Page 5 of 9 FirstFirst 123456789 LastLast
Results 61 to 75 of 129

Thread: My favorite version of " La traviata"

  1. #61
    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    1,622
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    13

    Default

    My thoughts:

    Like many here I love the Carlos Kleiber version on DG with Cotrubas, Domingo, and Milnes. It was my first complete Traviata and to date the only one I own (though I do have Act II from that aforementioned 1935 Met performance with Ponselle, Jagel, and Tibbett -- superb, especially Tibbett).

    I want to get a Traviata DVD and am torn between the La Scala one with Edita Gruberova and the Los Angeles Opera one with Renee Fleming. From what I've seen on Youtube, the Gruberova looks like a more intimate production (a definite plus for me) and has a firmer-voiced, more sympathetic Germont (Zancanaro); on the other hand, I was mesmerized by Fleming's Act III, especially "Addio del passato," and I've always liked Villazon. Probably I'll end up buying both versions; I'll watch the Gruberova version in its entirety and skip around in the Fleming version (Bruson as Germont was, I believe, about 70 years old at the time and sounds very wobbly and off-pitch; I wish they could have cast Thomas Hampson or Dwayne Croft instead).

    I must be the only one who doesn't like the classic Covent Garden version with Gheorghiu. It's not Gheorghiu that's the problem for me; it's her co-stars. Frank Lopardo sounds throaty as Alfredo, while Leo Nucci (Germont) is a singer I've just never taken to. Here he slides around a lot and tends to bark; for those reasons his "Di Provenza" is, for me, unlistenable.
    Last edited by Bellinilover; Feb-10-2014 at 20:56.

  2. Likes Marschallin Blair liked this post
  3. #62
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    10,399
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default



    This one, hands down, for me.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  4. Likes Marschallin Blair, Bellinilover liked this post
  5. #63
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,505
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Of commercially recorded sets, I too would go for the Cotrubas/Kleiber version, but, in this of all operas, Callas is required listening. Her studio recording is not her best performance, nor are the conductor and her colleagues up to much, so for Callas's Violetta, one turns to one of her live performances. Of the many, the three best are:-

    La Scala, 1955 under Giulini with Di Stefano and a vocally resplendent but insensitive Bastianini
    Lisbon, 1958 under Ghione, with Kraus and Sereni
    Covent Garden, 1958 under Rescigno, with Valetti and Zanasi.

    Of these the Covent Garden set is my favourite, By this time, Callas has honed the role to essentials, and her colleagues are both most sympathetic interpreters. This is possibly the most moving performance of the opera I have ever heard. Harold Rosenthal, writing in Opera magazine, reviewing the stage performance, thought it one of the greatest performances of a Verdi opera he had ever seen, and gave it one of the longest, most detailed reviews ever to be seen in Opera Magazine; this for a revival and not for a new production of a new opera.

    Like you, I have a few problems with the Covent Garden Gheorghiu performance, which I actually saw in the theatre. Gheorghiu was fine, but neither of her colleagues are much good, and Solti's conducting was clunky and lacking in lyricism.

    I always liked the La Scala/Muti with Tiziana Fabbricini, vocally a little fallible, but dramatically riveting. A young Roberto Alagna is an excellent Alfredo and Paolo Coni a sympathetic if too young looking Germont. The sets and production are superb, traditional, but none the worse for that.

    Others will no doubt shout me down, but I also have a soft spot for the Zeffirelli film, despite the cuts. Stratas isn't really up to the demands of Sempre libera, but elsewhere she is a heart-breakingly affecting heroine. Domingo is a virile Alfredo, much as he is on the Kleiber CDs, and Cornell MacNeil, somewhat dry of voice by this time in his career, is otherwise a perfect foil as Germont. One wouldn't want to recommend it as a solitary DVD La Traviata, but it's definitely worth a look. Stratas, as always when seen as well as heard, is superb.

    If you want Fleming, you might be better to go for the Covent Garden performance (the same production as the Gheorghiu), conducted by Pappano with a superb Joseph Calleja and Thomas Hampson as Germont. Fleming overacts a bit for my taste, (she isn't really inside the role)but there's no denying she sings and moves very well.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

  6. #64
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,505
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post


    This one, hands down, for me.
    This is where you and I will have to part company, Itullian. Sills is one of those singers I really find it hard to take to. The only recordings I really liked her in were Manon, to which her, to my ears, slightly fluttery, soubrettish tone is well suited and a little known recording of I Capuleti e i Montecchi, with Dame Janet Baker a wonderful Romeo.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Feb-10-2014 at 21:56.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

  7. Likes Marschallin Blair liked this post
  8. #65
    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    9,367
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    GregMitchell: Of these the Covent Garden set is my favourite, By this time, Callas has honed the role to essentials, and her colleagues are both most sympathetic interpreters. This is possibly the most moving performance of the opera I have ever heard. Harold Rosenthal, writing in Opera magazine, reviewing the stage performance, thought it one of the greatest performances of a Verdi opera he had ever seen, and gave it one of the longest, most detailed reviews ever to be seen in Opera Magazine; this for a revival and not for a new production of a new opera.

    maria 58 covent.jpg

    Another separate-and-superior-caste-of-its-own Callas performace, huh? Merci. I'll check it out.

    Great 'cover'. . . <ahem.> 'iconic, huh? ;D
    "Let me have my own way in exactly everything, and a sunnier and more pleasant creature does not exist." - Thomas Carlyle

  9. Likes Tsaraslondon, AClockworkOrange liked this post
  10. #66
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    10,399
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    This is where you and I will have to part company, Itullian. Sills is one of those singers I really find it hard to take to. The only recordings I really liked her in were Manon, a which her, to my ears, slightly fluttery, soubrettish tone is well suited and a little known recording of I Capuleti e i Montecchi, with Dame Janet Baker a wonderful Romeo.
    Yes, we will.
    I'm a big Sills fan. Love "Bubbles"
    Love her Donizetti operas and this one.
    She's Callas light to me.
    Last edited by Itullian; Feb-10-2014 at 21:55.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  11. #67
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Madrid, Spain
    Posts
    4,472
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    This is a nice Traviata on DVD:


  12. #68
    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    1,622
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    13

    Default

    Thanks, GregMitchell, I'll certainly think about it. I forgot to say before that Dmitri Hvorostovsky would have been another excellent choice for Germont in the LA Opera version. I admit I'm partial, however, to Dwayne Croft, a too-little-known baritone whom I've always loved. I have fond memories of a 2000 Met broadcast Germont of his.

  13. #69
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,445
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    http://www.amazon.com/La-Traviata-G-...fo+la+traviata
    Moffo had it all for Violetta: looks, drama, high Eb, coloratura plus dramatic intesity. I also am very fond of Licia Albinese in the role. Tebaldi was incredible in the role when I heard her do it in a Met broadcast on Sirius. She was even quite wonderful in Sempre Libera, which one would not have expected.

  14. Likes Revenant liked this post
  15. #70
    Senior Member (Ret) moody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    4,666
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Another ancient thread,but when you look at the new ones ---so what!

    I am very keen on the Moffo,Tucker,Merrill/Rome Opera,Previtali version. Anna Moffo is really excellent.
    But then I could not be without the Ponselle,Tibbett,Jagel cond:Ettorre Panizza live broadcast in 1935. Ponselle is perfect , it's a terrific effort all round.
    Fools talk because they have to say something, wise men talk because they have something to say.

  16. Likes Ingélou, Revenant, Seattleoperafan liked this post
  17. #71
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,505
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    http://www.amazon.com/La-Traviata-G-...fo+la+traviata
    Moffo had it all for Violetta: looks, drama, high Eb, coloratura plus dramatic intesity. I also am very fond of Licia Albinese in the role. Tebaldi was incredible in the role when I heard her do it in a Met broadcast on Sirius. She was even quite wonderful in Sempre Libera, which one would not have expected.
    Personally, I find that, though Moffo, has the vocal ability for the role, she rather skates over its deeper emotions. nowhere does she move me as much as Callas, Cotrubas, Scotto, Freni, or, from an earlier era, Ponselle.

    I am also surprised that you like Tebaldi so much in the role. Though I extravagantly admire her as Leonora in La Forza del Destino, especially in a video performance, with Corelli as Alvaro, surely the voice was intrinsically unsuited to the role. I used to have a live recoding of her singing it. She made a downward transposition in Sempre libera, and her singing of the coloratura passages was clumsy to say the least, the downward scales heavily aspirated, and the rest of the fioriture sketchily approximated. Admittedly Ponselle also used to transpose Sempre libera, but her voice was an altogether more agile instrument.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Feb-11-2014 at 14:04.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

  18. Likes Bellinilover, mamascarlatti liked this post
  19. #72
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Madrid, Spain
    Posts
    4,472
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Many people don't immediately associate Violetta with Tebaldi, however she sang several times the role (and with some success), and there is also a DECCA recording, in 1954 (not great, other live recordings are better). Clearly, Tebaldi was always hard pressed by the first act coloratura, that she transposed down. She was better in the second and third act, but offering a different portrait of Violetta than her contemporary Callas. Tebaldi was more an experienced courtesan before her last chance to real passion, than a young woman, madly in love for the first time. She was also a true spinto, so perhaps not the best type of voice for Violetta,
    Last edited by schigolch; Feb-11-2014 at 14:34.

  20. #73
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,505
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by schigolch View Post
    She was also a true spinto, so perhaps not the best type of voice for Violetta,
    Which is, I suppose, the point I was making. Just because I'm a Callas fan doesn't mean I can't also appreciate Tebaldi's undoubted gifts, and there are plenty of other roles I enjoy her in rather more. I just think it was the wrong voice for the role.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

  21. #74
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,445
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    Which is, I suppose, the point I was making. Just because I'm a Callas fan doesn't mean I can't also appreciate Tebaldi's undoubted gifts, and there are plenty of other roles I enjoy her in rather more. I just think it was the wrong voice for the role.
    Greg, I have only heard a Met historic broadcast on Sirius and I was very impressed with her immersion in the role. Tebaldi could have sounded very different in vinyl recordings. The downward transposition explains her ease with Sempre Libera. Perhaps they took it slower than normal, but I was quite impressed with how well she did on this. The rest of the opera was a piece of cake for her and emotionally and artistically I was very, very impressed. She also would have been very beautiful in the role as well.
    Ponselle was a true superstar in the role. In the case of an artist like Ponselle and Tebaldi I am not adverse to a downward transposition. Neither thrived above A#.
    Last edited by Seattleoperafan; Feb-12-2014 at 04:12.

  22. #75
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Midwest USA
    Posts
    295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post

    Others will no doubt shout me down, but I also have a soft spot for the Zeffirelli film, despite the cuts. Stratas isn't really up to the demands of Sempre libera, but elsewhere she is a heart-breakingly affecting heroine. Domingo is a virile Alfredo, much as he is on the Kleiber CDs, and Cornell MacNeil, somewhat dry of voice by this time in his career, is otherwise a perfect foil as Germont. One wouldn't want to recommend it as a solitary DVD La Traviata, but it's definitely worth a look. Stratas, as always when seen as well as heard, is superb.

    Let me begin by saying that I regard myself as an opera novice. I’m not nearly as knowledgeable as many others who post here. With that said – I’m also a fan of the Zeffirelli / Levine film starring Teresa Stratas and Placido Domingo. The film features sumptuous sets and costumes, and excellent cinematography. In spite of the film’s age (1982), its wide screen presentation looks (and sounds) surprising good on DVD when upscaled to my HDTV. (Apparently I have the 1999 DVD release. I haven’t seen the 2008 release that is currently being sold. I wish a high quality Blu-ray transcription were available.) I believe that the dance between the matador and gypsies makes this worth owning, even if you have reservations about other aspects of this production.

    I am a huge fan of Anna Netrebko. I think she demonstrated her excellent acting range in the Salzburg 2005 performance with Rolando Villazon, and looked beautiful doing so. Others have commented about Anna being out of breath; I’m willing to make allowances. I was surprised that the modern interpretation didn’t bother me (except for one part) – Anna made it work for me.

    I’ve played these two productions of La Traviata for guests in order to illustrate how remarkably different two interpretations of the same opera can be. In my opinion both are successful.

    I also have the 2007 La Scala production with Angela Gheorghiu. I think I’ve only watched this once – it didn’t grab me.
    Last edited by RobertKC; Feb-12-2014 at 17:11.

  23. Likes Seattleoperafan, MAuer liked this post

Similar Threads

  1. Favorite Beethoven's Ninth Symphony?
    By Keemun in forum Recorded Music and Publications
    Replies: 107
    Last Post: Jun-26-2019, 17:03
  2. Favorite Key?
    By LiLi in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 82
    Last Post: May-09-2018, 09:53
  3. Favorite Wind Concertos
    By Saturnus in forum Orchestral Music
    Replies: 83
    Last Post: Oct-31-2017, 00:49
  4. Favorite Piece of all-time??
    By Tromboneman in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: Jan-31-2013, 15:49
  5. My favorite oboe jokes
    By Mozart_Oboe_Beethoven in forum Woodwind and Brass
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Jul-12-2008, 19:10

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •