Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bellini - I Capuleti e i Montecchi - Baker, Sills, Gedda, Patane, '76







When EMI released this recording in 1976, it was something of a big deal. For the first time, what was the then a Bellini rarity was recorded with a top-notch cast by a major label. It was the recording of I Capuleti until EMI released a digital, live on stage recording.

Dame Janet Baker Too long overlooked, it is good to have Baker, Sills, and Gedda back in circulation, reminding us what a good recording this is. All three principals were intelligent singer/actors; they knew what they were singing in addition to knowing how to sing it. Patané’s conducting contributes to the overall success of this recording; there is a controlled tension that is evidenced from the beginning. The three principals recorded this opera well into their careers. It must be admitted that their voices no longer have the bloom of youth, but they remain firm and the singers bring great artistry and expertise to the roles. The principals who appear on the digitally recorded albums (Teldec & RCA) have the additional benefit of sounding suitably youthful, but fans of Baker, Sills, and Gedda should be pleased to have this recording available once again. It’s Baker’s show, and her peers provide a fine complement. The sound on this CD is greatly improved over the original LPs.

Performer:  Beverly SillsNicolai GeddaDame Janet Baker,  Raimund Herincx,  Robert Lloyd
Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané
Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  New Philharmonia Orchestra


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