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Alain Steffen
Pizzicato, January 2002

"...Lina Pagliughi is a vocal presence and technically virtuosic, a dramatic though clearly underexposed Lucia. Giovanni Malipiero as Sir Edgardo Ravenswood electrifies with his securely and beautifully produced tenor ..."

("Good, but with reservations")

Philip Anson
La Scena Musicale

"Another winner from Naxos's Great Opera Recordings, this miraculously preserved Lucia deserves a place in every opera lover's collection. Restoration wizard Ward Marston has optimally remastered the 1939 Italian Cetra recording from several sets of 1940s-era Parlophone discs. The result is a vivid golden age performance in remarkably fresh sound. As Lucia, American-born Italian coloratura soprano Lina Pagliughi displays an easy girlish timbre with a natural, charming woodwind quality that is never forced, phony, or shrill. Her passage-work is clean and precise. Embellishments are tossed off with insouciance. Her legato is smooth, yet she can also pick out notes with pinpoint accuracy. Her Edgardo is Italian tenor Giovanni Malipiero, who sings with virile confidence and emotion. The rest of the cast is up to the mark. Voices and orchestra are well-balanced and have a depth and color not often found in recordings of this era. The orchestra is lively and clear under conductor Ugo Tansini. This budget-priced set includes a bonus of nine delicious arias from Semiramide, I Puritani, Rigoletto, Flastaff, la Sonnambula, etc. by Pagliughi. ... Very highly recommended."

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