle "Jewel Song" by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection begins with "O Dieu! que bijoux..." 
7. Roméo et Juliette: Je veux vivre dans le rêve "Waltz Song" by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: French 
8. Otello: Piangea cantando "Willow Song" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Mia madre aveva una povera ancella..." 
9. Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: Martern aller Arten by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: German 
10. La traviata: Ah, fors' è lui...Sempre libera by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "E' strano..." 
11. Hamlet: A vos jeux "Mad Scene" by Ambroise Thomas
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: French 
12. Lakmé: Où va la jeune indoue? "Bell Song" by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: French 
13. Les Huguenots: O beau pays de la Touraine by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
14. Rigoletto: Caro nome by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Gualtier Malde..." 
15. Artaxerxes: The soldier tir'd of war's alarms by Thomas Augustine Arne
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1762/1777; England 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: English 
16. Semiramide: Bel raggio lusinghier by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1960 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

Sound Samples

Artaxerxes / Act 3: The soldier tir'd of war's alarms
Samson HWV 57 / Act 3: "Let the Bright Seraphim"
Norma / Act 1: Sediziose voci...Casta Diva...Ah! bello a me ritorna
I Puritani / Act 1: "Son vergin vezzosa"
Semiramide / Act 1: Bel raggio lusinghier
I Puritani / Act 2: "O rendetemi la speme...Qui la voce...Vien, diletto"
La Sonnambula / Act 1: Care compagne, e voi, tenere amici
Faust / Act 3: O Dieu! que de bijoux...Ah! je ris de me voir
Roméo et Juliette / Act 1: "Ah, je veux vivre"
Otello / Act 4: Mia madre aveva una povera ancella...piangea cantando
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K.384 / Act 2: "Martern aller Arten"
La traviata / Act 1: "E strano!" - "Ah, fors'è lui" - "Sempre libera"
Hamlet / Act 4: A vos jeux, mes amis, permettez-moi
Lakmé / Act 2: Où va la jeune Indoue (Bell song)
Les Huguenots / Act 2: O beau pays de la Touraine
Rigoletto / Act 1: "Gualtier Maldè" - "Caro nome"

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