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Giuseppe Verdi - La Traviata (Rizzi) [2005]

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Giuseppe Verdi - La Traviata (Rizzi) [2005]

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CD 1
01 Prelude (Act 1)
02 ‘Dell’invito trascorsa e già l’ora’ (Act 1)
03 ‘Libiamo ne’lieti calici Brindisi (Act 1)
04 ‘Che e ciò_’ (Act 1)
05 ‘Un dì felice, eterea’ (Act 1)
06 Ebben_ che diavol fate_’ (Act 1)
07 ‘Si ridesta in ciel l’aurora’ (Act 1)
08 ‘E strano!’ - ‘Ah, fors’e lui’ (Act 1)				play
09 ‘Follie! Delirio vano e questo!’ - ‘Sempre libera’ (Act 1)
10 ‘Lunge da lei’ - ‘De’ miei bollenti spiriti’ (Act 2)
11 ‘Annina, donde vieni_’ - ‘Oh mio rimorso!’ (Act 2)
12 ‘Alfredo_’ ‘Per Parigi or or partiva’ (Act 2)
13 ‘Pura siccome un angelo’ (Act 2)
14 ‘Non sapete quale affetto’ (Act 2)
15 ‘Un dì, quando le veneri’ (Act 2)
16 ‘Ah! Dite alla giovine’ (Act 2)
17 ‘Imponete’ ‘Non amarlo ditegli’ (Act 2)
18 ‘Dammi tu forza, o cielo!’ (Act 2)
19 ‘Che fai_’ ‘Nulla’ (Act 2)
20 ‘Ah, vive sol quel core’ (Act 2)
21 ‘Di Provenza il mar, il suol’ (Act 2)

Disc: 2
1. Avrem lieta di maschere la notte
2. Noi siamo zingarelle
3. Di Madride noi siam mattadori
4. Alfredo! Voi!
5. Invitato a qui seguirmi
6. Ogni suo aver tal femmina
7. Di sprezzo degno se stesso rende
8. Alfredo, Alfredo, di questo core					play
9. Prelude
10. Annina? “Comandate?”
11. Teneste la promessa…Addio del passato
12. Largo a quadrupede
13. Signora…Che t’accadde…Parigi, o cara
14. Ah, non più! - “Ah! Gran Dio! Morir sì giovine”
15. Ah, Violetta! “Voi? Signor?”
16. Prendi, quest’è l’immagine

Violetta Valery.............ANNA NETREBKO
Flora Bervoix...............HELENE 5CHNEIDERMAN
her friend
Annina......................DIANE PILCHER
her maid
Alfredo Germont.............ROLANDO VILLAZON
Giorgio Germont.............THOMAS HAMPSON
Alfredo's father
Gastone, Visconte de Letorieres.......SALVATORE CORDELLA
Barone Douphol (The Baron) ...........PAUL GAY
Marchese d'Obigny (The Marquis).......HERMAN WALLEN
Dottore Grenvil (The Doctor)..........LUIGI RONI
Giuseppe....................DRITAN LUCA
Violetta's servant
Domestico di Flora..........WOLFRAM IGOR DERNTL
Flora's servant
Commissionario .............FRIEDRICH SPRINGER

Concertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
Mozarteum Orchester
Wiener Philarmoniker
Carlo Rizzi - Conductor


This new Traviata belongs near the top of the fine recorded versions of the opera despite a serious vocal problem in the middle. The great news is in the casting of the two lovers: Rolando Villazon’s Alfredo is just about perfect. He sings with handsome, shaded tone, great attention to the text–his anger feels as real as his grief and passion–and absolute freedom throughout the range. He partners the stunning Anna Netrebko beautifully in their duets as well. She is breathtaking–delicate, sincere, proud–singing with beautiful tone and intelligent, graceful musicality. They’re an unforgettable couple. Baritone Thomas Hampson, on the other hand, despite his usual attention to detail and wise dramatic choices, is in very poor voice and he sounds strained and out of sorts all the time. Carlo Rizzi leads a very energetic performance and the orchestra and chorus, except for a few moments of being out-of-sync with eachother, are splendid. The rest of the cast are fine and the sound from this live recording is excellent. Very highly recommended. ---Robert Levine, Editorial Reviews


Opera, gratefully, more than any other music form gathers polarized opinions: some aficiandos prefer the old recordings to the new, the 'big' singers to the physically beautiful one somehow postulating that if the singers look credible on stage they simply can't be equally fine as singers, the recordings or performances that rise or fall on the lead and the ensemble makes little impact. Not having been fortunate enough to have been one of the lucky ones that witnessed one of the seven sold out performances of this LA TRAVIATA at this year's Salzburg Festival, I am left only with a live recording probably garnered from several performances to catch a glimpse of what all the clamor from the European audiences was about. But this is enough to believe that this is probably one of the most intelligent and musically correct Traviatas available.

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. If she does not opt for some of the high climax notes like say, Sutherland and the 'coloraturas', it does not impair the beauty of her interpretation of the beleaguered courtesan and her fall into consumption. But Netrebko is never less than lovely here and the drama of her voice and interpretation are exemplary. Likewise, Rolando Villazon has a tenor voice that grows better with each performance. His Alfredo is all impetuosity, smitten lover, and jealous stag - and his singing is stunningly beautiful. Add the exceptional musicality of Thomas Hampson singing Germont with complete conviction and elegance, and this cast is as fine as one could wish.

If there are problems with this recording they are more focused on the podium where Rossi seems to favor brisk tempi a bit too frequently, not allowing the singers the space to be comfortable with their roulades. But remember this recording is from live performances and not a studio where every aria can be perfected with extra takes. This enhances the drama but does not give as sonorous a recorded sound as could be in a different hall or studio.

The true beauty of this triumphant LA TRAVIATA will be obvious if a DVD of the performance is released. Rarely has a stage been filled with this much beauty of sound coming from such magnetic and attractive performers. Netrebko and Villazon have a wondrous magic as was so very obvious in this past season's LA Opera 'Romeo et Juliette' of Gounod. Let's hope they pair often! Highly recommended. ---Grady Harp, amazon.com

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Last Updated (Friday, 13 June 2014 22:46)


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