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Verdi: La Traviata
 
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Verdi: La Traviata

13 Feb. 2012 | Format: MP3

£12.98 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for £8.37 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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Song Title Artist
Time
Popularity  
30
1
4:36
30
2
5:14
30
3
3:12
30
4
2:37
30
5
3:32
30
6
3:21
30
7
1:21
30
8
3:01
30
9
1:06
30
10
4:02
30
11
1:57
30
12
2:09
30
13
0:52
30
14
0:47
30
15
2:59
30
16
3:12
30
17
3:46
30
18
4:26
30
19
1:11
30
20
3:31
30
21
4:21
30
22
2:25
30
23
4:51
Disc 2
30
1
3:56
30
2
3:05
30
3
0:36
30
4
4:11
30
5
2:13
30
6
0:25
30
7
1:40
30
8
1:53
30
9
1:59
30
10
2:39
30
11
4:39
30
12
4:41
30
13
1:52
30
14
3:26
30
15
0:46
30
16
1:48
30
17
4:22
30
18
1:29
30
19
2:18
30
20
1:27
30
21
0:33
30
22
3:16
30
23
1:26
30
24
7:57
30
25
5:50
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2003
  • Release Date: 13 Feb. 2012
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Regis Records
  • Copyright: 2003 Regis Records
  • Total Length: 2:16:56
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B007A81JTG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It has long been the fashion to be loftily and regretfully dismissive of this recording, not least on account of the contract forbidding Callas to make another studio recording of Traviata within 5 years. Yes, that is a matter of huge regret, but what about the merits (or otherwise) of the product we actually have here?

The first thing to say is that Callas is in very fine voice, being before she took 5 stone (or whatever it was) off her voice as well as her body (to quote the great Arthur Carton). So many of the effects that she strives for in the recorded live performances come off beautifully here. It is the received opinion (even on the cover of this CD set!) that her performance is less perceptive than it later became. Less OTT emotional I'll grant, but do we want that for everyday listening at home? Well, sometimes, but this is a most affecting performance, causing tears. And of course it has the usual Callas effect of making any other Violetta seem lacking by comparison.

The third received wisdom is that the conductor (Santini), Alfredo and Germont are inadequate. Santini is not Giulini, and I often wished for more rubato. But he holds the show together pretty well – I could have done with a bit more punch leading up to “Amami Alfredo”, and the first statement of “Pieta gran Dio di me” in II ii is a bit perfunctory from both Callas and Santini, but adds force to the more heartfelt repetitions that follow.

I find the Alfredo better than most, not too beefy (keep that for Manrico), good clean singing in Brindisi and Act II aria (no cabaletta). I’m less keen on the Germont, a fine voice though lacking a true legato line, and for the earlier part of the great scena with Violetta he sounds (like Mr Gladstone) as if he’s addressing a public meeting.
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Format: Audio CD
SOURCE:
Studio recording made at the Auditorium RAI in Torino, probably from September 15-19, 1953. Originally issued by CETRA in its typically acidic sound.

SOUND:
Generally satisfactory early 1950s mono. Voices are well caught, as is usual for the period, but the orchestra and chorus are not as well served. All-in-all, this set is perfectly listenable for anyone but narrow-minded audiophiles, if approached with a little goodwill.

CAST:
Violetta Valery - Maria Callas (soprano, you better believe it!)
Alfredo Germont - Francesco Albanese (tenor)
Giorgio Germont, Alfredo's father - Ugo Savarese (baritone)
Flora Bervoix - Ede Gandolfo Marietti (mezzo-soprano)
Il Visconte Gaston De Letorieres - Mariano Caruso (tenor)
Il Marchese d'Obigny - Gino Bianchi (bass)
Il Barone Douphol - Alberto Albertini (bass)
Annina, Violetta's maid and faithful companion to the end - Ines Marietti (soprano); Dottore Grenvil - Mario Zorgniotti (bass)
Giuseppe - Franco Rossi (tenor)

CONDUCTOR:
Gabriele Santini with the Symphony Orchestra of Radio Italiana, Torino, and the CETRA Chorus.

COMMENTARY:
This is Maria Callas' studio "Traviata." It was made when she was at the height of her vocal powers and setting the operatic world aflame. Here, we have Callas portraying her greatest role: La Divina.

There has been a great deal of talk about her short career, often relating to rising dramatic development coupled with descending vocal resources after a too-brief time at her peak. Doubtless, there is some truth in that, but every piece of biographical material I have ever found on the woman makes it clear that she was a very variable performer.
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