This recording of LA TRAVIATA is the third one in my collection (the other two being the Cotrubas/Kleiber and the Callas/Giulini recordings), and am I glad I bought it! As superb as those other two recordings are, I actually LIKE this one the most. It is an all-around excellent performance. Bergonzi's is possibly the finest Alfredo on any complete recording; Merrill is perfectly suited to Germont; Pritchard paces the opera beautifully; the recorded sound is spacious, with lots of atmosphere in the party scenes. But the real surprise of the recording is Sutherland. She brings all of her distinctive gifts to the role of Violetta: a ripe, beautiful voice; supreme coloratura ability; a talent for conveying pathos…
Saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi can be depended upon to release a quality mainstream jazz album every year and this one is no different. The change is in the accompaniment, in which he employs Renato Chicco on organ and Andrea Michelutti on drums. This gives the well-known standard songs a new polish and allows the musicians leverage to interpret them in their own way. “Witchcraft” opens the album with a melodic medium tempo of slinky saxophone over subtle organ and percussion. The spacious and well-articulated organ and percussion get room to move, bubbling through their paces. The leader comes back with pithy interjections of sound weaving a competent and thoughtful solo.
This is a perfect cast. Bergonzi and Gencer at their best and the young Cossotto as you never heard her. Really wonderfull. The sound is very good but not the image. Anyway it does not matter when you hear them singing. This is history and a valuable document. Actually you can try but never find an AIDA like this, not even Pavarotti's at la Scala.By Chilean Opera lover
For those that are not familiar with Renata Scotto in her prime, this DVD should be a revelation. Not only is the voice beautiful but her technique is brilliant. The mad scene is a highlight. If she is not quite as showy with pyrotechnics as Sutherland and Sills, she is still spectacular. The pathos and word pointing she brings to every scene is unique. It confirms why many see her as the rightful successor to Maria Callas. Her Edgardo is Carlo Bergonzi, another paragon of operatic style, who matches her note for note with elegance and beauty of tone…By OperaLover
This black-and-white, wonderfully old-fashioned film of a live performance of L'elisir d'amore, complete with faded painted backdrops and no attempt to update or "make relevant" this delicious work, is, well, delicious–gorgeously sung and charmingly acted. The pedigree is impeccable. I can't recall a recent performance of an Italian opera with all-Italian forces, including conductor, and at the risk of sounding chauvinistically Italian, there really is something elegant and natural about an entire cast steeped in the language, rhythms, and idiom that keeps the Italian-opera tradition alive.–Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
All of these are live recordings so the sound is quite variable. The standard square box contains separate soft plastic sleeves in which the cds are inserted. The advantage is that the cds are well protected (minor risk for scrapes compared to cardboard), but there is no information printed on the sleeve since it is made of plastic. There is some basic information printed on each cd (name, composer, cd #, the act/s and the date of the recording). There is also a small 24pg booklet that introduces the box including some photos as well as content description for each disc (opera, singers, time and location as well as a list of the separate tracks). I have been collecting these boxes for a while and always find it worthwhile as there are gems nicely interspersed in these collections. By Moonfish