Even in highlight form, this is a compellingly dramatic, emotionally gripping, and beautifully performed version of Verdi's popular opera, centered on the tragic romance of Violetta Valéry and Alfredo Germont.
"Cotrubas is quite as moving a Violetta as Scotto…. At any and every point one feels the vulnerability of this Violetta and the hard deal she gets from life. She isn't a grand Violetta, not a society queen, but a wholly believable woman and lover, whose tragedy is expressed in moving accents…. As Alfredo, Domingo has both the honeyed tone for the duets with Violetta and the Otello-like power for the outburst chez Flora."—Gramophone
"Kleiber, the great Berlin-born conductor, finds a happy medium in his splendid 'Traviata,' with Ileana Cotrubas as Violetta and Plácido Domingo as Alfredo, both superb. His tempo for 'Un dì felice' has a gentle gait, a bit slower than Toscanini's. The restraint allows the singers a little more room to stretch and bend the lines. As the voices blend during the final phrases, they sing with delectable pianissimo tenderness, especially Mr. Domingo's."—NYTimes
Our favorite recording…. A superb cast that includes Romanian soprano Ileana Cotrubas as an incredibly touching Violetta, Plácido Domingo as Alfredo and Sherrill Milnes as Germont. Carlos Kleiber and the Bavarian State Opera orchestra stir up the passions as few others have on disc."—Opera Now, London