Dr Takt on Giuseppe Verdi: La traviata, act III, Violetta’s aria starting at beat 12
This is the 27th episode in our series of videos with Dr Takt
Verdi often uses the high woodwinds in LA TRAVIATA to amplify and add colour to the vocals: The upper voices of the section play along with the vocals in unison. The exception to this is the aria “Addio ben passato”, which begins with an antiphony of solo oboe and vocals when Violetta, aware of her impending death, thinks back on the love she has enjoyed in the past. As she yearns for her beloved Alfredo, the music blossoms into a liberating melody of oboe and vocals. At the same time, the solo clarinet (a sixth below the oboe) and solo flute (a third above it) enter the picture, with the flute playing the high end of the wind section – although it can’t be heard as such. Instead, its soft notes colour the striking oboe with a tinge of longing. We intuitively feel it in our hearts, and share in Violetta’s pain.