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Performances of Nabucco were quite rare in 1961 so it was only fitting that the Florentines would assemble a stellar cast to help revitalize interest Verdi's breakout work. In the title role, Ettore Bastianini is simply unparalled. His voice had a black quality to it that made his villains seem all the more sinister. However he also shows that Nabucco is not necessarily as cardboard as we might think and reveals a very tender side in his aria "Dio di guida." Mirella Parutto uses the slight edge her voice had to her benefit as Abigaille and negotiates the two octave jumps and other vocal hurdles outstandingly. Ivo Vinco is a warm Zaccaria. Bruno Bartoletti's conducting sets the orchestra afire at times and at other times demonstrates the simple understated genius that was Verdi. The sound is very good.