It's astonishing how refined and intense a performance Callas gives here. I know about the many plaudits for her live recordings but this is still wonderful - another league to her contemporaries, though the recording by De Los Angeles under Serafin is another one to have, from a few years later.
This original Cetra recording has many cuts to the score but that's to be expected and the Naxos re-mastering is impressive. Some of you may dislike the foggy sound produced by both Savarese as Germont and Albanese as Alfredo, but I'm fond of both, and Savarese, in particular, demonstrates great control in his pianos during Di Provenza.
Santini does an able job with the Turin Radio band, but it's Callas that predictably impresses here. Her voice is secure, compared to some of her live recordings and she just knows where to put the pins. A must-have.
This recording of La Traviata is of a "live" performance in The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on the 5th May 1967. Mirella Freni takes the lead as Violetta and the conductor is the late Carlo Maria Giulini. It was Giulini's name that attracted me to this version. Unfortunately the recording sounds like it was made secretly by a member of the audience on a portable tape recorder. It is of extremely poor quality and I would advise anyone considering purchasing it (even for 1p) not to waste their money.