Linda Di Chamounix

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(1996). 156m. Gruberova, van der Walt, Will, Ariostini, Kallisch, Polgár, Asher, M. Christoff; A. Fischer; Schmid, dir. Color
PAL VHS only

Gruberova sings complicated ornamentation rapidly, accurately, with excellent articulation (without aspirating), ease of emission and tonal brilliance. Sometimes she accelerates the tempo in difficult passages, making them more exciting. She organizes notes into a hierarchy, subordinating melody to ornamentation.

The work is well served by the accomplished and musicianly supporting cast. The tenor, Deon van der Walt, sings with feeling and beautiful legato if not enough top voice. “Musicianly” sometimes refers to singers who are merely accurate. But this tenor uses crescendos to build into accentuations and he tapers phrase resolutions.

The superb realistic production is well lit.–Stefan Zucker

According to William Ashbrook’s Donizetti and his Operas, Linda Di Chamounix, premiered in 1842, in Vienna, “is the last and best of Donizetti’s semiserie…. From the first-rate overture to the buoyant duet-finale there is hardly a page lacking in some distinction.”

A plot synopsis is on the back of the sleeve.