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Gramophone magazine has a review of the Radvanovsky Norma video from the Metropolitan Opera (available on DVD or Blu-ray.


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I really enjoyed it. The singing was really good. Radvanovsky was really wonderful in the title role. Not Callas, but then who is.
 

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What sets Sutherland's early recording apart is the simply jaw dropping high notes she delivers. The D in the trio and the Eb in the last act duet. Only fat Callas could sing such notes above the staff that were equal to Sutherland's here. They are perhaps the greatest of her career in beauty and astonishing size. Not the drama of Callas, but all three principles sing the music with incredible beauty. I am probably alone in this assessment as it was past her early period which is the only one people here besides me like.
 

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What sets Sutherland's early recording apart is the simply jaw dropping high notes she delivers. The D in the trio and the Eb in the last act duet. Only fat Callas could sing such notes above the staff that were equal to Sutherland's here. They are perhaps the greatest of her career in beauty and astonishing size. Not the drama of Callas, but all three principles sing the music with incredible beauty. I am probably alone in this assessment as it was past her early period which is the only one people here besides me like.
I'm not so sure. Thin Callas delivers spectacular top Ds in the trio in the 1955 performances (Rome radio and La Scala) of Norma. She produces another stunner in 1957 at the end of the Act I of Anna Bolena. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that they are not exposed, but supported by the full orchestra and other singers.
 

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I'm not so sure. Thin Callas delivers spectacular top Ds in the trio in the 1955 performances (Rome radio and La Scala) of Norma. She produces another stunner in 1957 at the end of the Act I of Anna Bolena. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that they are not exposed, but supported by the full orchestra and other singers.
They are certainly impressive compared to all other sopranos besides Joan but for myself I find these Norma high notes by Sutherland more beautiful and possessing a more complex sound and of greater size than these post weight loss Callas notes. We all hear things differently. Of course what Callas accomplishes with the rest of the role is another matter! Now if you are talking the High D Callas sang in the big aria from Armida before her Audrey Hepburn days, I would say that is my favorite high note of all time in all it's isolated magnificence. The size of that note is not to be believed. I played it for my butch four wheeling beau at the time and he said please turn it off. I should have taken that as an omen our days were numbered.
 
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