TILL H SIEGERS | Jersey City, NJ & London, UK | 05/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"firstly, the price is hard to beat...Zeani was an outstanding Violetta. Her ability to shade her voice is uncanny, as is her delivery of a superb characterization. Herlea, an absolutely amazing baritone who was left behind the iron curtain for too long, is out of this world. The timbre of his voice is luxurious. The Alfredo is not quite of the same caliber, but nothing to be ashamed of either. The orchestra is a tad untidy here and there...but the recording ranks up there because of its Violetta and Germont as well as a generally palpable sense of commitment from all the artists involved. It really does all come together beautifully. Highly recommended!"
A Surprisingly Good Traviata For The Price
Tom Moran | New York, NY United States | 09/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are those sopranos of whom everyone has heard -- women like Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi and Joan Sutherland -- and then there are the lesser names, not necessarily because of talent or vocal ability, but simply because the vagaries of an operatic career didn't allow them to achieve the renown of their far better publicized peers.Sopranos in this latter category include Anita Cerquetti (who gave up her singing career after making only one opera recording), Leyla Gencer (who, while she appeared in many of the great opera houses of Europe, never made a commercially released studio recording) and Virginia Zeani, who is featured on this complete (but apparently cut) recording of Verdi's "La Traviata."From looking at this CD (and glancing at the price) you might be tempted to think that this is a cheap and cheesy recording meant to be sold at K Mart to rubes who think that Andrea Bocelli is a great tenor. But, believe it or not, you'd be wrong. I own six "Traviatas" with sopranos as disparate as Rosa Ponselle and Maria Callas, and this recording is competitive with the best of them.Virginia Zeani is in splendid voice and as passionate as just about any Violetta I can think of (excepting possibly Callas). Jean Bobescu leads a nicely conducted account of Verdi's score, and the rest of the cast doesn't have a weak link.So if you're a Verdian or an operatic newbie and looking for an inexpensive introduction to a great opera, this CD is going to be right up your alley. While there are other recordings (including Callas' "Lisbon Traviata" and Toscanini's dress rehearsal for his radio broadcast with Albanese and Peerce) that I would rate higher than this one, for the price you pretty much can't go wrong buying this set. If it has a rival in the "cheap but good" category, it's Maria Callas' only studio recording, made in 1951 in mono for Cetra, which Warner-Fonit has put out at a similarly inexpensive price.This recording, however, is in stereo, and while it has no libretto it does have a synopsis. So go ahead and buy this recording, and you may feel inspired at some point to hear another, more famous soprano in the role of Verdi's passionate but doomed heroine."
Tom Moran | 03/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"VIRGINIA ZEANI WAS ONE OF THOSE SOPRANOS WHO LOST OUT TO THE "BIG NAMES" ESPECIALLY ON DISC HOWEVER SHE HAD AN ILLUSTRIOUS CAREER ON THE ROAD SHALL WE SAY. A DIVA,PROFESSIONAL ALWAYS, AND A TALENT THAT WOULD RIVAL THE BEST,SHE WAS VIOLETTA.
HERE THE ORCHESTRA IS A LITTLE LAZY.THE secondary ROLES ARE ACCEPTABLE BUT PLEASE BUY THIS FOR ZEANI. YOU WILL LOVE HER."
This is Verdi! This is "La Traviata"!
Nadine | 03/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Virginia Zeani, one of the best Violetta ever! How I missed her this February 2006 at the Met! Her lyricism and then her passion of "Sempre libera", the intensity in the duet with powerhouse baritone Herlea (his legato!), the drama of the last two acts! Beautiful recording, excellent classical conducting in the best tradition, by Maestro Jean Bobescu, good tenor Ion Buzea, splendid Elisabeta Neculce (mezzo and great teacher) et al. Highly recommended!"