Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giuseppe Verdi, Giuseppe Patanè, Teresa Stratas|
Verdi - La Traviata / Stratas · Wunderlich · Prey · Patane
Wunderlich is Exquisite...
Dan | University of Illinois | 01/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This little-known live recording was a rather groundbreaking find for me. Being a tremendous Fritz Wunderlich fan, I am always on the watch for recordings featuring the famous tenor, but have always been saddened by the limited number of recordings of him singing in any language other than German. Because this performance took place in Munich and has a mostly German-speaking cast, I assumed that the work would be done in German, which is usually how Fritz performed Italian opera. But I was shocked to discover that it is actually in Italian--I just had to buy it. Well, Fritz takes to the Italian language quite well. He really is an incredible Alfredo in this recording, and if for no other reason, you should buy it because of how rarely he sang in Italian (or at least how rarely he was recorded doing so). In all of my searchings, this is the only thing in Italian other than a single excerpt of "Ombra mai fu" that I have been able to come across. The tempos are superb, Stratas (Her first attempt at Violetta) is a little overworked on the first disc, but on the second, she is quite good. I am not a fan of Hermann Prey (Germont) and find him too light and shallow to be a convincing father to Alfredo. But Fritz really outshines the rest with his exquisite breath control, superb lyrical line, and obvious emotional connection. This is a must for any Fritz fan, and a fine recording of the opera as well."
A lovely Traviata that fills the hunger for more Wunderlich
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 03/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think the other reviewers have covered most of the bases -- this Traviata finds Wunderlich actually singing in Italian (most German opera houses were slow to convert to original-language productions, the tradition being to sing everything in German) and it fills out the handful of complete Wunderlich opera recordings outside Mozart. Thanks to the good sound and all-round good cast, there's a lot to like here.
But calling it "the best" is going overboard. Glorious as he is vocally, Wunderlich's Italian is by-the-numbers; his isn't an idomatic Alfredo. Prey is even more lost stylistically, not to mention that he sounds as young as his "son"; there's a good deal of hamminess as well. Straas is the only lead singer who sounds to the manner born, but her portrayal is a bit generic and not as emotionally intense as she would later become in this role. Patane, admittedly skillful in keeping things together, is far from inspired in the pit.
I've tried to be objective, since this is an expensive La Traviata, even at Amazon Marketplace. Overall, I return to it mainly to bask in the luxury of Wunderlich's voice and Stratas's touching Violetta."
The Greatest La Traviata Is Also The Least Known
Rudy Avila | Lennox, Ca United States | 09/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a rare treasure that everyone who loves opera ought to own. Who would have thought this recording existed ? Teresa Stratas is the greatest interpretor of Violetta as far as taking the role dramatically and with convincing powers of acting. Her singing voice is beautiful, expressive, lyrical, sweet, dramatic, tender, romantic, noble. She is the perfect soprano ever to grace the stage as Violetta in La Traviata, one of the most well known, most staged operas. Most people own and enjoy the successful recording of Maria Callas singing the role in the 50's. Teresa Stratas was so much like Callas vocally and even in looks but because at this time in the 50's she was unknown and not famous it was very hard for people to compare. Stratas has the Callas style of voice- dramatic, powerful, emotional, and her acting is just as dramatic and convincing. She is however superior to Callas in many ways. Her singing voice is much more pleasant to hear. She would gain fame later in the 1982 Franco Zefferelli movie of La Traviat which was filmed in Paris starring Placido Domingo as Alfredo. That movie finds her voice in a mature, more experienced voice but lacks the beauty and expression she has in this recording. Here, her voice is so young, so perfect. She is even better here than in the movie, though she did a good job in the movie considering she was a much older woman by then. Tenor Fritz Wunderlich is Alfredo in thsi recording and true to his fame, he is absolutely brilliant. Birgitte Fassbaender, a mezzo soprano who would later become a soprano, takes on the role of Violetta's friend Flora. Hermann Prey is Germont. This recording is wonderful. The beauty and the drama is combined to make a truly satisfying opera."