1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2014
I see that there are other positive reviews of this remarkable recording in its originals reincarnation on this site but this is the cd version I own and much as I value the classic Gobi, Callas, di Stefano, Serafin reading, as well as the celebrated Sutherland, milnes, Pavarotti and the digital sinopoli reading with Bruson, this Giulini reading is highly distinctive and all of the soloists bring this performance to life. Capucilli is moving, investing the character with a true sense of pathos, Domingo is superb as the carefree duke, Cotrubas sounds a little too closely miked and yet this is a very minor quibble in an interpretation in which she provides one of the most convincing Gilda's on record. Hers is not the most beautiful voice in comparison to many other recordings but it possesses dramatic integrity. the sound balance between orchestra and voices is not ideal in several respects but this is a very minor blemish in a set which remains one of my desert island discs.
on 12 December 2014
This was a mixed bag for me. On the plus side we have Giulini's conducting. There’s always something new with CMG – be it the pace or bringing forward a section of the orchestra previously lost, and the atmosphere from the off is great. Cotrubas had such a sweet voice, she is an ideal Gilda (though if you want the coloratura version then go for Sutherland or Gruberova).
Both Domingo and Cappuccilli are in the plus and minus camp - Domingo's tone is gorgeous. He starts well and with aplomb, but the Duke is a terribly difficult sing and he struggles in two important areas - "E il sol dell'anima" where the climb to B flats is uncomfortable, and, more importantly, the great quartet is marred by his struggle. The tessitura is just too high and sustained for him. It's an opera for Pavarotti, Bergonzi, and Kraus.
Cappuccilli puts great attention into his interpretation, he tries to relax his usual tendency to produce a "strained" sound in his voice (a habit I've always found perplexing to say the least). He's a Luna, a Macbeth or a Rodrigo, but I'm not convinced he's a Rigoletto.
Still, come on, I'm giving this four stars, but there are better recordings: DFD/Kubelik - Merrill/Solti - Milnes/Bonynge - Zancanaro/Muti - Bruson/Sinopoli. It's too beautiful an opera to settle for less.
1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2013
Hard to review without hearing it. Have been promised a replacement as the first cd seems to have gone missing, but the second one seems to have followed suit. After 11/2 months all I've received has been the bill. I'd say that's a bit unfair