ClassicsOnline Home » BELLINI, V.: Sonnambula (La) (Callas, Monti, La Scala, Votto) (1957) > Review List

BELLINI, V.: Sonnambula (La) (Callas, Monti, La Scala, Votto) (1957)

Composer(s):Bellini, VincenzoCherubini, LuigiSpontini, Gaspare
Period(s) Classical (1750-1830)Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Opera
Catalogue 8.111284-85
Label Naxos Historical
Quality   320kbps

Visconti’s sensational 1955 production of La sonnambula for La Scala, Milan, was revived and recorded two years later. As a girl, Callas had fallen in love with the rôle of Amina; as an adult it suited her voice perfectly, and her interpretation set a benchmark that few have equalled. Among the many highlights of Callas’s profoundly satisfying performance is her cadenza for Ah non giunge in which she executes a remarkable diminuendo on a stratospheric E-flat, a feat unrivalled in the history of the gramophone.This is by any standards a classic recording.


Review By David Denton,Naxos,January 2009

Unlike most of Callas’s other recordings, this one was made in the studio at a time she was the singing the opera on stage at La Scala and with the same cast. As a student she had fallen in love with the role of Amina, a part that sat perfectly in her
vocal range, and offered her the possibility of displaying a whole range of quiet shades in the two famous sleepwalking scenes. Then in the work’s final moments she indulges herself in a sheer explosion of virtuosity. It was a role made for her, and though such great singers as Joan Sutherland have enjoyed much success in the opera, Callas’s supremacy has never really been challenged. Amina’s beloved, Elvino, is sung by the elegant voice of Nicola Monti, who was much experienced in the role and



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