Maria Callas in Verdi’s La traviata

The 1958 Lisbon performance of Verdi’s La traviata is famous and widely available. Today’s YouTube clip, though, offers perhaps the cleanest and most precise sound quality I’ve heard among Lisbon Traviate. The selection takes us from the beginning of Act I through the brindisi, and the incomparable Alfredo Kraus portrays Alfredo Germont.

(Confession: I am not a “collector.” I live in a tiny apartment and am perfectly happy to own one version of a given recording—the version that I already own! I do know that there are individuals and companies doing wonderful work locating new, improved sources for many “live” Callas sets, or cleaning up existing sources, but I claim no expertise whatsoever in these matters.)

I find that Callas’s voice is heard to its best advantage here. And you?

Last year I posted video footage from the Lisbon Traviata.

It’s Verdi’s birthday week! Have you visited Verdi Duecento?

3 Responses to “Maria Callas in Verdi’s La traviata

  1. VS October 13, 2011 at 13:18 #

    It and he and she sound gorgeous, you’re right. And they make one actually sit up and pay attention to “Libiamo” as if one were hearing it for the first time. Those small things she does — the little patterns with dynamics — make me feel as if I don’t know this old chestnut as well as I thought.

    • mlr October 13, 2011 at 13:29 #

      I agree 100%. What’s more, Callas sounds in much better voice here than in other releases of the Lisbon “Traviata” I’ve heard. (Don’t get me started on Kraus, because I will cry: I saw him many times in many roles, and he was an exalted, aristocratic artist, one of a kind.)

      • VS October 15, 2011 at 08:25 #

        Lucky you! Even the way he says “belezza” here enchants me.

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image