Could anything be sweeter than Cecilia Bartoli's recording of Bellini's La Sonnambula? Especially sweet and sinuous are the duets with Juan Diego Florez. I am very pleased that he is singing with her. It is the path to increased expressiveness. I like them together very much.
Alessandro De Marchi is the conductor.
When I listened to Cecilia Bartoli's new recording of La Sonnambula, the word Spieloper came into my mind, 1830-50 being the great era for the Spieloper, but unfortunately things seem to come out in my brain in German instead of Italian. I am reminded by Gramophone Magazine that in Italian this is opera semi-seria. Or is that really Italian? My Italian is quite primitive. This is a style of opera not exactly serious and not exactly comical with less than fully dramatic music. The use of period instruments emphasizes this effect.
Gramophone's favorite tracks and mine were the same: the extended first act duet with Bartoli and Florez. "Son geloso del zefiro erranre" and "Ah!costante nel tutto" duet is also astounding. Together they are golden.