A great Traviata
Daniel G. Madigan | Redmond, WA United States | 12/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set has Edita Gruberova singing in top form, all her scooping cast aside, which one finds in abundance in her Lucia under Richard Bonynge. Here, however, she makes ravishing use of those bits of tone that only she can produce: those instances of coloratura and dramatic legato with little asides and small florishes of style that suggest her intelligent approach and her high degree of musical involvement in this role. She does this in her I Puritani and her Anna Bolena, less so in Roberto Deveraux and Maria Stuarda(both sets). Listen to Addio del passato and the Sempre Libra...ravishing, yes, but there are again those nuances learned from Callas that she makes her own. A very singualr perform,ance, and extremely moving with its detail and cry for pity throughout..from the start even. Neil Schicoff is excellent, not an unworthy Alfredo at all! His is a great lyric tenor voice that should have been in the top line, but because of some bad moves in his career he appears only occasionally on disc and on the stage..more often now at the Met but wihtout the luster of former days.His Alfredo is intense and dramatic and very passionate.Giorgio Zancanaro is definitive as Germont, as he has been in many Verdi roles, especially in I Vespri Siciliani(the DVD of this has been released and I recommend it for him alone), and Don Carlo. Here he is moving, very authoratative, and he has a commanding ring to his voice, full of pathos and hatred for himself at the close. A magnificent achievement, and the other two are with him all the way.Buy this La Traviata and Callas's with De Stefano, and Scotto's and Sills', but do not miss this plaintive recording, so aware of mortality and its encroachment."
Not bad at all
J. Luis Juarez Echenique | Mexico City | 01/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is true Edita Gruberova is not the warmest of sopranos, but in her own way, she gives a very honest and accomplished performance. But what's most important, hers is an individual, honest and believable Violetta. Her Alfredo is only passable, but Giorgio Zancanaro's Germont is one of the finest ever recorded. Even if this Traviata does not displace Callas or Scotto in our affections, it's far better than most digital versions, including Studer's, Gheorghiu's and Fabbriccini's."