Revisited, with the newest toys and in 24/192
Sutherland’s famed diction is much better in French than Italian. She is breath-taking as Lakme. What a vocal wonder! The bell song is “Inhuman”, it’s so awesome. Spectacular high E’s shot out the diva’s mouth like cannonballs, ravishing trills on high B. No one can trill like Sutherland, and she’s the only soprano in history who could trill on a high D-flat.
Composer: Leo Delibes
Performer: Emile Belcourt, Gwenyth Annear, Jane Berbie, Claude Cales, Joan Sutherland, Monica Sinclair, Alain Vanzo, Gabriel Bacquier, Joseph Clement
Orchestra: Monte Carlo National Opera Orchestra
Conductor: Richard Bonynge
Number of Discs: 3
DR-Analysis: DR 15
Size: 5.3 GB
For me, my friends, one of the most beautiful operas I ever heard.
Forget the clichès, that Delibes was only able to compose ballet music.
Listen to this great opera, listen to the wonderful and beautiful voice of the legendary nightingale, Dame Joan “never-sung-a-wrong-note-in-her-life” Sutherland. All the other singers in this production are only shadows (although they are really good) behind the brightly shining light of Joan.
This is what I call: A REAL TREASURE IN MUSIC !
Delibes’s opera Lakmé is full of gorgeous melodies, even if you don’t count the coloratura sensation, the famous “Bell Song.” That aria virtually demands a soprano of Sutherland’s agility and ease, and it gets it here. Even the few singers who can match her in the upper altitudes can’t do it with a voice so rich and full. Sutherland’s is a Lakmé beyond comparison with twittering, thin-voiced, coloratura specialists (…) Sutherland’s colleagues are excellent, too. Vanzo was one of the finest lyric tenors of his generation and is by far the best Gérald on disc. Jane Berbié and Gabriel Bacquier are also unmatched, and Bonynge’s conducting is idiomatic and flowing. Add engineering from Decca/London’s golden age of recording, and here’s a Lakmé to treasure. –Dan Davis
There is much to praise in this recording. Firstly, the orchestra is just wonderfully balanced with the voices. That is so nice. In some recordings the voices are recorded too closely, or the orchestra is too loud; the balance in this recording is wonderful. One thing also to recommend this recording is Bonynge’s conducting. Some don’t take him seriously, but I have never understood that. He does a wonderful job trying to stay true to the style of whatever type of music he is conducting. He NEVER makes Bellini sound like Verdi, or Verdi like Puccini, or Puccini like Wagner. This little nuance is often overlooked by many critics. This opera sounds “very French” and so it should.
The singing is wonderful, even though I think at times Sutherland’s glorious voice is a bit much for the character. Most people comment on the great “Bell song” and how fabulously it is sung. Well, it is sung fabulously. There is more to the role of Lakme than just that show piece, which is the only show piece in the entire opera. The tenderness of the closing aria is more telling than this famous show stopper. Sutherland comes off in spades. The duet with Gerald is so wonderfully sung with both singers blending so well it is breathtaking. Now, Sutherland does monkey with the score and raise musical lines higher than they are written to disguise the weakness in her lower range, which is at times a real drawback to giving us fully developed characters. Composers usually wrote these lines lower because of the dramatic impact they were seeking. Changing them reduces the impact.
The rest of the cast is fabulous as well. The reason I spend so real time discussing them is the fact that few people will be buying this recording based on their contributions. However, don’t take that to mean their contributions are not of the finest quality, they are. Most of us bought this recording because it was a Joan Sutherland recording.
This recording is wonderful, and I recommend it to anyone. Be assured that the opera is not the greatest in the world, but surely one of the most beautiful operas. It is truly a joy to listen to.
Analyzed folder: /192k Delibes – Lakme – Sutherland
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR16 -0.31 dB -22.17 dB sideA.aif
DR15 -0.70 dB -21.41 dB sideB.aif
DR15 -0.74 dB -21.13 dB sideC.aif
DR15 -0.54 dB -21.67 dB sideD.aif
DR14 -0.80 dB -20.70 dB sideE.aif
DR16 -0.17 dB -22.16 dB sideF.aif
Number of files: 6
Official DR value: DR15
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
- Cartridge: ZYX 50R Bloom
- Phono amp: Audio Research SP15 own tube phono section.
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Audio Research SP15
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
If you like what i do, please consider that a little donation would be very appreciated.
I reinvest all donations in maintenance of my rig, for purchasing cleaning solutions and, most important of all, purchasing of new vinyls.
Click on the “Donate”-button. Thank you very much !