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Verdi: Rigoletto

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, December 2, 2011
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 2, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Membran
  • ASIN: B005ZHB9EO
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,208,009 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Ralph Moore TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 8, 2016
NB: while this recording is a winner in any form, the following review is for the superior Pristine Audio issue in remastered Ambient Stereo, unavailable on Amazon. I note that some reviewers do not like what EMI have done in their more recent remastered issues, whereas Pristine have done their usual impeccable job.

My MusicWeb colleague Göran Forsling has provided a fine comparative survey of the four mono recordings from the 50’s and concluded that this EMI issue always had the best recorded sound, the quality of performance notwithstanding. However, this Pristine remastering into Ambient Stereo gives it even more of an sonic edge and the opportunity to appreciate afresh just how good the singers here are; its warmth and depth confer renewed presence and immediacy on proceedings, while minor irritations and blemishes have been minimalised by Andrew Rose.

Fortunately they are accompanied by a conductor, chorus and orchestra entirely immersed in the Verdian idiom, providing ideal support. Serafin does nothing eccentric or flashy but simply knows how this music should go and does it, giving his singers plenty of time to make their points without undue self-consciousness.

Little more can be said about the principals which has not already been observed in the sixty or so years since its issue after the miraculously busy recording year of 1955. For some Di Stefano for all his élan, is a touch crude and shouty and the too open vowels presage troubles to come, but his is a highly energised, winning assumption with many splendid moments. Gobbi’s voice might have been a little lean in tone for the ideal Verdi baritone but his range of colour and expression is miraculous; no singer since has so completely embodied this most complex of characters.
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