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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent historic recording by all Italian cast, 5 July 2013
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This is a reissue of an excellent historic recording made by Ricordi in 1960. The experienced conductor and all Italian principal singers are at the peak of their powers. Ettore Bastianini (Rigoletto) is certainly one of the best Rigolettos I have listened to - at once cynical as a court jester and tender and caring as a father. Renata Scotto's voice as Gilda has the right timbre with a touch of innocence and sadness. Finally, Alfred Kraus (Duke) sings with a superb and full voice which never sounds vulgar that can easily happen in this role.

But, what distinguishes this recording is the conducting by Gavazzeni; it is excellent with very well-chosen tempi. Verdi's and Piave's drama unfolds naturally under his baton.

The original stereo recording was digitally rematered very well, although you need to raise the volume level a little. I already own an earlier CD version by Ricordi, issued by BMG. Its sound quality was rather indifferent, but the new remastering by Andromeda produced a lot of improvements.

Also, the discs have many more tracks compared with the Ricordi version which had only about a dozen tracks. Finally, there is no booklet with translations of the libretto, but it does not make any difference to me since I already have translations for other recordings.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem live from Stockholm, 11 Jun 2003
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Erik Aleksander Moe "riddion" (Oslo, Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Verdi: Rigoletto (Audio CD)
This is really a great recording of one of Verdi's most popular operas. The Swedish and Norwegian cast is really formidable. Jussi Bjorling's Duke is as good as ever. His characterization is even better than on the Naxos release of the Met performance. He gives more of a carefree, womanizing, arrogant man who makes love to women and then throws them away. His interpretation here takes more advantage of his experience, and it certainly helps to be on home turf too. Erik Sundqvist's Rigoletto does remind me of the great Leonard Warren. He doesn't quite prosess Warren's great characteristic voice that makes his Rigolettos so magnificent, but the characterization is similar. Sundqvist does posses a great voice that is ideally suited for the jester. He does also live the role on the stage. Eva Prytz's Gilda came as a revelation here. She is probably the most beautifully voiced Gilda on record. The Norwegian soprano is so really great throughout the opera. She sings 'Caro nome' so wonderfully. Full of the coloratura the role requires. She sings very excitingly in the great quartet in act 3, soaring over the other three. Her characterization is really good as the sweet innocent young woman who sacrifices herself because she loves the Duke.
The conducting is also very good. Bendix is very senstive to the score and the drama, delivering very exciting orchestral sounds when called for and very soft when called for, e.g. in the scenes with Rigoletto and Gilda.
Something that was even more as a surprise than the glorious Gilda of Prytz is the sound. This is a live broadcast from Stockholm in January 1957. The sound of this broadcast is really exceptionally good. It is in stereo and everyone at all times is very clearly heard. I normally say that sound on live performances is good if one can hear somewhat clearly what is being sung, but this performance has as good sound as the 67 Bohm Ring or 62 Parsifal. I had to remind myself that this is not a studio recording. I have never heard of a live performance from the 50's that had stereo sound before, in addition to great mixing.
Any serious collector wouldn't be without this one, especially if one is a fan of Bjorling. This is really a great one.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem live from Stockholm, 28 April 2003
By 
Erik Aleksander Moe "riddion" (Oslo, Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Verdi: Rigoletto (Audio CD)
This is really a great recording of one of Verdi's most popular operas. The Swedish and Norwegian cast is really formidable. Jussi Bjorling's Duke is as good as ever. His characterization is even better than on the Naxos release of the Met performance. He gives more of a carefree, womanizing, arrogant man who makes love to women and then throws them away. His interpretation here takes more advantage of his experience, and it certainly helps to be on home turf too. Erik Sundqvist's Rigoletto does remind me of the great Leonard Warren. He doesn't quite prosess Warren's great characteristic voice that makes his Rigolettos so magnificent, but the characterization is similar. Sundqvist does posses a great voice that is ideally suited for the jester. He does also live the role on the stage. Eva Prytz's Gilda came as a revelation here. She is probably the most beautifully voiced Gilda on record. The Norwegian soprano is so really great throughout the opera. She sings 'Caro nome' so wonderfully. Full of the coloratura the role requires. She sings very excitingly in the great quartet in act 3, soaring over the other three. Her characterization is really good as the sweet innocent young woman who sacrifices herself because she loves the Duke.
The conducting is also very good. Bendix is very senstive to the score and the drama, delivering very exciting orchestral sounds when called for and very soft when called for, e.g. in the scene with Rigoletto and Gilda.
Something that was even more as a surprise than the glorious Gilda of Prytz is the sound. This is a live broadcast from Stockholm in January 1957. The sound of this broadcast is really exceptionally good. It is in stereo and everyone at all times is very clearly heard. I normally say that sound on live performances is good if one can hear somewhat clearly what is being sung, but this performance has as good sound as the 67 Bohm Ring or 62 Parsifal. I had to remind myself that this is not a studio recording. I have never heard of a live performance from the 50's that had stereo sound before, in addition to great mixing.
Any serious collector wouldn't be without this one, especially if one is a fan of Bjorling. This is really a great one.
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