- Conductor: Jonel Perlea
- Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
- Audio CD (April 17, 1990)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Label: Alliance
- Run Time: 113 minutes
- ASIN: B000003EVS
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,274 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Top Customer Reviews
Roberta Peters was a bright, shining star who had the misfortune to be on the wrong side of the tide that swept first Callas and then Sutherland to the operatic heights. But just listen to her. You will find a fine technician with wonderful sound and great precision. Compare her Gilda that of other great sopranos and it is likely that you will find her performance (along with that of Erna Berger, who was one generation older) to be definitive.
This is an RCA studio recording from the 1950s, and it sounds like it. Nobody is going to confuse it with a digital recording. On the other hand, the voices are well-caught and the singing is glorious.
Of the principal singers I have my doubts about only Roberta Peters. She has a true, suitably girlish sound but can be piercing in alt and there is something windy in her tone where more fullness would be welcome. Her trill is a little laboured and the melodramatic scream as she is stabbed ill-advised. Nonetheless, hers is a convincing Gilda and her pyrotechnics, including a steam-whistle top E, might please others more than they do me. About Bjorling's Duke there can be no reservations: he is in glorious voice to rival Pavarotti and sounds half his true age; such a pity he wasn't given the cabaletta "Possente amore" to sing, too. Merrill displays one of the richest, most resonant baritones ever to grace the stage and does not here seem susceptible to the accusation sometimes made against him that he is dramatically inert; his palpable grief during "Ah! Deh non parlare al misero" is very touching.
The supporting cast, including a strong Maddalena from Anna Maria Rota and a black-voiced Tozzi as Sparafucile, is excellent, even if Monterone could be steadier. This is a "Rigoletto" that should be in every Verdi-lover's collection, unless you prefer Kraus to Bjorling (I don't) or Moffo to Peters (which I do), in which case you might prefer the later, 1963 RCA recording by Merrill with Solti.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This a combination of voices that is still regarded as one of the finest ever done even though it was made in 1956.Published on April 24, 2014 by Georgia Meyer
It's too far back in time to remember, but I think this was one of the first opera recordings I ever listened to. Read morePublished on July 24, 2013 by Robert B. Lamm
I have the Callas recording which I find more dramatic. Callas, Di Stefano and Gobbi are just more into the roles. However the singing here is comparable, maybe even better. Read morePublished on March 9, 2013 by Beethoven
...but a treat for a Roberta Peter's fan. Robert Merrill is and so is the whole cast. Wish it was a DVD! Read morePublished on March 6, 2013 by dennphill
In my review of Rigoletto just a few minutes ago, I listed Lawrence Tibbet in the main role. I meant to write Warren. I am sorry for this grievous error on my part. Karl WohincPublished on February 13, 2013 by Rev. Karl R. Wohinc
If you are looking to hear some of the greatest singers of the mid-twentieth century, and are not looking for quality of recording, or orchestral sound... Read morePublished on July 18, 2010 by J. M. Barclay
With all these classic opera recordings, why doesn't RCA improve the sound?
I would love to hear these war horses re-mastered using 24 bit technology. Read more
could get me to listen to any of Verdi's stuffy, croggy, rarely- a moment- of-beauty operas. Give me Wagner's 3 great operas anyday. Thats passion and beauty.Published on May 3, 2007 by paul best