Capsir is the star.
Charles Weinstein | Austin, TX USA | 09/19/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This disc of highlights from the 1928 complete recording made for the English Columbia company presents a peek into the past of a performance by the great soprano Mercedes Capsir. Capsir had a distinguished career in Europe and South America; she did not appear in the United States often, if at all. As is evident in this recording, she had an excellent technique and a voice capable of instant changes of volume with complete ease. Her Violetta is a very believable rendition. It is too bad we have so little of her considerable artistry. [There is a very excellent and famous version of Rigoletto with Ricardo Straciarri in which she is the Gilda available on several different labels.] The tenor and baritone are O.K, but nothing special. I have not heared of either. The tenor, Cecil, sounds a bit to nasal, almost French in character. The baritone, Galeffi, sings well, but his voice sounds too light to give the impression that he is the elder Germont. The orchestra and chorus are fine. The conductor, Lorenzo Molajoli, was the "house" conductor at La Scala for all the English Columbia recordigs made during this period and he knows his way around the Italian Opera repertoire like he has been there many times. The recording sounds remarkably well, considering it was made at the very dawn of electical recording. The voices of the soloists are all clear, well focused and foward. The orchestra and chorus somewhat less so, but not bad at all. The price is certainly right and you can hear a very fine soprano who is not very well known to us and deserves to have more people aware of her artistry...Not a first or only Traviata, but a good second recording."