Donizetti: Lucrezia Borgia / Perlea, Caballe, Kraus, Verrett, Flagello

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[Caballé's] alternations of tenderness and regal authority bring [the title character] to a more interesting kind of life than Sutherland manages to do, and when she is playing opposite Alfredo Kraus a genuinely mutual responsiveness does much to counteract the sense of a concert performance or merely "going through the score". With the proviso that there aren't any trills worth speaking of (and they are not a luxury in this role), Caballé sings the part beautifully, her voice at its loveliest, the tone completely steady and the breadth of phrasing a delight. Kraus is splendid; Flagello sonorous and preferable in the part to the baritone Ingvar Wixell; and as Orsini, Verrett has exactly the freshness that makes it just possible to think of her as Gennaro's young friend, which [Marilyn] Horne, for all the sumptousness of her voice, did not. On balance, then, I prefer this recording as far as the singing is concerned—and that is much... As to the musical value of the opera, if it were all up to the standard of the Prologue, with its intensely moving ensemble, it would be great indeed; as it is, I still find it yielding more, rather than less, as time goes by.

-- Gramophone [9/1980, comparing this recording with the Sutherland/Bonynge Decca recording]

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: RCA6642

  • UPC: 078635664225

  • Label: RCA

  • Composer: Gaetano Donizetti

  • Conductor: Jonel Perlea

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: RCA Italian Opera Chorus, RCA Italian Opera Orchestra

  • Performer: Alfredo Kraus, Andrea Mineo, Camillo Sforza, Ezio Flagello, Fernando Iacopucci, Ferruccio Mazzoli, Franco Ricciardi, Franco Romano, Franco Ruta, Giuseppe Baratti, Montserrat Caballé, Robert Amis El Hage, Shirley Verrett, Vito Maria Brunetti