Everything is just as it should be here. Superb performances, hardly any weak link in the cast and the recording is clear and well balanced. My rating for this CD is five stars because I do not believe there is a better highlights rendition to be found of this particular composition, everything considered. I am not rating the composition but the performances. This is not a most profound piece of work but beautiful music. However, if you want the whole opera then perhaps Solti's version (with Merrill et al) is a better option since it captures the pathos of the work much better than this version. The downside to the Solti version is the sound balancing but there is an "enhanced" remasted version of it out there which supposedly fixes the imbalance. That remastered issue is out of stock and very hard to get second hand.
skips in the middle need to return it
For a time there in the Nineites, we had two make-do Verdi baritones, Leo Nucci and Juan Pons, whose ascendacy was baffling. Here Nucci displays everything that was lacking. He sings Rigoletto in a very generalized way, with no vocal distinction, little regard for drama, and a marked inability to arouse pathos. A Rigoletto without a centrla character is sunk form the start. If you can get past this problem, however, you then must contend with chailly's tame conducting. In almost all his opera projects for Decca, chailly has attempted to add dignity to material others turn vulgar, but Rigoletto is vulgar -- it's hack melodramatic of the most popular flavor raised to the level of genius by Verdi's music.
Chailly clearly disagrees, and he conducts as if this is Massenet. It's a shamee, buecause from here on out, there's a lot to enjoy. June Anderson is at her best in terms of vocal purity and beauty. She's a bit pastel dramatically, and not remotely Italianate. Still, her...
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