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.
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