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Bellini: Norma [Limited Edition]

Cecilia Bartoli Audio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: £17.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Biography

CECILIA BARTOLI – BIOGRAPHY

For more than two decades, Cecilia Bartoli has undeniably been one of the leading artists in the field of classical music. All over the world, her new operatic roles, her concert programmes and recording projects – in exclusivity with Decca – are expected with great eagerness and curiosity. The exceptional amount of 8 million CDs sold, more ... Read more in Amazon's Cecilia Bartoli Store

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Bellini: Norma + Steffani: Stabat Mater / Bartoli
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Product details

  • Performer: Cecilia Bartoli, Sumi Jo, John Osborn, Michele Pertusi
  • Orchestra: Orchestra La Scintilla
  • Conductor: Giovanni Antonini
  • Composer: Vincenzo Bellini
  • Audio CD (20 May 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00BSO2U1Y
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,159 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Sinfonia - Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
2. Introduzione - "Ite sul colle, o Druidi" - Michele Pertusi, International Chamber Vocalists, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
3. "Svanir le voci!" - John Osborn, Reinaldo Macias, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
4. "Meco all'altar di Venere " - John Osborn, Reinaldo Macias, International Chamber Vocalists, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
5. "Me protegge, me difende " - John Osborn, Reinaldo Macias, International Chamber Vocalists, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
6. "Norma viene" - International Chamber Vocalists, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
7. "Sediziose voci, voci di guerra" - Cecilia Bartoli, Michele Pertusi, International Chamber Vocalists, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
8. "Casta Diva" - Cecilia Bartoli, International Chamber Vocalists, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
9. "Fine al rito" - Cecilia Bartoli, International Chamber Vocalists, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
10. "Ah! bello a me ritorna" - Cecilia Bartoli, International Chamber Vocalists, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Scena - Introduzione - "Dormono entrambi" - Cecilia Bartoli, Liliana Nikiteanu, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
2. "Mi chiami, o Norma!" - Sumi Jo, Cecilia Bartoli, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
3. "Deh! con te, con te li prendi" - Cecilia Bartoli, Sumi Jo, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
4. "Mira, o Norma" - Sumi Jo, Cecilia Bartoli, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
5. "Si, fino all'ore estreme" - Cecilia Bartoli, Sumi Jo, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
6. "Non parti?" - International Chamber Vocalists, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
7. "Guerrieri! a voi venirne" - Michele Pertusi, International Chamber Vocalists, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
8. "Ah! del Tebro al giogo indegno fremo io pure" - Michele Pertusi, International Chamber Vocalists, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
9. "Ei tornerà" - Cecilia Bartoli, Liliana Nikiteanu, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
10. "Squilla il bronzo del Dio!" - International Chamber Vocalists, Orchestra La Scintilla, Giovanni Antonini
See all 17 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

For generations Bellini s Norma has been looked at from the vantage point of the Verismo era at the beginning of the 20th century. Now Cecilia Bartoli unveils the opera s original pre-romantic style and colour by taking Norma back to its roots.
For the first time ever the entire music is recorded with period instruments from Bellini s time. Traditional cuts are reinstated. Keys and tonalities are put back into place and the music is executed according to Bellini s own tempo indications.
The leading characters were selected according to Bellini s own choice of vocal colours: Bellini wrote Norma for Giuditta Pasta, who sang many parts which today are considered mezzosoprano roles. Adalgisa was sung by Giulia Grisi, a light soprano, and Pollione by Domenico Donzelli, who had a flexible, Rossini-style tenor voice.
A new critical music edition was compiled from the autograph score and many manuscript sources.

Product Description

DEC 4783517; DECCA - Inghilterra; Classica Lirica

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a controversial recording and will not suit everyone's tastes. But then, as Bartoli in the accompanying essay explains, our modern tastes are based on inauthentic practise. This recording tries to strip away the inconsistancies, the bad habits, the preconceptions, and present the opera as it may have been heard in Bellini's day.

We will never prove how authentic this really is, but it makes very interesting listening, and is an commendable effort to step out of the shadow cast by Callas and Sutherland.

The recording uses a new edition of the score, with expanded duets and trios and new variations here and there. It's not as ground-breaking as suggested by the booklet: much of these discoveries were performed by Holland Park opera some years ago (with Nelly Miricioiu), and nor is this the first ever performance with period instruments. But in terms of restoring, reviving and research, Decca and Bartoli are here following in the footsteps of pioneers like Opera Rara. Integrity and history can sometimes lead to a dull outcome, but here, whatever one makes of the casting or the edition, it is certainly alive with personality.

I've often felt, in the past, that Bartoli's coloratura can sound too aggressive and staccato for my taste. Here, the explosive nature of her dazzling technique, works very well; Norma is a wronged woman, and Bartoli, despite a smaller-than-usual voice for the part, is dramatically alert to the possibilities. Singing at the original pitch, the more prayerful introspective parts are beautifully sung and overall I was much taken with her interpretation - more so than I expected. It's on a more human scale than Callas, but infinitely more in focus than Sutherland or Caballe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EVERYTHING BUT THE DIVA 10 July 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There's a lot going for this recording. A Rossini tenor for Pollione and a soprano for Adalgisa make perfect sense and both are very well sung. The period instruments and sprightly tempi give the whole opera a real freshness and momentum. Which leaves only one problem. Bartoli is good in her own distinctive way but for me she's just too mannered and internalised to totally convince. But still, if you're in any doubts (as I was), this recording is well worth investigating, particularly at £14 (see offers under new).
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
By Trev-R TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I have to be clear from the outset of this review that I don't really care for Norma and while I acknowledge what a fabulous voice Ms Bartoli has, she just doesn't sing what I like to listen to. So both opera and artist are outside my comfort zone. The only Norma I listen to with any regularity is Maria Callas second studio performance (conducted by Serafin)which has Franco Corelli singing a much better Pollione than Mario Filippeschi who sings on Callas's first studio recording from 1954, probably her finest recording and less jaded than the later one but Corelli sells it for me.

I wondered what all the fuss was about and Spotify have made this recording available from day one so I have had the opportunity to listen to it twice today. Wow! Ms Bartoli must have borrowed a time machine to go back to 1831 and listen to what Bellini heard. I can only describe this as like an old master painting that has been restored with all the old varnish and dirt being lifted leaving a bright, vibrant canvas as exciting as when it was first painted.

Everything is just right, from Bartoli's magnificent performance, the other cast fitting well, Sumi Jo, John Osborn and Michele Pertusi sing the roles of Adalgisa, Pollione and Oroveso respectively and all are superb (IMHO). I have not heard Sumi Jo sing better. The period instruments are a breath of fresh air with Giovanni Antonini squeezing every last ounce out of the Orchestra La Scintilla who are dynamic, powerful but gentle when requiring it, but in all cases they are sympathetic to the singers and add the extra factor to this recording.

The Spotify version even on maximum bit rate does not do justice to the excellent engineering of this recording. How do I know?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Partially beautiful, wrong portrayal! 23 Aug 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I listened to this recording several times before attempting to review it.
NORMA is my favorite opera and this the 36th and newest version in my collection. I have heard the title role sung by artists as diverse as Rosa Ponselle (in excerpts only), Gina Cigna, Zinka Milanov, Maria Callas, Leyla Gencer, Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballe, Elinor Ross, Beverly Sills, Elena Suliotis, Anita Cerquetti, Renata Scotto, Grace Bumbry, Shirley Verrett, Ghena Dimitrova, Jane Eaglen, Edita Gruberova, Daniella Dessi, Nelly Miricioiu, Hasmik Papian, and Mariella Devia, so I do consider myself entitled to give an informed opinion.
I can only name 3 singers who have been great Normas. In chronological order they were Ponselle, Callas, and Caballe.
Regarding this latest recording, I must confess beforehand that I am not a fan of Cecilia Bartoli, having always considered her to be less of a stage performer and more of a concert artist, and a vulgar one at that, taking no risks and prone to mannerisms. Well, at the age of 46 she confounded the critics and finally sang Norma on stage, NOT in Italy, but in Salzburg. Was she afraid to sing the role in Italy, choosing a safer Germanic milieu instead? I will not comment on the horrendous 2010 Dortmund concert version and will await until the (modern staging) Salzburg performance becomes available on DVD or YouTube to pass judgment on that.
This recording is supposed to treat the operatic score "come scritto" and as it must have sounded in Bellini's time, with relatively smaller voices and orchestral sound on period instruments (ie of slightly lower pitch).
Much of it is admirable, even beautifully performed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars uneven and mostly uninvolved performance
Bartoli proves in a way how difficult bellini is to sing and how much it demands to be a good norma. The bellini lines are long drawn. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Borreh
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth it
Beautiful from beginning to end but would you expect anything else from the wonderful sublime Cecilia Bartoli who had such integrity.
Published 3 months ago by Michael Lemmon
3.0 out of 5 stars Just didn't work for me.
I love Bartoli and I love Bellini's "Norma" but the two do not go together for me. This is not a recording that I would recommend. Read more
Published 7 months ago by JMB
5.0 out of 5 stars Norma
Sparkling voice, sparkling recording, Glad I bought this CD, very dramatic and also sensitive. It compares well with other recordings of Norma. Carol
Published 9 months ago by Carol A Ross
3.0 out of 5 stars Cecilia makes an effort, but Sumi Jo is miscast
Bellini's "Norma" has for sixty years been the exclusive territory of fans of the Maria Callas. They know the opera in a very cut-down arrangement by Tulio Serafin, expressly... Read more
Published 12 months ago by C. Wake
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary performance
This is an opportunity to hear Norma as if you'd never heard it before, without the accretions and traditional interpolations, marvellous though they may be when in the right hands... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Marvoid
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
I thoroughly enjoyed the performance, particularly having the libretto(included with the CDs) In front of me. Cecilia Bartoli is magnificent.
Published 13 months ago by Mariem
3.0 out of 5 stars Barrrrrrrrrrrrtoli
It's certainly a difference from your 'normal' Norma and an interesting one, too. If all the singers where of Sumi Jo's level, it would have been extraordinary, but Cecilia Bartoli... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Joost Boswijk
5.0 out of 5 stars Love her
I'm a Bartoli's fan. I can't belive that after Sacrificium she achived another step on her career. Thanks a lot
Published 13 months ago by Víctor Ortiz
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
To me the biggest let down was the conductor. It feels as if he is trying to rush through the score before catching his train... Read more
Published 14 months ago by J. Vos
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