This set was recorded in 1970, first appeared in 1971, and now is re-issued on CD as Decca - London ,there is just SOMETHING about the freedom and vocal ease of the 35-year-old Pavarotti (pre-beard!). The high notes shine and soar and he just seems to be the young, impetuous King. Milnes shows us why he was the logical American baritone successor to Tibbett, Warren, Weede, Merrill and MacNeil in the great Verdi roles .Grand Dame Renata Tebaldi as Amelia and Regina Resnik as Ulrica–both at the end of their best years; don't forget, their careers started in the mid-1940s ,the ladies acquit themselves well enough vocally and also add involved characterizations of their roles.
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture - such as "La donna mobile" from Rigoletto, "Va, pensiero" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata and the "Grand March" from Aida. His work has sometimes been criticized for using a generally diatonic rather than a chromatic musical idiom and for being essentially melodrama during his early years. He was an atheist. Verdi's masterworks dominate the standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition.