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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raise your joyous chalices to Dame Joan Sutherland
Joan Sutherland has often been critiscised as "swalloing her vowel sounds and slurring her consonants". Whilst she does seemingly do this, her diction is not nearly as bad as some people make it out to be. Diction aside, her singing, espeically in this recording of "La Traviata" is fautless, each not is hit with ear splitting precision, however not...
Published on 28 Feb. 2002 by wickerwork2000@hotmail.com

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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BIG SING, big singers
In many ways, this was Sutherland's return to form, for the much criticised mooning is largely absent. The voice is firm, rich, and she's fully in control of it. And for me that's the first problem: There's just no getting away from the fact that here is a very mature, matronly heroine, who sounds in the pink of health. Violetta is supposed to be young and desperately...
Published on 4 Dec. 2007 by lionheart


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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raise your joyous chalices to Dame Joan Sutherland, 28 Feb. 2002
Joan Sutherland has often been critiscised as "swalloing her vowel sounds and slurring her consonants". Whilst she does seemingly do this, her diction is not nearly as bad as some people make it out to be. Diction aside, her singing, espeically in this recording of "La Traviata" is fautless, each not is hit with ear splitting precision, however not only is this recording (especially Sempre Libera) a superb showcase for the human voice, embodied by both stars, but it is also a perfect example of the amazing results produced by a conductor attentive not only to the score but to the differing stlyes of the singers. Perhaps being married to the star is an unfair advantage, but the result justifies this!
When listening to this recording I am contiunally in awe of Dame Joan Sutherland, her voice is/was on a completely different level to the leading sopranos of today, elegant, refined, yet keenly aware of the dramatic merit of what is being sung without over emphasis. It is widely acknowledged that nobody can ever hope to reach the levels of recognition set by Maria Callas, yet Joan Sutherland - recognised by Callas as a superb singer, is a very close second.
In my opinion, having listened to other recordings of "La Traviata" this is the definitive, better than Sutherland's earlier, yet perfectly admirable recording, and better than Angela Gheorghiu's attempt at the role. Gheorghiu's "Sempre Libera" is overdone, and vocally uncontrolled - whilst this conveys the emotion the peice is difficult to listen to. In the recorded form of any musical dramatic work a healthy balance between emotion and elegance must be struck, this balance is perfectly hit by Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti.
Dominic Mattos
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, 24 Aug. 2004
Being something of a Traviata-holic I can only say that in my opinion this is the very best, the definitive "La Traviata". The main attraction is of course a young but exciting Pavarotti. His singing is breathtaking and spell binding. Not only does he make the hairs on your neck stand up, he reduced me to shivers of pleasure. What I also got and didn't expect is the sheer joy and beauty of Joan Sutherland's haunting voice. This recording is so stunning that I can only take it in small doses. It moves me to tears.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 7 July 2007
If you are looking for a purely musical Traviata, then this is the one to go for. It captures Sutherland, Pavarotti and Manuguerra in exciting form. Of course, no one makes any attempt at conveying the drama, but that is part of the fun. A bargain at Amazon's price, well recorded, superbly sung, and with an extensive essay and a libretto with full translations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Divine, 25 Mar. 2014
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This c.d. has been in my possession for years. I purchased this for a friend who just saw a production done
in our city. It was recommended to me as a classical opera and it's magnificent. The best part is that there are
translations in English, French, German for the Italian challenged.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant., 23 Sept. 2013
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These are two stupendous singers, the like of which we will not see again. A wonderfully engineered recording of one of Verdi's best works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent & a pleasant surprise with it!, 7 Nov. 2012
I bought this for my fathers birthday. He requested that if possible could he have la traviata featuring Pavarotti, I searched all the high street shops with no luck, then found this. I thought it was a little pricey just for a cd but my father could not be happier. Not only a double disc but also a book!! 5 stars all round!
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BIG SING, big singers, 4 Dec. 2007
In many ways, this was Sutherland's return to form, for the much criticised mooning is largely absent. The voice is firm, rich, and she's fully in control of it. And for me that's the first problem: There's just no getting away from the fact that here is a very mature, matronly heroine, who sounds in the pink of health. Violetta is supposed to be young and desperately ill...

Some singers allow little vocal frailties into their singing to bring the character alive (Cotrubas, Gheorghiu, Callas). Sutherland never does, and her attempts at being expressive strike me as...manufactured. She sounds like a not-so-young diva enjoying a big sing. But in a role she's grown out of. The artful drawing on the cover, which attempts to take back the years, says it all really.

Bonynge conducts well enough and opens out the cuts; Pavarotti is youthful and fresh-voiced, but a bit of a show off. Manuguerra a decent Germont. Sound is a bit "digital" for my taste, over- blown to match the performance.

Sutherland fans will love it - but it doesn't find the heart of the score for me. Try Cotrubas/Domingo with Kleiber of DG...Gheorghiu on Decca...Callas (all her recordings have rough sound)...for an idea of how the opera can draw you into the drama, rather than leave your ears ringing like this one does.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely version of a wonderful opera, 17 Oct. 2014
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A great partnership and great voices all round - pure and unstrained. I shall be listening to this often.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully sung, but rather unexciting, 8 July 2009
By 
Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti unquestionably have beautiful voices, and they sing beautifully on this recording. Yet, somehow, this recording leaves me a little cold. Somehow, the engineering doesn't sound that great: the actual sound lacks immediacy and excitement. The other failing, to my mind, is the lack of emotion from the singers - music is one aspect, but where is the drama? It doesn't help that Sutherland really is a stranger to the consonant. It's actually difficult to pick up where you are in the libretto if Sutherland is singing. This might be slightly harsh; Italian is, after all the native language of Pavarotti, and not her. However, it does pose a real problem, as opera is not merely the expression of a story through music, but through language as well.

I'd say it was beautifully sung, but lacks even a hint of gusto or passion. That might be heresy when dealing with two of the greatest singers of their generation, but it's what I hear. It's beautiful to listen to in the background, but it doesn't involve you in the way that a disc recorded with a very stagey sound should.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Sutherland's best effort ..., 5 May 2012
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Michel (Montreal, Quebec) - See all my reviews
Joan Sutherland recorded the role of Violetta twice, in 1962 under John Pritchard, and this one in 1979 under Richard Bonynge. Never a natural for the part, her first recording was nonetheless a success for the sheer beauty of the voice and glory of the singing and a strong cast (Bergonzi, Merrill). However, this remake is not so great. The voice per say is still impressive - agile as ever and brilliant at the top - but it has lost a good deal of its special radiance. To put it bluntly, she sounds old and charmless, and I don't find her diction or feeling for a Verdian phrase any better than before to compensate. Luciano Pavarotti and Matteo Manuguerra on the other hand are excellent but I would have liked to hear them in a different setting. Bonynge has done some magnificient work in the French repertoire but like his wife he has little feeling for Verdi. Dissapointing release.
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Verdi: La Traviata (Bonynge)
Verdi: La Traviata (Bonynge) by Dame Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti and Matteo Manuguerra and Richard Bonynge and The National Philharmonic Orchestra
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