Emanuele Ferrari: Reshaping the drama: Liszt, Rigoletto Paraphrase (English version)
Liszt’s Rigoletto Paraphrase is more than a brilliant transcription., Liszt reshapes the scene, and alters the deep nature of the characters. Verdi’s balance between joy and despair gives way to a breathtaking, dreamlike sequence of scenes, moving from horror to idyll, culminating in a final apotheosis of love. A new world is thus created, where the Duke of Mantova becomes a faithful lover, Maddalena is turned into a heavenly creature, Gilda sings happily, and Rigoletto graciously blesses the whole scene. The terse picture of Verdi’s scene is sucked up in a dramatic vortex that shifts the scene from Italian Melodrama to the Romantic epic of love.