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Bellini: Norma [Box set]

Joan Sutherland, Richard Bonynge Audio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £37.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Mar 1988)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B0000041QF
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 270,238 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Bellini: Norma - SinfoniaRichard Bonynge 6:08£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Introduzione: Ite sul colle, o DruidiRichard Bonynge 6:50£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Svanir le voci!Richard Bonynge 2:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Meco all'altar di VenereRichard Bonynge 4:17£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Me protegge, me difendeRichard Bonynge 2:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Norma vieneRichard Bonynge 3:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Sediziose voci, voci di guerraRichard Bonynge 3:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Casta DivaRichard Bonynge 5:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Fine al ritoRichard Bonynge 1:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Ah! bello a me ritornaRichard Bonynge 4:19£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Sgombra č la sacraRichard Bonynge 3:50£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Deh! proteggimi, o Dio!Richard Bonynge 2:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Eccola! va, mi lascia, ragion non odoRichard Bonynge 1:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Va, crudele, al Dio spietatoRichard Bonynge 8:50£1.09  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Vanne, e li cela entrambiDiana Montague 3:55£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Adalgisa!Richard Bonynge 3:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Oh! rimembranza!Richard Bonynge 4:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Ah! si, fa core, abbracciamiRichard Bonynge 3:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Ma di', l'amato quale fra noi si noma?Richard Bonynge 1:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Oh non tremareRichard Bonynge 1:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Oh! di qual sei tu vittimaRichard Bonynge 1:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Oh! qual traspare orribileRichard Bonynge 1:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Norma! de'tuoi rimproveriRichard Bonynge 2:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Perfido!Richard Bonynge 1:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Bellini: Norma / Act 1 - Vanne, si: mi lascia, indegnoRichard Bonynge 2:38£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 3:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Scena - IntroduzioneRichard Bonynge 4:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Dormono entrambiDiana Montague 5:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Mi chiami, o Norma!Richard Bonynge 2:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Deh! con te, con te li prendiRichard Bonynge 3:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Mira, o NormaRichard Bonynge 5:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Si, fino all'ore estremeRichard Bonynge 2:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Non parti?Richard Bonynge 4:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Guerrieri! a voi venirneRichard Bonynge 3:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Ei tornerąDiana Montague 3:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Squilla il bronzo del Dio!Richard Bonynge 1:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Guerra, guerra!Richard Bonynge 2:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Nč compi il rito, o Norma?Diana Montague 3:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - In mia man alfin tu seiRichard Bonynge 4:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Gią mi pasco ne'tuoi sguardiRichard Bonynge 2:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Dammi quel ferroRichard Bonynge 3:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Qual cor tradisti, qual cor perdestiRichard Bonynge 4:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Norma! deh! Norma, scolpatiRichard Bonynge 2:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Bellini: Norma / Act 2 - Deh! non volerli vittimeRichard Bonynge 4:18£0.79  Buy MP3 


Product Description

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Indulgent and overblown 23 Feb 2010
Format:MP3 Download
I have to disagree with the other reviewer and say that this is one of the most disappointing versions of Bellini's masterwork on disc. Approaching 60, Sutherland sounds matronly and ungainly. She can manage all the coloratura and a spectacular high D, but it is in the more liquid moments - and with Bellini there are many - where line sags and intonation wavers. Having already recorded the role successfully in stereo, with perfectly appropriate colleagues, this set seems to me to be self-indulgent in the extreme.

Caballe - herself a fine Norma - is miscast as Adalgisa and also sounds a little too old. Pavarotti is his usual heroic self, a big plus.

The over-the-top sound and the gradiose (but wobbly) intentions of the prima donne do not really make up for what is essentially an unnecessary recording. Sutherlands fans will be perfectly content with her first recording. Bellini fans are ill served by this set.

It would have been more generous had Decca invited another singer to preserve her interpretation, rather than let Sutherland duplicate hers. Miricioiu for instance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Glimpses of genius 28 Jan 2011
Format:Audio CD
It is true that Sutherland is very far past her best in this recording. There are some strange whoops and odd phrasing from La Stupenda, but this recording holds some moments of genius. Montserrat Caballé has her critics, I am not one! Every ear is different and if you love her voice this is a must have.

Known for being the "Norma of the 70's" it would appear odd to have Caballé playing second fiddle even to the great Sutherland but it turns out to be an inspired choice. Montserrat Caballé as Adalgisa is a revelation. Originally the part of Adalgisa was written for a soprano not a mezzo so it is appropriate for Caballé to take this on, and she does it with great relish. Her Mira, o Norma is an acoustic joy. The legendary breath control and effortless legato cannot fail to move.

It may be true that both ladies were a little old for these roles but it is a moving account. Caballé was more than able to out-sing Sutherland, who does struggle in places, but she doesn't. No diva-ish behaviour, more the warmth and affection and respect of two of the greatest sopranos of all time.

If you want vocal perfection don't buy this, you will be disappointed. Go instead for Caballé in the role of Norma, studio version for great sound, live at Orange 1974 for her best interpretation or of course head for perhaps one of the greatest ever Norma's, Maria Callas.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is the most exquisite performance of this wonderfully melodic opera, the undoubted talents of the two main stars beautifully enhanced by the musicians and chorus of the Welsh National Opera. If you love music at it's best then you must listen to this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SUTHERLAND A MORE AUTHORATIVE NORMA THAN BEFORE 11 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have always been a great admirer of Joan Sutherland. To hear her in operas like "Lucia", "Sonnambula", "Puritani, "Semiramide" or even "Maria Stuarda" was to experience the "real thing". No doubt about it. As a sheer singing machine, Sutherland in her prime had no rivals ---- certainly not even Callas, whose genius was rooted in a different sphere entirely. But Norma requires something more than a voice, no matter how great that particular voice and technique may be. I always felt that Sutherland's vocal personality was not sufficient for Norma. who must project powerful emotions. She is, after all, a feared presence in the story. Of course one can say that in opera it's the singing that matters and that Norma must have voice, voice, and more voice. True, but there must be a vocal personality to suit the character. I found this to be totally missing on Sutherland's 1964 recording, and still feel that the violent emotions or Norma never really came naturally to her, as it certainly did to Callas. Nevertheless, Sutherland had come a long way in the projection of a text in the intervening years between the 1964 recording and the present one. Sutherland actually projects great power and authority here, and for me, her Norma becomes at least plausible from a dramatic standpoint. Her recititives now ring with a strength and power that were completely absent before. The voice is clearly no longer the liquidy and shining instrument it was before, but it remains valid nonetheless. I actually can appreciate the Sutherland more on this recording than I could on the first. And she is to be respected and admired as well. For a soprano to re-record twenty years later the most difficult role in her repertoire, at age 58 yet, and to still make a valid account of it, is to me something very amazing and wonderful. Sutherland has a soprano Adalgisa here, no less than the great Montserrat Caballe, a pretty valid Norma herself. The pairing works well. Caballe's soft grained sound mixing well with Sutherland's more mature and darker sound. The duets between the ladies are certainly rewarding to listen to. Of Pavarotti, what can one say? He sings, period. I like what Bonynge does with the orchestra here better than in 1964 as well. The moves pretty quickly, actually at points creating a taut orchestra atmosphere, all to the good in this opera. Recommendation? If one wants to hear what Sutherland could accomplish vocally with Norma, than I would go for the first version (which also features an awesome Marilyn Horne), also on London. For a more balanced overall production, and a more mature Sutherland, I would consider this one. Still, I would certainly recommend one of the Callas versions. Actually, one should own both Sutherland and Callas, and possibly Caballe's Norma as well.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recording with Sutherland, Caballe, and Pavarotti!!!!! 28 July 2001
By BRETT H DAVIS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I am a huge fan of all of the 3 principals and saw them many times at the San Francisco Opera in the 70's and 80's. Their TURANDOT studio recording together from 1973 is other worldly...and I am also a big fan of a Nilsson, and Price and all of the greats that I have seen or been lucky to be exposed to over the years. This NORMA was recorded in 1984 and they are all in great voice. Remember Caballe went on to sing ISOLDE in 1989! Only Caballe would use pianissimos in the Act II love duet. I have the LP with Sutherland/Horne NORMA from 1964..(from my teen years) it is the most beautiful NORMA ever recorded. However, I especially love the last act of this opera and the final scene with Sutherland and Pavarotti (the dynamic vocal duo) moves me deeply. Sutherland does not sound tired! The only recording of Sutherland'S that really sounds tired and effortful is the Video VHS of the LES HUGENOTS which I believe was her farewell performance from the stage in Australia. It was painful to watch and I have never finished watching it! I saw the great Maria Callas in her farewell tour with Di Stefano and it was sad. I think people who only enjoy one singer in a particular role are limiting themselves and closed minded. Callas, Caballe, Sills, and even Shirley Verrett (who sang it in SF) are all great interpreters of NORMA. Pavarotti is at the peak of his powers and that is why I bought this recording. Buy it and you will not be disappointed!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Moving! 3 Dec 1998
By Sarah-Jane Leslie (sjleslie@eden.rutgers.edu) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I am a great Sutherland fan, and have many of her recordings. This one stands out. I have never listened to this recording in its entirety without crying - I can say that about no other CD. Sutherland's voice shows some signs of age, yet is still magnificent.
I must disagree with some critics'opinion that she was unable to fully characterize Norma. She portrays the betrayed woman with heart-breaking clarity and understanding. The other performers live up to their reputations. Pavarotti paints Pollione with arrogance and passion - the neceassary combination. The two stars interact most convincingly, both with each other and with Caballe's touching Adalgisa. Bonynge's conducting is similarly excellent.
Sutherland's second Norma recording conveys deep pain and anger. I do not find the characterization lacking at all. Norma is Bellini's greatest opera; this recording is undoubtedly worthy of his music. I strongly recommend it!
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A sad recording 19 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Joan Sutherland was about 60 at the time of this recording. What you hear is a barely recognizable Sutherland sound. The Decca cd set with Sutherland/Horne is the one to get, believe me. Sutherland and Horne were dropped dead gorgeous in their 1960's definitive Norma. If you choose to buy this set because Caballe is Adagisa, be warned that the two divas sound very boring and tired. All of Sutheland's famous high notes are completely gone, even her trill and colortura runs are inaccurate. Please, I'm Sutherland's biggest fan, that's why I'm telling you how it really is. This Norma is a disaster. Remember though, the Sutherland's earlier Norma with Marilyn Horne is a real gem.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SUTHERLAND'S NORMA VINTAGE 1984 25 July 2006
By L. Mitnick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Joan Sutherland's place in operatic history was quite secure before she did this recorded remake of Norma in 1984 -- her previous 1964 London recording (as well as her subsequent 1972 live San Francisco recording) accomplished this (as did her her 1960's recordings of Semiramide, Sonnambula, Puritani, and others) most successfully. Sutherland was possibly the master bel canto vocal technician of the twentieth century, and the ends she sought were very different from those of Maria Callas. However, NO voice, no matter how magnificent, can remain immune to the passage of twenty years, as well as the ravages of age. Sutherland does a vocally respectable job here for a soprano at age 58, and there are times when she still has at her command the technical skill necessary for the great role. At other times, however, the voice becomes "gray" and colorless, and not always completely steady. Of course Callas lacked steadiness to an even greater degree (especially on her second EMi recording in 1960), but her dramatic and musical genius yielded far greater dividends than Sutherland does here. I suspect that the availability of Pavarotti was the reason for this recording (John Alexander ably partnered Sutherland on her 1964 recording), and he certainly sings a good Pollione (though not as heroic or stentorian as Franco Corelli on the 1960 Callas recording), though he's not very subtle. The interesting component here is Montserrat Caballe', soprano Adalgisa, who sounds amazingly youthful (a far cry from the matronly and aged sound of Ebe Stignani on the first Callas recording in 1954). I've always felt that a soprano works better in this role than a mezzo (Marilyn Horne being the exception, and her duets with Sutherland on the 1964 recording are the stuff that legends are made of!). Truth to tell, both Sutherland and Caballe sound well in the two big duets (though not on the level of the 1964 Sutherland and Horne), and their voices blend beautifully when sounded in thirds together.

Please do not misunderstand me. There is some fine singing to be heard here, but the truth is that Sutherland, if certainly not voiceless, is certainly past her best singing days, and she suffers from the comparisions to her earlier recording, which, is, of course, natural. I find Caballe' a good reason to value this set, though for her this must have been a holiday, since her own Norma is well known and admired.

A final observation: where are sopranos like Callas, Sutherland, and Caballe' today?

Like the dodo bird, these fabulous vocal giants are extinct.
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