Today would have been Dame Joan Sutherland’s 84th birthday. It is also exactly four weeks after her death. It seems apt to mark this with one of her earliest discs. Her Lucia di Lammermoor mad scene from 1959 was issued as part of a recital disc,  but also was issued on a mono 45rpm record. Less than two weeks before Dame Joan’s death, the American coloratura soprano Dolores Wilson died aged 82. She had recorded Lucia in 1951, and part of the mad scene and the sextet were issued on an ARC 33rpm 7 inch record in the early 1960s. This seemed an ideal opportunity to remaster both recordings by way of tribute and comparison.

Donizetti – Lucia di Lammermoor – excerpts
Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, Franco Capuana

Sextet: Chi mi frena

Dolores Wilson, soprano
Ebe Ticozzi, contralto
Mario Carlin, tenor
Gianni Poggi, tenor
Anselmo Colzani, baritone
Silvio Maionica, baritone

Mad scene: Ardon gl’ incensi

Dolores Wilson, soprano
Guglielmo Fazzini, tenor
Silvio Maionica, baritone

Download – Donizetti – Lucia – Sextet – Dolores Wilson

Download – Donizetti – Lucia – Mad scene – Dolores Wilson

(mp3 files – right click the link, then select “Save as”)

ARC 31 7″ 33rpm
Matrices HOC 31A, HOC 31B
Recorded 1951
(Taken from 1951 complete recording, though label claims “First published 1963”)

Donizetti – Lucia di Lammermoor – Mad Scene:
Il dolce suono mi corpi di sua voce!…  Ardon gl’ incensi
L’Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, Paris, Nello Santi
Paris Opera Chorus
Joan Sutherland,
soprano

Donizetti – Lucia di Lammermoor – Mad scene – Joan Sutherland

(mp3 file – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Decca CEP 614 (45rpm 7″)
Matrices EFF-1979-1A, EFF-1980-1A
Recorded 1959

Arturo Toscanini made his earliest recordings for Victor with the orchestra of La Scala, Milan during its 1920-21 tour of the USA. These included the following record of Bizet’s Farandole.

Bizet – L’Arlèsienne Suite No.2 – Farandole
Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, Arturo Toscanini

Download – Bizet – Farandole – Toscanini

(mp3 files – right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Victrola 64986
Matrix B-24984-1 (2B 64986)
Recorded 11th March 1921, Victor Church Building Studios, Camden, New Jersey