Rigoletto’s conductor hits all the right notesby MURRAY BLACK THE AUSTRALIAN JUNE 30, 2014 12:00AM
ITALIAN conductor Renato Palumbo has established an enviable reputation as a Verdi interpreter. After listening to his account of Rigoletto, I understand why.
One of the sources of his success was his scrupulous observation of Wagner’s injunction that the conductor’s most important job is setting the right tempos.
But as Furtwangler noted, a conductor should be more than just a timekeeper. Palumbo’s subtly controlled use of tempo and dynamic contrasts created sinuously shaped and highly expressive musical lines.
Palumbo and his players also sustained clear textures and nuanced colours, reminding us that Verdi was a consummate orchestrator. Whatever the mood required, the orchestra’s vivid, well-blended sounds ensured it was ideally realised.
Palumbo and the orchestra’s stylish, sensitive accompaniment was the first of three key ingredients that made this version of Rigoletto such an outstanding achievement.