Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as Rigoletto.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
|One had the feeling that the marketing department at DG weren't trying too hard to sell CDs with this cover,|
which appeared on the initial 1980s pressing of this set. Image © Universal Classics.
Known for his skilled interpretation of songs by Schubert, Schumann and Wolf, Fischer-Dieskau is not the first name that comes to mind when it comes to Italian opera. This was made in the middle of a slew of DFD recordings in the 1960s, most of which are unfortunately forgotten and neglected.
|The vinyl cover art at least tells you more about the opera inside.|
Image © Universal Classics.
Carlo Bergonzi applies his classic tenor to the Duke, making the most famous sexist pig in opera a thoroughly repugnant fellow who is a joy to listen to. Underrated La Scala bass Ivo Vinco is an able, dark-toned Sparafucile--his Act I duet with Rigoletto is a highlight of the set, paired with Fischer-Dieskau's acting instincts and led by Rafael Kubelik's instinctive musicianship.
Like many of the fine recordings that Rafael Kubelik made in his time at Deutsche Grammophon, this Rigoletto was deleted for a number of years. It was superseded in the catalogue by an (also excellent) Viennese recording made by Carlo Maria Giulini, starring Piero Cappuccilli and Placido Domingo. Currently available as a bargain two-disc set, is being reissued (along with all the other DG Scala recordings) as part of a box set Great Operas from La Scala, coming later this month.