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