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Verdi: La Traviata

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Price: £11.32 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£11.32 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Product details

  • Performer: Ambrosian Singers
  • Orchestra: London Symphony
  • Conductor: Carlo Rizzi
  • Audio CD (21 Sept. 2009)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B002HLQRM0
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 428,015 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Viva Verdi on 14 Feb. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not a lot leaps out at you when you read the cast list of this Traviata, but from the opening notes you can tell much thought has gone into the recording. I've never heard the ppp marking on the opening bars of the prelude so faithfully followed - the LSO violins sustaining a whisper.

From then one there is not a great deal to highlight in the opening scene. Gruberova has all the notes, and whilst Shicoff has a slightly pushed sound he is more than competent. In Act II Shicoff puts in a top C at the end of the cabaletta "Oh mio rimorso" - a lesson to tenors in demonstrating a healthy full range. Unfortunately his attempt at a mezza-voce for the beginning of "Parigi o cara" fails.

I might have unfairly skipped over Gruberova but I have to compare her to Caballe, Callas, Freni and Cotrubas, as favourite Violettas, and, as I say, Gruberova has all the notes but fails to draw pity. Having said that Gruberova's breath control and vocal line during "Addio del passato" is exquisite.

The star for me is Zancanaro. His slightly shrill timbre is not to everyone's taste but in his duet with Violetta he modulates his tone and volume - gently drawing her into submission. He's sensitive and understanding, yet authoritative in "Di provenza" - a 3D Germont.

My one criticism of Rizzi is his reticence to punctuate Verdi's dramatic accents, which litter his operas. The drama is all there, you just need to accentuate it with the musicians. Nevertheless, this is still a very good Traviata and worthy of a shade more than four stars.
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Format: Audio CD
The other review of this set is, I think, very fair and on the ball. I would just add that to get a fine performance of this “difficult” opera at its current price under a fiver is a stupendous bargain. It’s worth adding to that review that this recording is not one of those which cuts bits such as the tenor and baritone cabalettas in the way that older recordings did as a matter of course. Edita Gruberova is one of those sopranos who can manage the coloratura in Act 1 and the pathos of the later parts; my only reservation is that she is a singer where you tend to be aware of the artifice that goes into everything, whereas Cotrubas, Scotto (especially in her earlier DG recording) and Callas (heard at her best in the Covent Garden recording with Valletti)(plus in a different kind of way Valerie Masterson on the Chandos version in English) seem actually to become Violetta as they sing. Neil Shicoff’s soulful thing isn’t quite right for the earlier party atmosphere but very much right for the tragedy later. And Zancanaro is simply (I would say) the best Germont on any set. Add wonderful orchestral playing by the LSO under Carlo Rizzi (who always brings a special sensitivity to Verdi) and this is a very competitive version indeed.
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