Maazel: Verdi - La Traviata (2 CD, FLAC)
Maazel: Verdi – La Traviata (2 CD, FLAC)

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Performer: Mirella Fiorentini, Pilar Lorengar, Giacomo Aragall, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Stefania Malagù
Orchestra: Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Conductor: Lorin Maazel
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Decca
Size: 504 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Violetta Valery – Pilar Lorengar
Giorgio Germont – Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Alfredo Germont – Giacomo Aragall
Flora Bervoix – Stefania Malagu
Marquis d’Obigny – Silvio Maionica
Gastone, Vicomte de Letorieres – Pier Francesco Poli
Baron Douphol – Virgilio Carbonari
Annina – Mirella Fiorentini
Giuseppe – Alfonso Losa
Doctor Grenvil – Giovanni Foiani

Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
Lorin Maazel

CD 01
01. Act 1 – Prelude
02. Act 1 – “Dell’invito trascorsa è già l’ora”
03. Act 1 – “Libiamo ne’lieti calici (Brindisi)
04. Act 1 – “Che è ciò?”
05. Act 1 – “Un dì felice, eterea…Si ridesta in ciel l’aurora”
06. Act 1 – “E strano!” – “Ah, fors’è lui”
07. Act 1 – “Follie! Delirio vano è questo!” – “Sempre libera”
08. Act 2 – “Lunge da lei” – “De’ miei bollenti spiriti”
09. Act 2 – “De’ miei bollenti spiriti…Annina, donde vieni?
10. Act 2 – “O mio rimorso!…Alfredo?
11. Act 2 – “Pura, siccome un angelo…Un dì, quando le veneri”
12. Act 2 – “Dite alla giovine…Non amarlo ditegli”
13. Act 2 – “Dammi tu forza, o ciel!…Ah, vive sol quel core”
14. Act 2 – “Di Provenza il mar…Né risponde d’un padre…”
15. Act 2 – “No, non udrai rimproveri”

CD 02
01. Act 2 – “Avrem lieta di maschere la notte…Di Madridi”
02. Act 2 – “Alfredo! Voi!…Or tutti a me…Ogni suo aver”
03. Act 2 – “Di sprezzo degno…Alfredo, Alfredo, di questo core”
04. Act 3 – Prelude. “Annina? Comandate?
05. Act 3 – “Tenesta la promessa” – “Attendo, né a me giungon mai” – “Addio del passato”
06. Act 3 – “Largo a quadrupede”
07. Act 3 – “Signora…” “Che t’accade?”
08. Act 3 – Parigi, o cara…Ah! Gran Dio!
09. Act 3 – Ah, Violetta!…Se una pudica vergine

A glorious dark horse Traviata winner

Talk about something whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This recording is something of an odd paradox. It has tended to be rather overlooked by distributors, somewhat dismissed by critics – and adored by music lovers. The recording was made while this cast was in the midst of of a run of performances in Berlin – and it shows. Though a studio set, an immediacy and frisson of live performance crackles throughout. Lorengar’s fluttery vibrato is not to all tastes, DFD is not, in the eyes of many, a Verdi singer. But somehow, Lord, this all just works, and works beautifully. The baritone’s timbre reeks of patrician elegance, which, as contrasted with Lorengar’s earthy timbre, makes the class conflict of the second act achingly true. Her Violetta is heartfelt and heartbreaking and Aragall’s dark, manly timbre makes for a deeply satisfying Alfredo. The comprimari are delightful. The conducting is propulsive, alive, and dramatically resonant throughout. One can point to all sorts of deficits (with validity) to each vocal and instrumental contribution, however although individual elements are not each in of themselves the best out there the end result here is, oddly, what is possibly the most enjoyable overall of the many recordings of the opera. Certainly one can point to a number of other classic sets, with more idiomatic casts. One can adore Callas, Scotto, Sills, Cotrubas, Zeani (and I do, all of them) or the superior leadership offered by the Serafins, Mutis, Karajans and Kleibers of the world; but if I had to grab one Traviata as I ran from a burning building, it just might be this one. An excellent set and one of my top favorite opera recordings.

An underrated Traviata

This is a good performance. The score is slightly abridged but the tenor and baritone get a verse each of their cabalettas. The text is comparable to the text of the Kleiber Traviata. The singing is very good. Giacomo Arragal does everything the rather ungrateful part of Alfredo demands with grace and passion. I love Pilar Lorengar’s Violetta. She is alternately smiling and sad, and the big lyric expansion of the third act concertato is well within her grasp. Other listeners complain about her quick vibrato. Not a problem to me. The voice is steady in the right way, and she continued to sing like this for another 20 years. Fischer-Dieskau is always hard to assess in Italian opera. The pronunciation is correct, but the whole performance does not seem Italian to me. A combination of a light, bright voice with music that requires something darker in the voice. And yet, at other times, he seems to be doing all the right things. Difficult and challenging to a listener. Still, as a performance the recording hangs together well, and I will return to it with pleasure.

4 Comments

Leave a Reply