5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Joan Sutherland - Complete Studio Recitals,
This review is from: Joan Sutherland - The Studio Recitals (Audio CD)
After Joan Sutherland's death, it was inevitable that various box sets and collections would be released. Here, Decca have compiled all of her recital discs in one value box set.
Firstly the box set has all of the discs in card sleeves with the original covers on and a track list printed on the back. The set is well presented and easy to search through if you're looking for a certain album or piece. There is a small booklet with a short biography and then a tracklist of all of the discs.
The actual music in itself is on the whole, excellent. The first few discs are superb and really show what Sutherland was capable of. The Art of the Prima Donna is a stand-out, not just in this set, but in recorded music history in general. The albums, The Age of Bel Canto and the Command Performance discs are fantastic collections which show Sutherland's coloratura ability to its full power.
The later discs in the collection are not always so successful. For me personally the Mozart disc is far from her best. Although I think she made a fantastic Donna Anna on stage, the repertoire she chooses for the Mozart disc does not suit her voice at all.
The only real criticism I have of the set would be that some of the material is fairly light. For example, one of the last discs is music from the movies which is not exactly riveting stuff. However, Sutherland left a huge collection of more serious complete opera recordings and these recital discs were probably light relief from the constantly melodramatic heroines she portrayed on stage!
If you are a fan of Joan Sutherland I would highly recommend this set, it provides good value for money and also has some music that you won't find recorded elsewhere. I have my fingers crossed that Decca will release a collection of all the operas she recorded (Like EMI did with Callas) however I fear I could be waiting in vain!