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This complete performance of Rigoletto from 1964 includes not only the Duke's second-act cabaletta, but more gloriously, the cadenza that Verdi composed (and not an abbreviation or ad libitum) for the Duke and Gilda before the "Addio" duet, a lovely moment that sounds like the joyous intertwining of a flute and an oboe. Georg Solti's leadership is very in-your-face, with the brass blaring and tempos generally fast, and while this attitude tends to underplay the opera's pathos, it does make for great excitement. Robert Merrill's Rigoletto is pretty much by-the-numbersRead more with no deep insights, but it's well sung, with exactly the type of Italianate sound Verdi wanted. Alfredo Kraus was in peak form in 1964 and his Duke is by turns elegant, amorous, and biting. He caps "Possente amor" with a brain-splitting high-D. Anna Moffo has some bad habits--she scoops her way into notes in a manner that's supposed to be girlish, but is in fact irritating--but she sings with great warmth and attention to the text when Solti's tempos allow. And in the end, she's very touching. Despite Solti's somewhat brutal approach and Merrill's generic rendering of the title role, this is recommended.
Rigolettoby Giuseppe Verdi Performer:
David Ward (Bass),
Anna di Stasio (Mezzo Soprano),
Robert Kerns (Baritone),
Corinna Vozza (Mezzo Soprano),
Mario Rinaudo (Bass),
Tina Toscano (Soprano),
Enzo Titta (Baritone),
Rosalind Elias (Mezzo Soprano),
Piero de Palma (Tenor),
Robert Merrill (Baritone),
Ezio Flagello (Bass),
Anna Moffo (Soprano),
Alfredo Kraus (Tenor)
Sir Georg Solti
RCA Italian Opera Orchestra,
RCA Italian Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic Written: 1851; Italy Date of Recording: 06/1963 Venue: RCA Italiana Studios, Rome, Italy Length: 113 Minutes 5 Secs. Language: Italian
Act I: Della mia bella incognita borghese
Act I: Questa o quella
Act I: Partite? Crudele!
Act I: Gran nuova!
Act I: Ch' io gli parli
Act II: Quel vecchio maledivami!
Act II: Pari siamo! Io la lingua
Act II: Figlia! - Mio padre!
Act II: Ah! veglia, o donna
Act II: Giovanna, ho dei rimorsi
Act II: Che m' ami, deh! ripetimi
Act II: Gualtier Maldè; Caro nome
Act II: Riedo! perchè?
Act II: Zitti, zitti, moviamo a vendetta
Act III: Ella mi fu rapita!; Parmi veder le lagrime
Act III: Duca, Duca?
Act III: Possente amor mi chiama
Act III: Povero Rigoletto!
Act III: Cortigiani, vil razza dannata
Act III: Mio padre! - Dio! mia Gilda!
Act III: Tutte le feste al tempio
Act III: Schiudete!
Act III: Sì, vendetta, tremenda vendetta
Act IV: E l'ami? - Sempre
Act IV: La donna è mobile
Act IV: E là il vostr'uomo
Act IV: Un di, se ben rammentomi
Act IV: Bella figlia dell'amore
Act IV: Venti scudi hai tu detto?
Act IV: Ah, più non ragiono!
Act IV: Ancor c'è mezz'ora
Act IV: Della vendetta alfin
Act IV: Chi è mai?
Act IV: V'ho ingannato, colpevole fui
Act IV: Lassù in cielo
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
All that and MORE!May 2, 2014By J. Fung (Tracy, CA)See All My Reviews"Verdi's Rigoletto is one of my all time favorite operas. This version, though older, is simply exquisite. I don't claim to be an opera expert but if you're interested in opera, this recording is truly superb. I recommend it without reservation. I've heard the quartet sung by many different stars, but this particular configuration has endured the test of time and still shines brightly. Rigoletto is a delight, plain and simple. Respectfully submitted, J. Fung"Report Abuse
Splendid RigolettoApril 1, 2012By Michel M. (Chateauguay, Quebec)See All My Reviews"This 1963 set of Rigoletto is by far my favorite. All singers have the right vocal profiles for their roles and bring considerable beauty and drama to the work. Robert Merrill is dark and biting and portrays the bitterness and heartbreak of the hunchback superbly. Anna Moffo is a very lovely and touching Gilda - she brings warmth and tenderness to the role and sings an exquisite "Caro nome". Alfredo Kraus is the best Duke on record - charming and callous all at once - and he sings with superb aplomb. Rosalind Elias and Ezio Flagello round off the cast admirably. Georg Solti is perhaps a bit hard-driven but the end result is undeniably exciting. "Report Abuse
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