Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor - Gruberova, Bergonzi, Gutstein, Tschammer; Urbon. Graz, 1975
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This recording of Lucia di Lammermoor matches newcomer Edita Gruberova with veteran Carlo Bergonzi. Although the slavic sound of Gruberova may seem like an odd compliment to Bergonzi’s Italianate tenor, the two shared an innate understanding for bel canto and ultimately work quite well together. What I find most impressive with Gruberova is the opulence of her voice combined with the remarkable knack for coloratura. Her high notes in the house had a thrust that doesn’t always come across in her studio recordings but does in this live performance. Although Bergonzi would go on for decades charming audiences with his unique style, it is fair to say that by 1975 his best years were in the past. However, it is easy to forgive the odd wayward high note as he is still able to spin the the long arches of Donizettis’ melodies with his signature style and grace. The sound is fair to good.
The music in Act II after the Sextet is missing from this recording.