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Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Sherrill Milnes – Verdi: Rigoletto (1971/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Sutherland, Pavarotti, Milnes, LSO, Richard Bonynge – Verdi: Rigoletto (1971/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:57:53 minutes | 2,08 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: PrestoClassical | Artwork: Digital booklet | © Decca

For sheer vocal splendor you can’t go wrong with the 1971 Decca recording featuring the virile baritone Sherrill Milnes as Rigoletto, Luciano Pavarotti in radiant voice as a stylish but slightly scene-stealing Duke, and Joan Sutherland as a Gilda who is a little too vocally resplendent to come across as innocent, but is certainly a treat to hear.

This Rigoletto has been around for so long it might be easy to take it for granted or skip it for a newer set. Don’t! It features all three principals in superb voice, as well as pacing from Maestro Bonynge that is much heavier on drama than most of us expect from him. Sutherland may sound a bit mature (and mush-mouthed) for Gilda, but not only is she sympathetic, she sings gorgeously. And speaking of gorgeous, those familiar only with the Pavarotti of the last 10 years would be wise to hear him here–this is stylish, full-blooded, Golden Age singing. The beautifully round tone, the easy high notes, the impeccable diction, and the pointed characterization are unique. Milnes, in the title role, is also in splendid voice, offering smooth legato, brilliant, Verdian ring and real attention to the text. The ADD sound is excellent. No other modern recording offers the visceral thrill of this Rigoletto – go for it.

01 – Rigoletto: Overture (Preludio)
02 – Act 1: ‘Della mia bella incognita borghese’
03 – Act 1: ‘Questa o quella…Partite? Crudele!’
04 – Act 1: ‘Gran nuova! Gran nuova!’…’Tutto è gioia, tutto è festa’
05 – Act 1: ‘Ch’io gli parti…Voi congiuraste contro noi’
06 – Act 1: ‘Quel vecchio maledivami…Va, non ho niente’
07 – Act 1: ‘Pari siamo’
08 – Act 1: ‘Figlia..Mio padre!’…’Quanto dolor’
09 – Act 1: ‘Ah! Veglia, o donna, questa fior’
10 – Act 1: ‘Giovanni, ho dei rimorsi…E il sol dell’anima’
11 – Act 1: ‘Che m’ami, deh, ripetimi’ – ‘Addio… speranza ed anima’
12 – Act 1: ‘Gualtier Maldè’ – ‘Caro nome’
13 – Act 1: ‘Riedo!… Perché?’
14 – Act 1: ‘Zitti, zitti…Soccorso, padre mio’
15 – Act 2: ‘Ella mi fu rapita…Parmi veder le lagrime’
16 – Act 2: ‘Duca, duca!’…’Scorrendo uniti’
17 – Act 2: ‘Possente amor mi chiama’
18 – Act 2: ‘Povero Rigoletto!’ ‘La rà, la rà’
19 – Act 2: ‘Cortigiani, vil razza dannata…Ebben piango’
20 – Act 2: ‘Mio padre!…Compiuto pur quanto’
21 – Act 2: ‘Schiudete, ire al carcere’
22 – Act 3: ‘E l’ami!’
23 – Act 3: ‘La donna è mobile’ – ‘E là il vostr’uomo’
24 – Act 3: ‘Un dì, se ben rammentomi’
25 – Act 3: ‘Bella figlia dell’amore…M’odi, ritorna a casa’
26 – Act 3: ‘Venti scudi hai tu detto’
27 – Act 3: ‘Ah, più non ragiono!…’
28 – Act 3: ‘Della vendetta alfin…Chi è mai’
29 – Act 3: ‘V’ho ingannato’ – ‘Lassù… in cielo’

Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave after Victor Hugo’s play “Le roi s’amuse”.
Recorded at Kingsway Hall, London, U.K., in June 1971.

Joan Sutherland – Gilda
Luciano Pavarotti – Il Duca
Sherrill Milnes – Rigoletto
Huguette Tourangeau – Maddalena
Martti Talvela – Sparafucile
Gillian Knight – Giovanna
Clifford Grant – Monterone

London Symphony Orchestra, Conducted by Richard Bonynge.
Ambrosian Opera Chorus. Chorus Master: John McCarthy.


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