An outstanding performance by the soloists. I've just bought this set and I'm still listening it. I prefer the italian version but this is a strong one. The two major soloists and the choir are absolute ferfect in this french version. An absolut must have for all french speakers. The reading and the orchestra are very polished and efficient. Technically this recording is on high level. This is an adaptation from the italian original version that will bring pleasure for all listeners.
A fine recording, a very good tenor, but I'm afraid a good but monotonous soprano. She does not change color or attitude depending on the role. Here you hear the same voice you hear in Handel's Alcina or any of her roles. Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to have the french version of the opera, not just a translation, but very different in many ways. I enjoyed it but I still stick to Callas, even if, there are people deaf to her artistic value both, as a singer and as an actress.
Lucia Di Lammermoor, is perhaps the zenith of Bel Canto achievement requiring a star soprano with shimmering coloratura virtuosity. Here the the French version is presented with the replacement Fountain aria. Anybody who has heard Joan Sutherland in this role, will find it exceptionally difficult to entertain comparisons. However, here such a comparison succeeds. Dramatic intent aside, lucia is primarily about beautiful singing, a rare sort of singing only possessed by a priviledged few. Odious wailing in this opera destroys Donizetti's intentions for the music to be supreme, and the drama secondary. Please, please, please, no more comparisons with Maria Callas. The woman was tone deaf and possessed the sort of instrument which would deafen and horrify most newcomers to opera. It is dreadful to say it, but she just could not sing, and would probably lose a vocal competition for purity of legato to the equally dreary Charlotte Church!! Happily, our star soprano, Natalie Dessay is not such a singer. Perhaps it would not be too far an estimation of her abilities to state that she possesses the most fluid, beautiful, stratospheric and agile coloratura soprano in the world today. Her mad scene is an absolute triumph, and stands in good comparison with Sutherlands performance in the title role. It may be deemed by some strangley disorientated fans of bel canto that dramatic intent is superior to the vocal line, and that to believe in the latter over the former is over simplistic. However, it must be added that it is the quality of the music and the singing which necessarily comes first, otherwise all recordings of opera and their live performances would be a sham. Any fool can act, very few can sing this well. If one wanted to see a star act well, one would not wish to hear/see Maria Callas; off to the RSC or a play with Maggie Smith I would go! This recording is fabulous and infinitely better than all modern interpretations, especially the dreadful one with Rost!