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Mario del Monaco (Pollione), Nicola Zaccaria (Oroveso), Maria Callas (Norma), Giulietta Simionato (Adalgisa), Gabriella Carturan (Clotilde) & Giuseppe Zampieri (Flavio) - Orchestre et Chœur du Théâtre de la Scala - Antonino Votto, direction
Top Customer Reviews
It was a time when Polliones were expected to roar out Bellini's music. Callas had to contend with Baum, Corelli, Filippeschi and here Del Monaco. The tenor is to Bellini what I am to Olympic gymnastics ie neither of us has a clue what to do. He is coarse, vulgar and mauls where he should caress. ( Has he spotted that his big scena is where he is reminiscing about his new love and not urging on the entire Roman army to slaughter every last druid in Gaul?) I suppose he is no worse in that respect than the other tenors named, but Bellini it isn't.
For me, Simionato is a slight problem as well. She seems to want to outsing Callas at certain points and her vibrato and tendency to aspirate runs is not what I hoped to hear. Both Del Monaco and Simionato have their admirers so these things may not bother them as much as they bothered me.Read more ›
Caballe - herself a fine Norma - is miscast as Adalgisa and also sounds a little too old. Pavarotti is his usual heroic self, a big plus.
The over-the-top sound and the gradiose (but wobbly) intentions of the prima donne do not really make up for what is essentially an unnecessary recording. Sutherlands fans will be perfectly content with her first recording. Bellini fans are ill served by this set.
It would have been more generous had Decca invited another singer to preserve her interpretation, rather than let Sutherland duplicate hers. Miricioiu for instance.