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3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 25, 2007
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$26.00 $14.38
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Disc: 1
1. Rigoletto, opera: Prelude
2. Rigoletto, opera: Act 1. Scene 1. Della mia bella incognita borghese
3. Rigoletto, opera: Act 1. Scene 1. Questa o quella
4. Rigoletto, opera: Act 1. Scene 1. Partite? crudele!
5. Rigoletto, opera: Act 1. Scene 1. Gran nuova!
6. Rigoletto, opera: Act 1. Scene 1. Ch'io gli parli
7. Rigoletto, opera: Act 1. Scene 2. Quel vecchio maledivami!
8. Rigoletto, opera: Act 1. Scene 2. Pari siamo!
9. Rigoletto, opera: Act 1. Scene 2. Figlia! Mio padre!
10. Rigoletto, opera: Act 1. Scene 2. Ah! veglia, o donna, questo fiore
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Rigoletto, opera: Act 2. Ella mi fu rapita!
2. Rigoletto, opera: Act 2. Parmi veder le lagrime
3. Rigoletto, opera: Act 2. Duca, Duca!
4. Rigoletto, opera: Act 2. Possente amor mi chiama
5. Rigoletto, opera: Act 2. Povero Rigoletto!
6. Rigoletto, opera: Act 2. Cortigiani, vil razza dannata
7. Rigoletto, opera: Act 2. Mio padre!
8. Rigoletto, opera: Act 2. Parla, siam soli... Tutte le feste al tempio
9. Rigoletto, opera: Act 2. Ah! Piangi, fanciulla, piangi
10. Rigoletto, opera: Act 2. Compiuto pur quanto a fare mi resta
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Performer: Cornel MacNeil, Reri Grist, Nicolai Gedda, Agostino Ferrin
  • Conductor: Francesco Molinari Pradelli
  • Composer: Verdi
  • Audio CD (September 25, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: EMI Classics/Classics For Pleasure
  • ASIN: B000UYWG94
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,563 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jacques Schmitt on July 6, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Même si de nombreuses versions de cet opéra, plus modernes, plus récentes, peuvent attirer le chaland, cet enregistrement me semble d'une tenue exceptionnelle. D'abord par la direction d'orchestre de Francesco Molinari Pradelli qui sent le drame de Rigoletto et l'exprime sans ménagement, l'insouciance festive du Duc de Mantoue, et la candeur de Gilda. Quelle vigueur, quel allant dans cette direction d'orchestre!
Ensuite, Cornell MacNeil est l'un des plus grand Rigoletto de tous les temps. Issu de cette extraordinaire palette de barytons américains qui ont porté ce rôle au sublime (Leonard Warren, Lawrence Tibbett), MacNeil est ici au meilleur de sa forme. La voix claire, puissante, timbrée, il est aussi un acteur vocal incroyable (Ecoutez-le appeler "Gilda" après son enlèvement). Si Nicolai Gedda n'est pas le plus grand Duc de Mantoue de la discographie, sa générosité vocale reste un exemple. Reri Grist incarne à merveille la toute jeune Gilda.
Encore une fois, cet enregistrement miraculeux doit ce miracle à la direction sensible et dynamique de Francesco Molinari Pradelli avec un Orchestre de l'Opéra de Rome en pleine forme.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cody Robert at Spokane on April 2, 2015
Format: Audio CD
This is an intriguing treasure unknown to most Verdians who will already own the "Callas RIGOLETTO" or perhaps both the "Sutherland RIGOLETTOs." Sutherland's first recording dates from 1961 and, still available, touts its superstar Gilda, a forgotten (and forgettable) Duke of Mantua, grudgingly lists the eminent baritone (a definitive one) of its title character (third billed) and completely omits the routine conductor and orchestra. It's not a question of mindless ageism, truth in labeling or maximizing a recording's marketability and catalogue life, but puzzled browsers will wonder--who's the boss, who's the real star here? Verdi makes it abundantly clear, giving Gilda (not his most complex heroine) dazzling coloratura fireworks, the rakish Duke a little throwaway about the fickleness of women, and the opera revolves decisively around the only character intended to be taken seriously, the hunchback in the misleading jester's cap.

This release gets it absolutely right from a billing standpoint and musically as well--a thoroughly idiomatic if not distinguished 1967 studio performance featuring in this order: MacNeil, Grist, Gedda and EMI's reliable Rome standby Molinari-Pradelli. Gedda is older of voice (this supplants his 1959 Stockholm live recording, still available from BIS) but terrifically stylish and debonair, with no doubt this noble tenor playing a noble is a real devil with the women. The great American coloratura Reri Grist recorded too few complete operas commercially, and this is a rarity in her discography, a major not-quite-starring role (and not a sympathetic one) where she holds her own against the more melodramatic Sutherland or Callas.

But, as I've suggested, the important star here is that great American baritone Cornell MacNeil (1922-2011).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 18, 2007
Format: Audio CD
A major-label Rigoletto with two Americans in lead roles is a rar avis, and yet EMI has hidden this set in their vaults for a long time. I find no reviews of it in either the Gramophone or Fanfare archives. Perhaps too many big-name rivals sank it -- EMI has the classic Callas and Sills versions, among others. One hoped that Gedda would be an outstanding Duke, but he's a bit worn of voice and not passionate enough. Which isn't to say that his singing isn't stylish and engaging. MacNeil enjoyed a long career at the Met and was probably the outstanding American-born Rigoletto between the eras of Robert Merrill and Leonard Warren and Sherrill Milnes. Fortunately, he doesn't shout with the merciless constancy of Milnes, and although the portrayal is conventional, MacNeil sounds thoroughly idiomatic and has a big, impressive voice. The one thing he isn't is touching, a serious drawback. Grist appears on quite a few prominent recordings, including Bernstein's Mahler Fourth, and her voice has a pleasing timbre. It's light and vibrant, as is her depiction of the cardboard Gilda -- it's not Grist's faualt that she can't find the pathos of Callas, but on the other hand she's not as overblown as Sutherland. Molinari-Pradelli's conducting is serviceable but no better.

In all, this recording offers a nice listen at a very cheap price, even if it cannot compete with the best versions in the field. My current favorite, at mid-price, is the Solti set on RCA with Robert Merrill in prime voice as the immortal hunchback.
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