Disc 1 Sound Clips (MP3):
Disc 2 Sound Clips (MP3):
Because the dress rehearsals did not constitute a real performance, given before a paying audience, Toscanini himself participates uninhibitedly. We frequently hear him hushing his singers and orchestra or enthusiastically cheering them on, throwing out a monitory "Crescendo!" or "Legato!" or simply singing along. And in Act II, Scene 1, we are surprised to hear him, in his hoarsely croaking baritone, taking the role of Violetta's servant Guiseppe-in place of a singer who was evidently indisposed. Since these were dress rehearsals, there are none of the famous Toscanini outbursts of temper-though at one point he does come close. The blend of total emotional involvement and professional detachment is characteristic, revealing, and, very moving.
GIUSEPPE VERDI: LA TRAVIATA. Dress rehearsal, recorded November 1946 in New York. With Licia Albanese, sop. as Violetta Valery; Jan Peerce, ten. as Afredo Germont; Robert Merrill, barit. as Giorgio Germont, his father; Maxine Stellman, mezzo as Flora Bervoix; Johanne Morland, sop. as Annina, Violetta's maid; John Garris, barit. as Gastone, Viscount de Letorieres; George Cehanovsky, barit. as Barone Duopol; Paul Dennis, bass. as Marquis d'Obigny; Arthur Newman, bass. as Doctor Grenvil. Chorus Master: Peter Wilhousky. Arturo Toscanini: Conductor Total Time: 1:43:52. Originally issued in 1987 as Music & Arts CD-271. Technical restoration (2003) Graham Newton. Liner notes by William H. Youngren.UPC # 0-17685-42712-2