For some foolish reason, Decca has decided to discontinue the printing of this marvelous set. I recently searched high and low on the internet and found that this recording is available on several places other than Amazon.com. If you're looking for a fantastic Sonnambula recording, or are just a fan of great singing, I would do whatever it takes to get this set.
Why? Well we all know that nobody buys La Sonnambula looking for a gripping drama. Sonnambula has one of the dumbest plots ever created, even by opera's standards. Bellini, in this case, is purely about beautiful singing: bel canto, we'll call it. Also, nobody buys La Sonnambula based around the supporting cast. In this case, the tenor Monti does a more than adequate job in his few parts. And the other cast members? Well, who really cares?
So why does one buy La Sonnambula? Because it is an amazing showcase for a coloratura soprano. In this case, THE coloratura soprano: Dame Joan Sutherland. In this recording, we find Sutherland in incredible form. Her voice still has the amazing freshness of her legendary "Art of the Prima Donna". Also, her diction is surprisingly good, which is just the icing on the cake. I actually would buy this set based purely on the incredble Eb's that end "Sovra il sen" and Act I. They are out of this world. She holds and holds them; it is astonishing. Her dazzling coloratura technique is on full display in "Ah, non giunge" (alas, she doesn't go for a high F, but maybe that only happens in my operatic fantasies), and the young Sutherland is perfectly able to convey the sadness in Bellini's beautifuly melodious "Ah, non credea mirarti".
This set is about as perfect as it comes, and I've run out of positive adjectives to describe it. This was the first Sonnambula to be recorded without cuts, and it is quite refreshing to hear both verses of Lisa's aria.
I have nothing else to say. Do whatever you can to buy this set, you'll be glad you did.