This verdi masterpiece has been recorded by many artists.Without waisting time lets get on it, Contrubas,the choice of La Traviata is greatly defined by the soprano voice and mostly Act 1 'simpre libera" & Contrubus is not afraid to hit the high notes but what she has is that she has a more controlled voice, her diction of words is clear enough, perhaps personally I would not rate her as the best Violetta but certainly one of the better voices.To me the best Violetta is Victoria De los Angelos with Serafin -EMI even though she is happiest after the taxing Act 1.Now Alfredo, Placido Domingo sings with great artistry, young and ardent man in love with a Violetta.Once again the choice is defined by the suitable Alfredo and Domingo suits the part very well, his "felice ......." "romorse infamous...." "o parigi o cara' excellent all the way. To me nothing is as touching deep down than the infamous selfserving Germont Pere sung by the incredible Sherril Milnes, his "pure angelo ....'is excellent especially when he tells Violetta that one day your beauty will fade....you are young and beautiful ....allow Alfredo to be with his family.....etc but my favourate part is "Di Provenza.....aria, for some reason I dont know why CD compilations ignore this aria,there is a lot of "Libiamo....." already. the last Act is done magnificently. Why then 4 stars? I guess it is the accent of Cotrubas as Violetta, she is not Italian enough for me personally. Well, who is at the top of the list? Victoria De Los Angelos-Serafin EMI ADD 1959, Dame Sutherland-Pritchard 1962 Decca ADD, Contrubus-Carlos Kleiber ADD,Sills-Ceccato -EMI, Scotto-DG, Scotto with Carreras(Opera Doro)live 1973, Anna Moffo-Erich Kleiber, Angela Gheorghiu- Sir Georg Solti( with an uninspiring Nucci as Germont Pere)Caballe-Prete(bad conducting though) Forget Tebaldi's bad and bland recording, Callas-Ghione 1953(bad sound though), Tiziana Fabbriccini-Muti with Roberto Alagna(Sony) have also got rave reviews except to say that Fabbriciini was praised prematurely, some crtics say.Kiri Kinawa has not made a visible mark on La traviata (Decca)too old Alfredo Kraus as Alfredo does not help(he still sounded good though). The ultimate La Traviata for me is Angela Gheorghui with Ramon Vargas and Roberto Frontali by the La Scala crew but it is on DVD & blueray only for now. This magnificent CD by Carlos Kleiber brings you on to the drama well conducted with an alert Cotrubas, best Alfredo and best Germont Pere. Buy this with no reservations it is one of the best La Traviata. Take it from the fan who owns 11 La Traviatas.
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