Verdi: La traviata (in English)

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Verdi
LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: La traviata (in English)
PERFORMER: Valerie Masterson, John Brecknock, Christian du Plessis, Della Jones; ENO Orchestra & Chorus/Charles Mackerras
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 3023(2) Reissue (1981)
Recorded and first released in 1981, this is a splendid English-language performance with a typical English National Opera cast of the time. Valerie Masterson’s Violetta is exciting in the coloratura of Act I, moving in the great Act II duet, with Christian du Plessis a dramatically convincing Germont, and at her best in Act III in whch both verses of the duet ‘Parigi, o cara’ are given without cuts. John Brecknock’s lyric tenor is ideally suited to Alfredo, and all three principals benefit from the solicitous conducting of Charles Mackerras.

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The smaller roles are all strongly cast, with Della Jones as Flora and Denis Dowling as the Marquis d’Obigny, and the orchestral playing and choral singing are first-rate. Edmund Tracey’s translation has its occasional infelicities, but for the most part it is literate, as well as literal, and clearly enunciated by the singers. Charles Osborne