OP1797. LA TRAVIATA, Live Performance, 20 June, 1958, w.Rescigno Cond. Royal Opera House Ensemble; Maria Callas, Cesare Valletti, Mario Zanasi, etc. (E.U.) 2–Myto 00145. Specially priced. - 8014399501453
“John Ardoin in his book THE CALLAS LEGACY was very enthusiastic about this performance, not only about Callas but also the Germont of Mario Zanasi for example, ‘Zanasi’s intrinsic musicality combined with Callas’ wealth of insights to bring the lengthy second act scene between Germont and Violetta to a living realisation. This duet is a study in contrasts, tensions and releases on the highest expressive level’.
Of Callas herself, Ardoin went on to say ‘it is in the final Act that Callas makes the tragedy of Violetta most immediate. The opening recitatives and ‘Addio del passato’ are from another world…Callas’ Violetta is summed up in the strain ‘Se una pudica vergine’ sung in a half-lit legato of breathtaking eloquence’. Ardoin praised the conductor Nicola Rescigno who ‘brings sanity and song to the performance and was remarkably at one with Callas in the ends she sought’."
“As one of the younger tenors to emerge soon after World War II, it was obvious that Valletti was an artist whose reputation would be made based on artistic and musical considerations….His musicianship and vocal colour made him an ideal interpreter of Mozart rôles, and like Schipa [his mentor], he became a renowned Werther with sensitivity and nuance being the key to his interpretation….he was considered a lyric tenor of the front rank.”
- Alan Bilgora, program notes to Pearl’s THE CETRA TENORS
“Cesare Valletti…was a phenomenon among Italian tenors, an opera singer who was also a stylish recitalist with a large, well studied repertoire of songs....Valletti was a pupil of Tito Schipa but has more affinity with Schipa’s contemporary Dino Borgioli.”
- John Steane, GRAMOPHONE, June, 2008