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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 May 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B000003EVS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 575,055 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Rigoletto: Prelude - G. Verdi
2. Rigoletto: Della Mia Bella Incognita Borghese - G. Verdi
3. Rigoletto: Questa O Quella - G. Verdi
4. Rigoletto: Partite? Crudele! - G. Verdi
5. Rigoletto: Gran Nuova! - G. Verdi
6. Rigoletto: Ch'io Gli Parli - G. Verdi
7. Rigoletto: Quel Vecchio Maledivami! - G. Verdi
8. Rigoletto: Pari Siamo! Lo La Lingua - G. Verdi
9. Rigoletto: Figlia! - Mio Padre! - G. Verdi
10. Rigoletto: Ah! Veglia, O Donna - G. Verdi
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Rigoletto: Ella Mi Fu Rapita!; Parmi Veder La Lagrime - Guiseppe Verdi
2. Rigoletto: Duca, Duca? - Guiseppe Verdi
3. Rigoletto: Povera, Rigoletto - Guiseppe Verdi
4. Rigoletto: Cortigiani, Vil Razza Dannata - Guiseppe Verdi
5. Rigoletto: Mio Padre!-Dio! Mia Gilda! - Guiseppe Verdi
6. Rigoletto: Tutte Le Feste Al Tempio - Guiseppe Verdi
7. Rigoletto: Schiudete! - Guiseppe Verdi
8. Rigoletto: Si, Vendetaa, Tremenda Vendetta - Guiseppe Verdi
9. Rigoletto: E l'ami?-Sempre - Guiseppe Verdi
10. Rigoletto: La Donne E Mobile - Guiseppe Verdi
See all 20 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Fred on 28 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this because my original vinyl version was damaged. I bought it for the artists, really, who I rate very highly. However, I don't think the actual recording is as good as it might be. To me it seems 'dry,' lacking in spaciousness and rather trebly. If you have the right kind of amplifier you can compensate for the recording characteristics, otherwise you can turn the treble control down.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A nice addition to my collection of operas keeping Bjorling, Merrill & Co very much alive in the memory.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Metropolitan legacy 10 Jun. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Like most opera recordings of this type, which harken back to the Met days of old, this middle-Verdi opera is performed with stellar singers and standard cuts. Maestro Perlea leads a balanced orchestra with verve and taste. The great baritone Robert Merrill comes in and out of his music like a lion--he is in glorious voice here, and while his vocal acting isn't too inspired, he isn't wooden either. A wonderful job by a Verdi great. Jussi Bjoerling is a young, regal Duke, and uses his top-shape technique and elegant timbre to sing his music in stride. Roberta Peters is ideal as Gilda; there is a youthful quality in her voice, but she's no soubrette. Hers is a lyric coloratura with an amazing upper register, and she takes to dizzying vocal heights very often in this recording (it's very effective, however, and welcome, and Miss Peters sang coloratura SO WELL). Her characterization doesn't have much depth (her wail in the last scene is silly), yet her Gilda is still a gem. Giorgio Tozzi is chilling as Sparafucile, blending splendor and darkness in his voice--terrific! Anna Maria Rota (Maddalena) is playful and emotional...plus, her voice is on par with the rest of the leads. The supporting cast does a great job, particularly Arturo La Porta as Marullo. The page (Santa Chissari) may be the only irritating part of this recording (her voice is, shall we say, very "dental" sounding). I'm not going to give this recording five stars since there ARE moments that I don't care for (such as the cut where the Duke's "Possente amor" takes place--surely a tenor of Bjoerling's caliber could handle it!)...I still enjoy this recording, however, and would recommend it. This is the result of great talents enhancing a great work.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A gloriously sung Rigoletto 13 Jun. 2005
By herman joseph - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For beautiful great singing this performance is a classic. Merrill, Bjorling, Peters are recorded in their prime.Merrill was simply the great Verdi baritone of the Metropolitan in the 1950s and 1960s with Bjorling the great lyric dramatic tenor in an unmatched tenor/baritone partnership. Peters' performance of Caro Nome is one of the greatest renditions on record. The small roles especially Tozzi are magnificently sung. I do not find the blandness that one reviewer reported. This is a studio performance but all involved turn in highly expressive and intense performances.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Rigoletto from the glory days of New York singing 5 Jun. 2005
By L. E. Cantrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This "Rigoletto" is a fine representation of what was taking place during the glory days of New York's Metropolitan Opera in the 1950s. Bjorling, Merrill and, down in the basso basement, Tozzi do exactly what any listener would hope for Bjorling, Merrill and Tozzi to do. If what they give us is blandness, as an earlier reviewer has charged, then by all means let us have such marvelously sung blandness.

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.

Five Stars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
One of the greatest Rigoletto's, vocally on recording 18 July 2010
By J. M. Barclay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
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...this recording is a must have! Despite it being recorded in mono...which mainly affects the sound of the orchestra, the singing is absolutely impeccable! Bjorling, Merrill, and Peters all do an astounding job. Without say much, Bjorling was THE tenor in his day, and listening still, surpasses the singing of our present day. Merrill had the perfect technique, there is no hooking of the sound or overcovering/darkening, as is often found in the Milnes, Pavoratti, Sutherland recording that I also own, but has a smooth sound from top to bottom making it sound effortless. Merrill could probably be described as the greatest baritone of the twentieth century...and even though I like Hampson's singing when he's not adding extra fluff...I have to say that Merrill was perfection! As I mentioned, I also own the recording with Milnes, Pavarotti, and Sutherland. That recording was my first Rigoletto recording, and is certainly also a must have! Even with Milnes' constant hooking when going into his higher range...one can not argue that he was the baritone of the late 60's and 70's, until his vocal problem in 1981, much how Hampson has been a leading baritone from the mid-80's to present, and has dropped the "fluff" which he added in his youth and now simply sings! As I could continue on in this manner, I will simply say that this is definitely a recordings worth having, and after you listen to it for a while you begin to ignore the fact that it's in mono and then can truly enjoy the true beauty which this gem has to offer.
Glorious singing 2 April 2011
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This early (1956) stereo studio recording has long been a classic despite the cuts and being overshadowed by Callas/Gobbi/Di Stefano set on EMI made the year before this. Perlea's conducting is a little bland but he is very supportive of his singers and the playing of the Rome Opera Orchestra is acceptable if occasionally a bit scratchy. The important orchestral passages such as the brooding opening to Act 4 and the subsequent storm music make their impact; Perlea lends intensity by groaning along (loudly, in the famous quartet) like Barbirolli and a few other vocal conductors I could name.

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.
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