This was Joan Sutherland's first recording of Verdi's classic consumption laden tear-jerker and to my mind, it is vastly preferable to her overblown outing with Pavarotti in 1979. Here is a voice which has all the purity and beauty one could expect and she paces the singing pretty beautifully all round. However this is not the only strong point of the set.
We have Carlo Bergonzi in absolutely superb voice, this is another lamented singer who was in his absolute prime here. Dora Carral, Robert Merill and Piero de Palma also contribute with outstanding dexterity and flair, matched in no uncertain terms by a typical 'sonic-stage' Decca recording that hails the inimitable talents of Kenneth 'Ken' Wilkinson'. Pritchard is a knowledgeable exponent of this drama riddled score and he brings out all the passion and pain of the story.
This new opera series also includes the libretto on CD, a useful space saver and for those who enjoy listening to music on their PC, this recording is indeed quite a must-have both on interpretative and economic terms.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech