Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3


CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
La Traviata - Opera in Three Acts (1853)
Violetta Valéry - Renée Fleming
Alfredo Germont - Joseph Calleja
Giorgio Germont - Thomas Hampson
Flora Bervoix - Monika Evelin-Liiv
Marquis D’Obigny - Kostas Smoriginas
Baron Douphal - Eddie Wade
Doctor Grenvil - Richard Wiegold
Royal Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Antonio Pappano
rec. live, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, 27 and 30 June 2009
OPUS ARTE DVD OA 1040 D [154:00]

Experience Classicsonline

There is no doubt who is the star of this Royal Opera House production. Renée Fleming once again proves she is not only one of the world’s greatest divas but also a consummate actress. She holds this less than perfect production together with her natural expressive performance shining through every scene. This is sustained from initial rapture as she falls for Alfredo’s ardour, through to the ecstasy, sacrifice and suffering of Act II and her anguished death scene in Act III. The voice has lost none of its lustre. She is supported by a rather wooden and not very romantic-looking Joseph Caleja as Alfredo who nevertheless is strongly passionate in voice; and the threatening presence of Thomas Hampson as Alfredo’s stern, unbending father; his Act II aria ‘Di Provenza il mar’ as he comforts his son after he has compelled Violetta to leave him is particularly moving.

The story of the opera concerns the plight of Violetta, a mid-19th century Parisian courtesan who is dying of consumption (tuberculosis). She responds to the ardent love of the young Alfredo but sacrifices him when his father, Giorgio, pleads that their love will ruin his daughter’s happiness and his son’s career. Later, a furious Alfredo, unaware of his father’s meddling, confronts the hapless Violetta in a gambling hall throwing his winnings in her face and provoking a duel with her erstwhile protector the Baron. Act III brings a lovers’ reconciliation but by now Violetta’s consumption has reached its final stage and she dies in Alfredo’s arms.

The sets of this Covent Garden production are somewhat minimal. The lighting, except in Act II Scene 1 is subdued. The Act I party scene is a plain rotunda, Act II Scene 1’s love nest is spartan and hardly romantic, looking little more than a kitchen; Act II, Scene 2 fares a little better with a more imaginative spacious backcloth and a large central gaming table on which the gypsy dancers disport themselves at the beginning of the action. The Act III set is again minimal with high shuttered windows. It presents a rather too stark atmosphere with blood-drenched pillows and nightdress.

Violetta’s Act I full party gown is gorgeous, all white and floating with golden stars motifs. The rest of the ladies’ costumes are contrastingly restrained as they are throughout the production. Taken together with the downbeat sets there is a sense of pervasive melancholy that weighs down the production robbing it of sufficient dramatic contrast.

I have to say that overall though I prefer Zeffirelli’s Traviata(TDK DVD Video DV-OPLTR) that I reviewed on this site in February 2003. Zeffirelli is concerned with a natural expression of Verdi’s opera – and Alexander Dumas (fils)’ story. He directs the set designs, lighting, costumes as well as the acting. The costumes are gorgeous - one of this DVD’s features demonstrates Zeffirelli’s remarkably detailed knowledge of the costumes of the period. The beautifully lit sets make best use of the stage with a rotating middle section. Pappano directs the Covent Garden Orchestra with passion and conviction.

Renée Fleming triumphs but this Covent Garden production is less than perfect.

Ian Lace


































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.