10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Up in the first class of studio versions,
By A Customer
This review is from: Anna Bolena (Lso, Rudel) (Audio CD)These artists have strong voices. Beverly Sills leads the way with excellent diction. Very occasionally forte threatens tonal quality; but her delivery of the two final arias displays a range of hit and held notes and runs with tonal variation second to none. She even manages to foreshadow the descent into partial delirium with notes of piercing intensity at earlier stress points of the role, for example, during S’ei t’abbore, io t’amo ancora.
The Henry VIII of Paul Plishka combines superbly with the gentler moments of Sills and the powerhouse of Shirley Verrett’s Seymour. Another note hitting soprano who can produce some splendid tones. I thought Stuart Burrows was excellently cast as Percy. A brilliantly clear and tonally varied voice. Patricia Kern’s Smeton was the hesitant page with real vocal acting.
Happily the soloists combine to provide some outstanding moments. The quintet towards the end of Act I is urgently compelling.
Before moving on, a brief word of comparison cannot be avoided. Sutherland’s Anna Bolena from Decca (421 096) is pure Sutherland. An unmistakable voice. Superlatives abound. But if you are not one of her ardent fans here is a real alternative with a cast and orchestra to rival Decca.