Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Arturo La Porta, Leonard Warren, Giuseppe Verdi|
Verdi: La Traviata
Listen to Samples
A deeply satisfying "Traviata', beautifully sung and conduct
D. J. Edwards | Cheshire, CT United States | 03/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This has often been referred to as a 'classical' performance but has been out of the catalogue for too long a time. Now it can be judged on its own merits. Alan Blythe's Gramophone review is right on; "You would be lucky indeed to hear today three principals with voices so appropriate to their roles and with the wherewithal as regards technique to fulfill all the exigent requirements their roles call for". I really respect Blythe in his reviews. When he dislikes some performance or performer he is honest but not denegrading. Warren is excellent: his rich timber, powerful register and warmth bring back memories of his monumental performances in the 50s at the Met. His Verdi has rarely been equalled. Valletti had a beautiful light, fluid tenor. He might be a little over-parted in this role, but he sings with immaculately pure tone. In the two duets with Carteri he is truly in his realm. Carteri sings very well, has a clear and pleasant sound. Her final aria is exquisite along with the rest of the closing scene. Too bad the aria is cut as it often was in those days. Classics Today.com is really brutal in its review of this recording: it really goes over the scathing top. The tempo is slow, but not dull, Monteux lets the opera play itself; after all Violetta is not an Elektra or Alfredo a Siegmund. Every opera lover has their favorite Traviata and this one deserves to be heard at least. Too bad Testament likes high prices. Their booklets, presentation, recording are top notch but over $20 per disc is pretty steep. Shop around. Five stars anyway, The Callas Violetta and the Traviata dvd with Gruberova and Shicoff are on another plain. Why compare? .... Enjoy the performance for the pleasure it so plentifully affords. Thanks to Testament for making it available."
One of my favorite recordings of this opera
Timothy R. Carpenter | Philadelphia, PA | 11/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first owned this recording when it was reissued on RCA Victrola and have been waiting for it to be transferred to CD for the past 20 years. I'm glad it's available. (It is also available - in inferior, irritating sound - on the Andromeda label.)
Although there are many, many recordings of Verdi's "La Traviata" from which to choose, there are no "definitive" recordings of it. There are several with near perfect elements, though: I enjoy the Violettas of Ponselle, Cebotari, Callas (La Scala and Lisbon), Carteri, Moffo, Sutherland, Caballe, Stratas, Zeani, Lorengar, Cotrubas and Gheorghiu; the Alfredos of Rosvange, DiStefano, Kraus, Bergonzi, Wunderlich and Domingo; and the Germonts of Merrill, Bastianini, Warren and Prey. Conductors, unfortunately, seem to have a difficult time pulling all the elements together to create a satisfying performance. Serafin and Kleiber do it and, for me, so does Monteux. As with all recordings before the early 60's (Sutherland's first Violetta, I think...), this one observes the traditional cuts. Perhaps they tighten the action but I think them musically indefensible. Still, Monteux turns in a performance I find quite satisfying; it is slower than most others and the phrasing is elegant. This approach may not please everyone, but it helped me listen more intently to the orchestra than I usually do and I came away with a greater appreciation for the opera and Monteux's conducting.
Carteri's voice is a gorgeous, sensuous instrument; she sings beautifully and creates a warm, affecting portrait of the doomed courtesan. Valletti is a bit light weight for Alfredo, but he sings musically. Leonard Warren almost overpowers the role of Alfredo's father, but his big, rich voice and oversized personality make Germont more believable and less hectoring than is usual.
Testament provides good packaging, notes, a full libretto and some photos of the cast. The mono sound is fine and there is a bonus in the form of arias from Trovatore and Forza del Destino with Warren and the Act I duet from Simon Boccanegra with Warren and Astrid Varney. The one big drawback is the premium price Testament charges for its (licensed) recordings. If you can handle that I recommend you give this recording a listen."