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A touching memento of conductor Carlo Maria Giulini on his centenary

Carlo Maria Giulini, the elegant and eloquent Italian conductor, was born on this date 100 years ago (he died in 2005). The centenary is a good reason to take a moment and recall his uncommon artistry.

This brief audio clip -- Prelude to Act 3 of Verdi's "La Traviata," recorded live at La Scala in 1956 -- easily reveals the Giulini touch. The conductor makes every phrase speak, and the way he stretches out the very last notes communicates with a most extraordinary pathos. You just don't hear music-making like this everyday.

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