The partnership of Giuseppe di Stefano and soprano Maria Callas was one of the great box-office draws in operatic history. In this historically valuable live recording of La Traviata from Mexico City in 1952, the audio quality may not match the pristine standards we expect from contemporary recording equipment, but the two headliners are at the top of their game in an opera which became one of their best-loved showpieces. Traviata is peppered with some of the best-known tunes in opera, like the drinking song "Libiamo" or Violetta's "Amami, Alfredo," though for sheer poignancy it's tough to beat "Parigi, o cara" — the last big tune of the piece, it finds Alfredo at the bedside of the dying Violetta, where the ill-fated lovers indulge in some wishful daydreaming of a bright future and Violetta's recovery. But we know it is not to be.
By Justin Davidson on 01.16.15 in Features
She is no longer the goofy but serious alien girl with the long flowing hair; instead she’s a sage.
By Justin Davidson on 12.02.14 in Features
Justin Davidson examines the way recent solo cello albums by Alisa Weilerstein, Jeffrey Ziegler and Maya Beiser reinvent that wordless, eloquent voice.
By Ami Armstrong on 11.26.14 in Features
Stream the Punch Brothers documentary 'How to Grow a Band' this week.
By John Schaefer on 10.28.14 in Reviews
The interlocking rhythm patterns of Steve Reich, the micro-universe contained in the drones of La Monte Young, the hypnotic sounds of the German motorik bands of the '70s…these are a few of the straws I will grasp at in...