Notes and Editorial Reviews
Just look at the cast of this 1960 studio recording, somehow misplaced in the mists of time but now re-mastered and available again! The original recording was unkind to Renata Scotto’s sharp-edged high notes; now they sound less shrill. Her interpretation, even at such a young age, is very rich: a lovely girl, smitten, then degraded, then driven to a tragic conclusion; only Callas delves deeper.
Alfredo Kraus was a great Duke and he’s in even better voice here than he was for RCA three years later (with Moffo and Merrill). His first scene is unimpressive due to Gavazzeni’s rushing (it’s a strangely stop-start performance from the conductor), but the duet with Gilda, “Parmi veder le lagrime”, and the re-instated “Possente
amor” are stunning. He tops the cabaletta, by the way, with a high D, the first I had ever heard from a tenor: it still dazzles. His last act is nicely caddish.
Ettore Bastianini’s voice is so beautiful that it can define the Verdi baritone–rich, chocolatey, strong at both ends. When he’s rushed he reacts by singing too loudly, but a sound like his is always worth hearing and he’s immensely moving. The young Fiorenza Cossotto and Ivo Vinco round out the cast as Maddalena and Sparafucile, and they totally inhabit their roles, with fresh, energetic portrayals. This Rigoletto set comes in second to the Callas/di Stefano (EMI or Warner), and is up there, but in a very different way, with Sutherland and Pavarotti (Decca).
-- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi
Fiorenza Cossotto (Mezzo Soprano),
Renata Scotto (Soprano),
Ettore Bastianini (Baritone),
Alfredo Kraus (Tenor),
Ivo Vinco (Bass)
Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus,
Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra
Written: 1851; Italy
Be the first to review this title