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on 25 November 2000
Are the two recent reviewers listening to the same set? I remember being transfixed by this performance when it was shown live on television -a rare feat as I normally hate opera on TV.
Gheorghiu's portrayal is deeply affecting and beautifully sung. Solti is marvellous , nothing is hard driven and there is excellent support from Lopardo and Nucci.
If forced to choose I would still go for Callas and Ghione but this Solti set is in vastly superior sound . A superb release.
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on 18 January 2001
While Callas remains, for me, the apex of all Violettas, Gheorghiu is worthy to stand alongside La Divina. She gives a heartbreaking, beautifully sung performance, alive to every nuance of the role and totally involved with the character. I found it quite hard to believe that this was her first Violetta.
The entire recording is superb. Aside from his Wagner, I have never been a big Solti fan, and I would never have thought his usual sledgehammer approach would work with this opera. But for once, Sir Georg leaves the sledgehammer in the tool box and gives a sensitive, idiomatic performance that makes the music sound scrubbed clean and newly minted. This is quite the finest Italian opera recording I have heard from the maestro.
Lopardo is a fine Alfredo, a little throaty but I like his voice. And he and Gheorghiu have real chemistry. Nucci, our generation's Aldo Protti, gives a solid but unremarkable performance.
I shall return to this recording often. Highly recommended.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 14 November 2008
I hate to burst the bubbles of the "automatic five star" brigade, but you really cannot call this set the best "Traviata" available if you have some knowledge of what is actually out there. I do agree that Gheorghiu's Violetta is enchantingly vocalised and acted, and if she were worthily partnered I would place this recording near the top of the tree, but "La Traviata" has proved a notoriously challenging opera to pull off in the recording studio and a perfect realisation yet remains to be don't hold your breath, given the current state of the recording industry. According to your taste - and I like her very much - perhaps only Fleming could give us another great Violetta on record; meanwhile the likes of Caballe, Callas and, in particular, Moffo and Freni (see my reviews) reign supreme alongside Gheorghiu, who sings divinely but is vocally not as captivating an actress as Callas - nobody is. Solti conducts sensitively without putting any particular marks of individuality on the score.

The problems here are the tight, throaty tenor of Lopardo and the dull, bland Germont of that perennial second-rate baritone Leo Nucci (who had all too short a period of some bloom in the voice back in the 80's and always evinced some nasty vocal faults). As much as I enjoyed Gheorghiu, I found that this set did not hold my attention as much as it should have and ultimately I gave my copy away to return to the other, earlier recordings.
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on 20 April 2010
I cannot understand why they are trying (I mean first of all Decca) to tell us this recording is a masterpiece? Is this politically correct? Why?

To start with, the sound quality is rather regular. Angela Gheorghiu is not at all convincing as Violetta. In effect, she tries to present herself as a prima donna, as one of the reviewers has justly remarked, but the only thing she arrives at is to be very affected on the verge of bad taste. Her voice on this recording is nothing out of extraordinary. I don't think it was a sensation... It is hard to understand. I did enjoy, however, her disks "My world", "Casta Diva" and "Verdi Heroines".
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on 3 May 2006
An outstanding performance of Verdi's masterpiece. Under Sir Georg Solti's Conducting, Angela Gheorghiu is shining like a diamond. There is no doubt that Miss Gheorghiu's voice is one of the greatest not only in this decade but in the whole opera history. Another fascinating thing about this recording is it's actually recorded during the performance in Covent Garden. Unlike the studio recording, in the live performances you can even smell the atmosphere and feel a part of this marvellous art. I recommend this recording to all opera lovers. Magnificant work.
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on 3 January 2016
Very fine. AG is a great voice; Solti on fiery form.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 March 2014
I was fortunate in witnessing the BBC schedule change which broadcast this powerful productIon from Covent Garden, and I then purchased it on DVD and later on CD as well, because it is simply such a great modern performance.

Solti paces the opera wonderfully throughout, eliciting a marvellous response from orchestra, chorus and soloists. In my view, Gheorghiu presents one of the finest and most gravely beautiful portrayals of Violetta, in a rounded characterisation, full of conviction, which is so memorably sung. Her pain is gut-wrenching and whether on DVD or CD I feel it each time I listen. It remains a performance of stature and for me is still her finest opera recording. Lopardo as Alfredo gives a sympathetic finely sung account and Nucci is a strong Germont Pere: although both have serious rivals producing more imaginative finer singing on other sets. Yet, from several versions on CD, I find that I turn to this version and the DG Kleiber set most often, as both of these sets seem to capture in recording something of the essential heart-stopping intensity of this opera. In my collection both of these recordings make essential listening.
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on 17 April 2000
When, oh when will Gheorghiu pair her sumptuous Violetta with hubby Alagna's Alfredo? This is the recording I really want (already hinted at) but Lopardo more than adequately passes muster. Nucci, holds his own too. Solti shepherds the House's orchestra to play above par and they respond admirably but - to be expected from a Strauss/Mozart specialist - his reading is sometimes a little light and romantic and could be accused of lacking some essential Med lyricism. (That being said, his musical protestantism is never Wagnerian!) Nevertheless, this is a fine performance, beuatifully executed, and the solo performances triumph over the very proper North Europeanism - with all the excitment of a live recording!
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on 20 March 2016
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on 8 March 2015
A brilliant singer who sings beautifully and extremely sensitively. I have no hesitation in recommending this version of 'La Boheme'.
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