Pavarotti is flawless - the ideal Duke, youthful, singing merry melodies (except "Ella mi fu rapita!" and "E' il sol dell'anima") and unresponsive.
Sherrill Milnes makes us feel his tremendous fate: his life is joyless, and yet he has to make laugh. Most dramatic performance (especially his last line: "Ah, la maledizione!").
Joan Sutherland ... a magnificent voice, which melts perfectly with Pavarotti's, and an immense experience. To those who could doubt it, and talk about Callas, I say: Callas shoutes and has a dull recitative "talent" (her Norma features a stone statue singing more than a woman), Sutherland has the most gorgeous voice ever heard on CD and good (not excellent, but always good) acting.
Talvela is thrilling as the killer Sparafucile. As his giant role in the Rheingold, ruthless, frightening, and yet a beautiful technique.
Tourangeau sounds like a w***e, that is the point. Maddalena surely performed the "most ancient work in the world", and Tourangeau makes us hear that, beyond a pretty face, there is a nasty woman (you should notice that een when she saves the Duke, she does it just because she likes him , not because she's a good, nice girl).
Bonynge is the one conductor I heard that doesn't make sound "la donna è mobile" as an idiotic circus song (as in tremendous Florez's Great Tenor Arias).
THE ULTIMATE recording.