Listen to a Sample:
This studio performance captures some thrilling singing, the best of which comes not from our hero (though Mario Del Monaco is very fine indeed) but from our anti-hero. Giuseppe Taddei is in excellent form as the disillusioned Gerard, and his Act III aria ripples with self-loathing and disgust. His introspection is born out by a a gorgeous, impeccably used baritone. In his long and storied career, he has rarely been better. Del Monaco is a worthy rival for the hand of Antonietta Stella’s exquisitely tragic Maddalena, his voice ringing with defiance in the tribunal and melting with anguish as he composes his final poem. Also of note are Athos Cesarini, Ortensia Beggiato and Leo Pudis, each shining brightly in exquisite cameos. The sound is very clear but is marred in Acts I and III by flaws in the tape.