This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Carreras is searingly noble as Otello and Von Stade as Desdemona is chaste and luminous as a sculpture in Carrara marble.
The Naples years, 1815 to 1822, are at the very centre of Rossini's creative life. It is here that genius—''I had facility and lots of instinct''—was put to school. And firmly so: the serious masterpieces of the Naples years take as their subjects the Bible and Shakespeare, Scott and Racine, Tasso and English historical romance.
...Otello (Naples 1816)...has a strong cast, headed by Carreras's searingly noble Moor. The Desdemona is Frederica von Stade: chaste and as luminous as a sculpture in Carrara marble. The set also displays casting in depth. In Rossini's day Naples was awash with
great tenors, a situation that nowadays creates prodigious difficulties. Yet both the Iago, Gianfranco Pastine, and the Rodrigo, Salvatore Fisichella, emerge with honour, barely bloodied and never for a moment bowed by Rossini's terrible arsenal of vocal effects. ''They have been crucifying Otello into an opera,'' wrote Byron in 1818. Well, yes and no. By all means treat Acts 1 and 2 as flashy rodomontade, but Act 3 is glorious, inspired enough and sufficiently close to Shakespeare to have been a near fatal deterrant to what Verdi called his own ''chocolate project''. I thrilled to it afresh—off-stage Gondolier and all—in these brilliant new CD transfers.
-- Richard Osborne, Gramophone [12/1992]
Works on This Recording
Otello by Gioachino Rossini
Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano),
Samuel Ramey (Bass),
Keith Lewis (Tenor),
Alfonso Leoz (Tenor),
Gianfranco Fisichella (Tenor),
Nucci Condo (Mezzo Soprano),
José Carreras (Tenor)
Ambrosian Opera Chorus,
Written: 1816; Italy
Date of Recording: 1978
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