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Verdi: La Traviata Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, October 11, 1991
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Product Details

  • Performer: Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Della Jones, Matteo Manuguerra, William Elvin, et al.
  • Orchestra: National Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Richard Bonynge
  • Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
  • Audio CD (October 11, 1991)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Decca Records / London Records
  • ASIN: B0000041Y9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,011 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Preludio
2. La Traviata: Atto I - Dell'invito trascorsa
3. La Traviata: Atto I - Brindisi: Libiamo, ne' lieti calici
4. La Traviata: Atto I - Che e cio?
5. La Traviata: Atto I - Un di felice, eterea
6. La Traviata: Atto I - E strano! e strano! ... Ah! fors'e lui
7. La Traviata: Atto I - Follie! ... Sempre libera
8. La Traviata: Atto II - Scena I - Lunge da lei...
9. La Traviata: Atto II - Scena I - De' miei bollenti spiriti
10. La Traviata: Atto II - Scena I - O mio rimorso!
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. La Traviata: Atto II - Scena II - Avrem lieta di maschere la notte...Noi siamo zingarelle
2. La Traviata: Atto II - Scena II - Alfredo! Voi! ... Or tutti a me ... Ogni suo aver
3. La Traviata: Atto II - Scena II - Di sprezzo degno
4. La Traviata: Atto III - Annina? - Comandate?
5. La Traviata: Atto III - 'Teneste la promessa... ' E tardi... Addio del passato...
6. La Traviata: Atto III - Baccanale: Largo al quadrupede
7. La Traviata: Atto III - Signora -- Che t'accade?
8. La Traviata: Atto III - Parigi, o cara...Ah! Gran Dio! Morir si giovine
9. La Traviata: Atto III - Ah Violetta! ... Se una pudica vergine

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

It's hard to resist such a starry cast, and Sutherland-Pavarotti fans will want this no matter what. Luciano's legions will find more to crow about, though, for he's in fine voice, creating an Alfredo to remember with his distinctive lyric tenor endowing the arias and even the recitatives with a bright sound and excellent diction that lets you understand every word. But Sutherland was a better Violetta in her first traversal of the role. By 1979, when this set was made, her impressive high notes remained intact, but the rest of the voice was showing wear, her diction was muffled, and dramatic values were underplayed. Manuguerra's a fine Germont and Bonynge's conducting is unsteady, tending to drag in the latter acts. This set will give pleasure to many, but do investigate those of Callas and de los Angeles on EMI and Cotrubas with Kleiber on DG, among others. --Dan Davis

Customer Reviews

His fresh voice suits this work well.
Steven A. Peterson
I can never spell this Baritone's name ....Mr. Man (you know who) is rather stolid and boring.........but I think that is a success.
G. Golding
This is still one of my favorite opera recordings.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This recording gave me a really big surprise. As a great admirer of the supreme art of Maria Callas, I always was somewhat lukewarm on the histrionic abilities of Joan Sutherland, though I yield to none in my admiration of her vocal and technical accomplishments (who in this century sang like Sutherland in her prime?). Her first recording of Traviata left me cold and indifferent, but my feelings about this second recording are very different indeed. Sutherland's work here is not that of a mere vocal technician, but that of a true artist. She makes Violetta something grand and tragic all at the same time. Her singing has gained authority and real stature.The voice is still amazing but what she does with it on this recording is even more amazing. Luciano Pavarotti, expectedly, sounds wonderful, and he opens up the cabaletta of his aria in the beginning of Act II to wonderful effect. Everything in this recording works very, very well, and Bonynge outdoes himself by creating a "Traviata" that really matters. Yes, Callas was a great Violetta, but Sutherland, especially as heard on this recording, is great as well. Would it only be that we could have two sopranos like Sutherland and Callas singing today!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 13, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I first owned this version of "La Traviata" ("The Wayward One") as one of the earliest digital records and distinctly remembering laughing at loud when we got to the famous Act II, Scene I aria "Amami, Alfredo" and Joan Sutherland decides to hold the high note far longer than I have ever heard it held before. There is something about the audacity of that note that is rather delightful. Now, despite my family name I know nothing about the Italian language and therefore cannot judge about the Italian diction of Sutherland or anybody else in the cast, and while I understand how those who speak the language can be infuriated by such inaccuracies, I have to admit they do not bother me and I am content to listen in blissful ignorance of my native tongue.

I have often used "La Traviata" in class, usually on unsuspecting literature students for whom I screen the Zeffirelli film version, but I had also used this CD when talking about the function of music. In this regard I play the overture to show how it effectively sets up the opera. Not only is the beginning unusually quiet, compelling the audience to be quiet and listen, it also went against the conventions of the time, which dictated an opera should have a grand opening (exactly what Verdi uses in the opening of Act I). Furthermore, the first part of the overture employs the "death" motif, which recurs at the start of Act III when Violetta is in bed just about consumed by consumption. The second half of the overture functions to establish in the mind of the audience the theme of Violetta's short but significant aria. I always tell students that Verdi wants them to remember that theme because it is going to come at the highpoint of the opera, the point at which Violetta makes the fatal choice to deny herself happiness.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
La Stupenda is a senior citizen here, almost 60... Yet, it's just amazing to me that she can still sing Violetta! Granted, the voice is not the perfection of an instrument that it was in the 1960's, it's still magnificent. Yes, Pavorotti sings well also. What I do miss here, however, is the soaring high notes of the young Dame Joan ( the ring, the timbre, the bigness of the high C's, D's, E's in alt ). Yes, she can still hit those notes with ease, but gone are the fullness, and the sensual quality of Sutherland's youth ( which was, by the way, incomparable! ) Yes, maybe I'm dwelling, but to have heard Sutherland in her prime was to have heard the Queen of Song, perhaps of all time.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I'm usually don't buy anything that Dame Joan did during the 80's. Her prime being the several decades before that. But I really was surprised by her here. Her Violetta was just heart-breaking here, and her coloratura and high notes really quite good for that period. She was 56 here, and she sings Sempre Libera as if it was a simple vocalise. There are still some wide vibrato here and there, but overall the voice is surprisingly fresh for a "later" Joan performance. Of course, she is still La Stupenda, the greatest colortura of our time. Pavorotti always sing much better when he is cast with Joan. It's so obvious that the two great singers adore each other. This is a wonderful collaboration, as always. We are indeed fortunate to have so many recordings of that dynamic duo.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By phanna on September 18, 2000
Format: Audio CD
My basic idea that Joan Sutherland is the incarnation of all evil has been being challenged for a long time, but this is what really make me look up into the light. Joan is delicious here! Everyone whines about her lack of enunciation (no diction! no diction!) but only in the duet with Germont in ActII do things get even a little hazy (and this isn't bad either). All her solo work, especially Sempre libera and Teneste la promessa are excellent, and you can catch every word. Joan didn't sing "Libera" like I thought she would - the note at the end (an E flat I think) doesn't go as high as usual - the aria's not really as violently indulgent as it perhaps could have been - but apparently she was 60 at this point, so brava diva. I always think that the letter reading scene, which requires the actress to speak, not sing, is the most telling, and Sutherland goes it wonderfully. It brought tears to my eyes. But of course, as is often forgotten, the soprano isn't the WHOLE opera. Luciano goes very nicely, really smarmy in his spat scene with Violetta. The chorus seems to me to be somewhat mediocre with vague diction (maybe that's why Joan sounds so good?) But all in all I really loved this. So nice, so sad, so free, so good. P.S. Don't let the chubby Sutherland and Pavarotti cherubs on the cover throw you off.
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