Verdi: La Traviata
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Top Customer Reviews
Beginning with a sterling cast - the incomparably beautiful and musically gifted Anna Netrebko as Violetta, the equally handsome and gifted Rolando Villazon as Alfredo, and the always dashing and vocally distinguished Thomas Hampson as Germont - this is as credible as any Traviata staged. The staging in modern dress apparently worked in Salzburg but we have only a few photos in the 2 CD set to prove that. The orchestra is the venerable Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Carlo Rizzi, with no less than the Mozarteum Orchester providing the stage music. But the ingredients only serve as calling cards if the opera does not work as a whole, and here everything is in place.
Anna Netrebko has a very rich lyric soprano voice and has an extraordinary range through which she sings most comfortably.Read more ›
The incredible Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is one reason this La Traviata is superior. The very first chords of the prelude are ethereal and poignant, and give a perfect start to the opera. Thanks to the VPO and the chorus, the excitement of the party scene, and the tension and drama of the gambling scene, come right through your speakers. When the VPO is called to be front and center, they are brilliant. When they are accompaniment, they play with perfect balance and mood. Rizzi does a brilliant job conducting this opera.
The principals were fantastic. Rolando Villazon was a perfect Alfredo. He has a glorious lyric tenor voice, sometimes almost a little big for Netrebko. I think Villazon hit the nail on the head with his characterization. His "Ebben? Che diavol fate?" was sublime. Villazon concentrated less on singing everything beautifully, and more on singing with proper intention. You can plainly discern Alfredo's emotional state, whether or not you have the libretto in front of you. His rage in the gambling scene confrontation with Violetta was chilling.
Thomas Hampson is one of the great baritones of our day. Like the others is the cast, he is not note-perfect 100% of the time. But, he is note-perfect most of the time, and you would be hard pressed to find a better characterization of Germont. His most important aria and scene, "Ne rispondi d'un padre all'affetto?" was brilliant.
Anna Netrebko is a Violetta for the ages.Read more ›
However, as we listen to the recording, we conclude that, as lovely as Netrebko sounds in elegiac parts like "Ah, fors'è lui" or "Dite alla giovine", she can be a much more colourful and technically effective singer than she sounds here. After a bad start at Act One, she joins Villazón in an ethereal "Un dì felice, eterea" and then sings "Ah, fors'è lui" with a very nuanced phrasing. Her "Dite alla giovine" is stylish, resigned and beautifully shaped, but it'd be even more exciting if, in the rest of the duet, she sang with that electrifying presence of Gheorghiu. Really remarkable is the end of Act Three, "Alfredo, di questo core", where Netrebko's full and rounded upper notes shine wonderfully. During Act Four, she succeeds with the recitative "Teneste la promessa", properly urgent and desperate, and sings a very committed and beautiful "Addio del passato". Obviously, Netrebko isn't still a completely polished and mature Violetta, because this was only the second or third time she sang the role in an international production. Besides that, she shows some signs of lack of breath during Act One (maybe due to the weird production!) and sings a not-so-exciting "Sempre libera". There, she lacked the bravure and spontaneous fioritura of artists like Sutherland and Callas.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Got it used and I think the shipping damaged the case but nonetheless. Feels like you are sitting right in front of the orchestra.Published 4 months ago by Bibliophilus
I wrote the following review a while back, but having recently listened to this recording again, I have to say that it's just plain brilliant. Not perfect, but brilliant. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Robert B. Lamm
Wish I had been there.
Everything: choreography, singing performance, acting, orchestration. Hamson at his very best.
How can it be improved?
You can laugh, my husband does too but Netrebko shines in this recording of La Traviata! I go to the gym and I do work out to the faster tempos throughout the opera... Read morePublished on September 18, 2013 by J. Light
the sound and format is excellent. and of course the music is absolutely divine. i cry every time i listen to it.Published on March 14, 2013 by Rebecca L Carlson
Strong performances .. there is no better Violetta than Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon is terrific as Alfredo. Sit back and enjoy the music of Verdi's controversial operaPublished on December 28, 2012 by mathmack
Traviata is my favourite Verdi opera and I have gathered at home quite a collection of cds and dvds with some of the greatest Violettas: Callas, Gheorghiu, Sutherland, Moffo, etc. Read morePublished on December 24, 2012 by Virginia K. Jensen
I believe that Traviata is -alongside with Norma- one of the most difficult roles of the soprano repertoire. Read morePublished on September 13, 2012 by g.g.2000