Friday, March 29, 2013

Cecilia Bartoli's new Norma Recording

Decca has just announced the highly antcipated Norma recording by Cecilia Bartoli. Cecilia Bartoli “It was my wish to bring Bellini’s opera closer to the sound world of the bel canto period. Alongside the vocal casting in keeping with the voices at the first performance, a critical edition compiled from the autograph score, adherence to the original tempi, dynamics and phrasing, lowering the pitch to 430 hz and using authentic instruments as of the period all play their part in allowing the manifold nuances of this work to come to the fore, and for the composer’s vision hopefully to be fulfilled.”

Who is looking forward to this recording and her upcoming Salzburg performances which are expected to be recorded for a future DVD release.


  1. Well, the cast is different, with Bartoli, a mezzo as Norma and Sumi Jo, a coloratura soprano as Adalgesa. Kinda makes ya go "hmmmm". Bartoli has a DVD of Le Comte Ory coming out in May. It's hard to imagine that voice changing from mezzo to soprano, but miracles really do happen. I may check out Norma, but the Met Comte Ory is my go to rendition!

  2. The original score was set for a singer, we would call a mezzo. Norma's range is huge, goes up to the high C but also extends into the lowest register, so you need a very flexible voice with a big vocal range: Cecilia -:). All those interpolated higher notes to the Es in alto have been added by sopranos later on, especially in the time of Belcanto revival in th 50ies and 60ies of the last century.Nothing of that is original.Also Adalgisa originally was sung by a light soprano, which makes sense, as she is the younger and, for Pollione, more attractive one.
    The Salzburg performances were magic and totally fitting with all the changes, which are just returns to the original score.
    I love, that Cecilia is not content with what is called tradition and brings this music into a connection with an original instrument orchestra.
    A DVD would be wonderful, but at this point, financing is not at all secured, as Don Carlo will be the performance recorded from the summer festival.