WORKS: Lucia di Lammermoor
PERFORMER: Andrea Rost, Bruce Ford, Anthony Michaels-Moore, Alastair Miles, Paul Charles Clarke, Ryland Davies, Louise Winter; London Voices, Hanover Band/Charles Mackerras
CATALOGUE NO: S2K 63174
What distinguishes this new recording of Lucia from most of
its competitors is that its orchestra,
the Hanover Band, plays on period instruments and makes an idiomatic early 19th-century sound. Charles Mackerras, however, though he conducts a ‘correct’ performance,
in the original keys throughout with none of those frequently heard downward transpositions, is no pedant. He draws committed and expressive playing from the orchestra and his tempi are invariably
well-chosen. Donizetti’s evocative orchestration sounds more impressive than ever.
The Hungarian soprano
Andrea Rost is a vocally dazzling Lucia. If she lacks the dramatic excitement of a Callas or the beauty of tone of a Sutherland, she is nevertheless very acceptable.
Bruce Ford is an exemplary
Edgardo,his voice and style ideally suited to Italian bel canto roles, Anthony Michaels-Moore is a forthright Enrico, fiercely exciting
in ‘La pietade in suo favore’, and Alastair Miles is a fine Raimondo.
Against other modern recordings of Lucia di Lammermoor, this one
can certainly hold its own, though the Deutsche Grammophon version with Cheryl Studer, Plácido Domingo, Juan Pons and Samuel Ramey is marginally preferable. For the quintessential Lucia, one has to go back to Joan Sutherland on Decca. Charles Osborne.