I have enjoyed the voice of Robert Merrill since I heard him for the first time singing the duet at the beginning of the final act of La Boheme. This was 60 years ago on a 45 rpm disc with Guiseppe de Stefano. Robert Merrill has a solid rich voice that is well suited to Verdi. And on this recording of Rigoletto, he is at his superb best. He is well supported by the tender singing of Anna Moffo as Gilda and the splendid Alfredo Kraus as the Duke. Kraus has a voice that is well forward but it has great clarity and hits the high notes with assurance. Solti would not be my initial choice for conducting Verdi but he does a good job here bringing out the drama of the story and an impressive dynamic range. This is a good selection disc and available at a sensible price. Buy it either new or second-hand and enjoy one of the best Rigolettos on record -- and that's saying something with all the versions presently available.
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