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Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
This is a DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording
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-numbers
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.
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi
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
Written: 1851; Italy
Date of Recording: 06/1963
Venue: RCA Italiana Studios, Rome, Italy
Length: 113 Minutes 5 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
All that and MORE! May 2, 2014
By 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"
Splendid Rigoletto April 1, 2012
By 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. "