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Verdi: Rigoletto / Serafin, Gobbi, Callas, Di Stefano

Verdi / Serafin / Callas / Gobbi / Stefano
Release Date: 04/20/2010 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 56454   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  William DickiePlinio ClabassiAdriana LazzariniGiuse Gerbino,   ... 
Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala OrchestraMilan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

That one recording should continue to hold sway over many other attractive comers after 30 years is simply a tribute to Callas, Gobbi, Serafin and Walter Legge. Whatever the merits of its successors, and they are many, no Rigoletto has surpassed Gobbi in tonal variety, line, projection of character and understanding of what Rigoletto is about; no Gilda has come anywhere near Callas in meaningful phrasing—listen to the comparative versions of "Caro nome" or " Tutte le feste" on any and each of the sets if you don't believe me— nor achieved such a careful differentiation of timbre before and after her seduction; no conductor, not even Giulini on DG, though he comes near it, matches Serafin in judging tempo and instrumental Read more detail to a nicety; nor, and here we have an echo in the recent EMI/Maazel °tell°, benefited from a chorus and orchestra bred in the tradition of La Scala; no producer has equalled Legge in recording voices rather than the space round them (why won't producers today listen to how truthfully their predecessors caught the actual sound of a voice?). And di Stefano? Well, he may not be so stylish a Duke as Domingo and some others, but the 'face' he gives his singing, and the sheer physical presence he conveys, not to forget his forward diction, are also unique in LP records of this opera.

Nothing in this world is perfect, and so there are some small drawbacks here. Serafin sadly makes small cuts in the first Gilda/Rigoletto duet and omits entirely the Duke's cabaletta as used to be practice in the theatre. Gobbi could be said not to have quite the weight of voice ideally called for by a Verdi baritone role; in that he yields to Bruson, who is also an appreciable interpreter of the part (Sinopoli/Philips). Finally, the recording, although immeasurably improved from previous issues of the set (and just about as excellent on LP as on CD), still has one or two places of distortion obviously present on the original tape. In every other way, this remains the classic performance of the opera on record, and one that should be on every Verdi collector's shelf.

-- A.B., Gramophone [2/1987]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  William Dickie (Baritone), Plinio Clabassi (Bass), Adriana Lazzarini (Alto),
Giuse Gerbino (Soprano), Luisa Mandelli (Mezzo Soprano), Giuseppe Di Stefano (Tenor),
Maria Callas (Soprano), Tito Gobbi (Baritone), Nicola Zaccaria (Bass),
Renato Ercolani (Tenor), Carlo Forti (Bass), Elvira Galassi (Mezzo Soprano),
Vittorio Tatozzi (Bass)
Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
Date of Recording: 9/1955 
Venue:  La Scala Theater, Milan, Italy 
Length: 118 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

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