Author Topic: Anna Moffo/Traviata  (Read 7837 times)

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Mozart

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Anna Moffo/Traviata
« on: July 10, 2007, 01:03:51 PM »
Either I am going insane or there exists a recording of Traviata with Anna Moffo from 1960 recorded in Rome. Im not talking about the 1968 one. I can't find it anywhere can someone help me?

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2007, 01:24:16 PM »
Recorded in 1960, it is conducted by Fernando Previtali, with Richard Tucker as Alfredo and Robert Merrill as Germont, and with the Rome Opera Chorus and Orchestra. According to the Metropolitan Guide to Recorded Opera, Moffo's is " an informed, competent and sometimes touching portrayal". He finds Tucker unsuited to the role of Alfredo and Merrill's Germont sumptuous of voice, but sketchily portrayed. In conclusion, "All in all, a neat and healthy performance, but..."

It is available on RCA. This is the link to its Amazon listing

http://www.amazon.com/Traviata-RMST-Hybrid-Giuseppe-Verdi/dp/B000G759LC/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-4953264-8020153?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1184105991&sr=1-1

I heard it once and my memory of it is that Moffo sings quite prettily, but rather skates over the surface of the deeper emotions in the role.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2007, 01:29:23 PM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2007, 01:52:37 PM »
Either I am going insane or there exists a recording of Traviata with Anna Moffo from 1960 recorded in Rome. Im not talking about the 1968 one. I can't find it anywhere can someone help me?

I'm surprised you can't find it (and I see Tsaraslondon has given you the link). I have an earlier version. It's long been my favorite Traviata. I once had a "bar room brawl" with a Callas fanatic: Was Moffo or Callas the best Violetta? We took turns playing parts of our favorite recordings and debating the outcome. I think I won...he'd probably tell you he did  ;D  Tsaraslondon recalls she sang "prettily". I call it ravishing, and quite affecting. Any serious Verdian needs both singers in his collection. Besides Moffo and Cotrubas (Kleiber), I have the '58 Callas Lisbon and Covent Garden.

By the way, I heard Moffo live in the role: a Met performance in Cleveland, May 1st, 1972. Domingo and Merrill in the lead men's roles, Bonynge conducting. She was supposedly past her prime but she sang beautifully and the portrayal had me near tears. She still looked spectacular too.

Sarge
« Last Edit: July 10, 2007, 01:55:21 PM by Sergeant Rock »
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Mozart

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2007, 05:42:21 PM »
I wonder why I couldn't find it, for a second I really thought I had gone crazy. It is my favorite traviata too, and the callas in lisbon sucks. You can hear the audience chatting in it during the singing! Callas is great but Anna Moffo is better, and shes alot hotter too.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2007, 11:50:09 PM »
and shes alot hotter too.

And of course that is SO important.  I'd always place music matters first. Even so, I always thought Callas made a most convincing Violetta; here from Covent Garden in 1958



And here from La Scala in 1955



Incidentally, it is unfortunate that Callas's studio La Traviata was made for Cetra in 1952, as the role was still developing for her, and the supporting cast and conductor leave a great deal to be desired. All the other sets are live, but the one from Covent Garden, if you can find it, has the best sound (decent mono radio broadcast, the best supporting cast (Cesare Valetti and Maria Zanasi), and is, in every way, the pinnacle of Callas's achievement in the role of Violetta. Though vocally frailer than some of the earlier performances, her singing goes well beyond the notes to create a performance of heart breaking eloquence.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2007, 12:47:32 PM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

springrite

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2007, 11:57:09 PM »
Moffo's was not only my first Traviata, but also my very first opera recording, and I absolutely LOVE IT! It remain my favorite Traviata, partly for sentimental reasons, I am sure. I remember getting several Moffo recordings in the early 80's, all on cassettes. I knew next to nothing about operas at the time, and I chose the Moffo at the time simply because the RCA Victrola recordings were the cheapest. (The rest include Moffo's La Boheme, Moffo in Butterfly, Milanov in Tosca, etc.)

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2007, 01:08:13 AM »
I have the Moffo film from 1968, viewed from time to time but didn't and still doesn't leave a lasting impression. Callas' Lisbon recording is far more engaging--yikes, from her entry where she scoops down to the chest register saying how much she wants to enjoy (the party). The eerily sung "Dite alla giovane" turns the whole scene on a dime. And much more. Alfredo Kraus is excellent.

Looking at the pictures of Callas and also of Moffo during the 50's and 60's I got the impression that the latter was somehow emulating the former with her perfect arched eyebrows, similar haircuts and even eye expressions.

There's also the Teresa Stratas/Domingo film (1982) that I also like very much, especially the doll-like demeanor of Stratas and the inside of her apartment with the high ceilings.

ZB
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2007, 01:20:05 AM »
ZB

I have similar recollections of the Moffo film. I was looking forward to seeing it immensely, but was somehow disappointed. She looks ravishing of course, but I still got the feeling that she only skimmed the surface of the role's emotional depths. Stratas, in the Zeffirelli, film, though vocally less secure, is totally convincing dramatically and gives an utterly heartbreaking performance.

\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Mozart

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2007, 05:31:41 PM »
I love the Zeffirelli movie also, but more for the scenes than the voices. I love when Placido Domingo grabs the girl in act 1 what a man! The party scene also is awesome, hot gypsies for sure. I love Callas in Carmen and Norma, but in traviata i prefer moffo. She even has a cooler sounding named, moffo. haha


Mozart

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2007, 06:10:16 PM »
Did callas record Schubert's ave maria in german? Misnamed music file I beleive.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2007, 11:52:03 PM »
Did callas record Schubert's ave maria in german? Misnamed music file I beleive.

No, she didn't. The only record of Callas ever singing anything other than opera was at a TV concert in France in 1965, when she sang Duparc's L'Invitation au Voyage. Unfortunately it was omitted from the broadcast for reasons of timing, and has not survived.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Mozart

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2007, 12:59:49 PM »
Callas never sung in German either right?

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2007, 07:34:24 PM »
Callas never sung in German either right?

1. She may have sung the Ocean aria from Oberon in German. (I couldn't figure it out.)

2. I pulled out my Moffo video of Traviata as there was a clip on youtube (taken off again) that showed more interest and also a different gown in the first act. This was also done by VAI and I'm wondering whether there is a full length film somewhere. The staging and direction of this 1968 film is contrived and wooden. It might have worked to an extent onstage but is very unsuccessful on film.

ZB
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2007, 12:30:41 AM »
1. She may have sung the Ocean aria from Oberon in German. (I couldn't figure it out.)




She sang the Ocean aria in English, the language in which she learned it as a student. The only example I know of her singing in German is snatches of Abscheulicher from Fidleio at her Master Classes at Juiliiard. The adoption of the German language makes no difference whatsoever to her sustained legato singing. When Callas sang Leonore in Athens in 1944 (at the age of 20!), she sang the role in Greek. All her Wagner roles were sung in Italian, which was the practice at the time in Italy.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Sarastro

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2007, 01:58:33 PM »
I heard it once and my memory of it is that Moffo sings quite prettily, but rather skates over the surface of the deeper emotions in the role.
And how did you like Tucker and Merrill there?

That film with Bonisolli and Bechi is a very nice rendition, indeed. And Domingo-Stratas's production went after that movie, taking the idea, but made it luxurious.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Anna Moffo/Traviata
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2007, 12:57:24 PM »
And how did you like Tucker and Merrill there?

That film with Bonisolli and Bechi is a very nice rendition, indeed. And Domingo-Stratas's production went after that movie, taking the idea, but made it luxurious.

Tucker's was not really the right voice for Alfredo - too much heft, and Merrill, though he sings well, is not as imaginative as some. My favourite Germont is actually Mario Zanasi, who sings it on a live Covent Garden performance with Callas in 1958.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

 

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