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Donizetti: Linda di Chamounix Box set

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Price: £36.44 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Performer: Eglise Gutierrez, Ludovic Tezier, Marianna Pizzolato, Alessandro Corbelli, Elizabeth Sikora, et al.
  • Orchestra: Orchestra & Chorus of Royal Opera House
  • Conductor: Sir Mark Elder
  • Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
  • Audio CD (26 April 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Opera Rara
  • ASIN: B004U7LAE4
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,973 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Linda Di Chamounix - Various Performers

Product Description

CD Description

One of the biggest successes of Donizetti's career, Linda di Chamounix was performed all over the operatic world in the decades following its 1842 Viennese premiere, then fell into neglect. The live concert performances recorded by Opera Rara at Covent Garden, in 2009, were its first there since 1887. This is one of Donizetti's finest achievements, aimed at the musically sophisticated Viennese public and featuring some of his best arias, ensembles and choruses, including the brilliant soprano showpiece O luce di quest anima ; in this semi-seria opera this much-admired aria is sung by Linda (Eglise Gutiérrez), who has fallen in love with Carlo (Stephen Costello a recent Richard Tucker Award winner) believing him to be a painter, though he is in reality a nobleman. Packed off to Paris to stop her falling into the clutches of his uncle, the dubious Marchese de Boisfleury (Alessandro Corbelli), Linda is discovered in compromising circumstances by her father Antonio (Ludovic Tézier), who curses her, causing her to lose her reason. Supported by the loyal Pierotto (Marianna Pizzolato), Linda returns to Chamounix and sanity and, eventually, to the arms of the man she loves. Sir Mark Elder conducts the recent critical edition of this outstanding score. The 3CD set comes with a lavishly illustrated book including a complete libretto with an English translation, comprehensive article and synopsis by the eminent 19th-century musical scholar, Jeremy Commons.

Review

Mark Elder's conducting is punchy and delicate by turns,the chorus and orchestra responding to his vigilant control of dynamics.Taken as a whole,the performance does the composer proud. EDITORS CHOICE --Gramophone,Aug'11

It's hard to imagine this set ever being replaced,or even rivalled. Performance ***** Recording ***** BBC MUSIC OPERA CHOICE --BBC Music Magazine,Aug'11

An outstanding release,not least for the obviously painstaking musical preparation,resulting in exceptional fidelity to the composer's wishes and careful yet heartfelt interpretations of the music by the whole cast. Orchestral playing and Choral singing are first-rate. DISC OF THE MONTH --Opera,Aug'11

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Wells on 25 Dec. 2011
Format: Audio CD
I found this to be a very good performance of an indifferent opera, so I regret that I can't be very enthusiastic in this review. I am an avid admirer of Donizetti's operas, but this opera left me unmoved, and for the most part, uninterested. Perhaps I just don't like the "melodramma semiserio" nature of the work. I thought the attempts as comedy fell particularly flat. The music for the Marchese di Boisfleury is mostly patter, but it lacks the verve and elegance of the similarly-veined music in "L'elisir d'amore" and "Don Pasquale." The Marchese is an especially annoying character, and the rest of the characters are equally duplicitous (like Carlo) or just plain dim (like Linda and Pierotto). Though this is one of Donizetti's more mature works, the music doesn't show him at the top of his form. I suspect it's the fault of the less than inspired libretto. Now for a few specific comments on this performance.

The title role is beautifully sung by Eglise Gutierrez. Her middle voice is warm and vibrant and the upper extension is bright and secure, if it does turn a bit thin in the highest passages. She dashes off "O luce di quest'amina" and is at her best in the mad scene that ends the second act.

Stephen Costello seems to be generating most of the buzz about this recording and his Carlo shows a fine lyric tenor voice of considerable beauty. His second act romanza (Se tanto in ira agl'uomini) is one of the highlights of the recording. I hope he remains in this fach; heavier roles would probably spoil his voice.

Even such a talent as Alessandro Corelli can't make such a repulsive character as the Marchese appealing. The rest of the cast fill their roles very well.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Dubin on 6 May 2011
Format: Audio CD
In the past I have always admired Opera Rara for their recordings of rarely performed operas uncut and in excellent performance and sound.

Not so here. Linda di Chamounix has been recorded before so I am familiar with it. First of all, the sound quality is too laid back and lacking in presence and some of Mark Elder's tempos are a bit on the fast side. The singing was OK but not as good as in the recording on the ARTS label.

But most bothersome to me is that this performance is not totally complete. There is an omission in the Pierotto scene following Linda's "O luce di quest'anima" in Act 1. While it is true that Donizetti added this for a subequent performance, there is no reason why it should not have been included. The short but necessary repeat near the end of the act 2 Linda/Marchese duet (one of my favorites) is not taken. Then later in the Act 2 Linda/Carlo duet, the cabaletta is cut almost in half.

True there is one restored section in the Act 2 mad scene which I never heard before in any recording. Obviously this was a recent discovery and I am happy for its inclusion. But Donizetti removed it prior to publication.

I wish I could give this a higher rating than three stars but I am just not thrilled with the sound and the fact that it is not complete.

I would recommend the ARTS recording which is totally complete except for the act 2 mad scene restoration. But again, this section was never published and probably discovered recently when the manuscript was consulted. Also the recorded sound, tempos and overall singing is much more satisfying to me. The only drawback is that the libretto is in Italian only. Since the Opera Rara includes a complete libretto in english, that is the only plus I find over the ARTS,
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Good performance -- Indifferent opera 25 Dec. 2011
By S. Wells - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I found this to be a very good performance of an indifferent opera, so I regret that I can't be very enthusiastic in this review. I am an avid admirer of Donizetti's operas, but this opera left me unmoved, and for the most part, uninterested. Perhaps I just don't like the "melodramma semiserio" nature of the work. I thought the attempts as comedy fell particularly flat. The music for the Marchese di Boisfleury is mostly patter, but it lacks the verve and elegance of the similarly-veined music in "L'elisir d'amore" and "Don Pasquale." The Marchese is an especially annoying character, and the rest of the characters are equally duplicitous (like Carlo) or just plain dim (like Linda and Pierotto). Though this is one of Donizetti's more mature works, the music doesn't show him at the top of his form. I suspect it's the fault of the less than inspired libretto. Now for a few specific comments on this performance.

The title role is beautifully sung by Eglise Gutierrez. Her middle voice is warm and vibrant and the upper extension is bright and secure, if it does turn a bit thin in the highest passages. She dashes off "O luce di quest'amina" and is at her best in the mad scene that ends the second act.

Stephen Costello seems to be generating most of the buzz about this recording and his Carlo shows a fine lyric tenor voice of considerable beauty. His second act romanza (Se tanto in ira agl'uomini) is one of the highlights of the recording. I hope he remains in this fach; heavier roles would probably spoil his voice.

Even such a talent as Alessandro Corelli can't make such a repulsive character as the Marchese appealing. The rest of the cast fill their roles very well. The Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden perform splendidly under the direction of Sir Mark Elder.

The performing edition is a pastiche of the original version produced in Vienna with some of the later additions for the work's Parisian premiere. A recording of this work really couldn't be released without "O luce di quest'amina." Pierotto loses his additional music in the first act. Unlike many other Opera Rara productions, there are no appendices with the musical variants.

My final analysis: This recording has much to recommend it, except the work itself. Others might find more to admire in the opera than I.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I can't get enougnt of these rare recordings 22 Jan. 2014
By jim - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
If you are a lover of Bel Canto opera you must add this to you collection. Opera Rarer has done opera lovers a wonderful service by performing and recording these rare operas. If you have this recording in your collection you will not be disappointed.
8 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Stephen Costello's first commercial audio recording 20 July 2011
By Edgar Self - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is the first commercial recording by ace Philadelphia tenor Stephen Costello, still on t he sunny side of thirty. That alone is reason enough for me to buy it, but after I actually hear it I'll be back with more stars and comments. As the editorial comment above says, this recording derives from two concert performances at Covent Garden in 2009 to launch their season that year. My hopes are high, and expectations even higher as I've been following Stephen Costello's career for several years now, in New York Philadelphia, Chicago Lyric, San Diego,Bordeaux, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Salzburg, Vienna, Concepcion, and the Metropolitan Opera on private and pirate recordings plus one video.

Those familiar with Opera Rara's production values may agree it's worth the money.
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