WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Verdi: Otello / Solti, Price, Moll, Bacquier, Berbie , Cossutta

Release Date: 03/13/2012 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001651102   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Kurt MollHans HelmKurt EquiluzPeter Dvorsky,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic OrchestraVienna State Opera ChorusVienna Boys' Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
This title is currently unavailable.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

After the hype surrounding Pavarotti’s first and, to date, only complete performances and recording of the demanding title role at concerts to mark Solti’s retirement as music director of the Chicago Symphony, I feared that Solti’s earlier (1977) and infinitely better studio recording would never be transferred to CD. Well here it is, and if anything it sounds even finer than I had remembered.

Although the recording was made in Vienna, Solti had performed Otello at the Paris Opera with the same three principals and the performance has a theatrical atmosphere which I find completely absent from the Chicago version. Carlo Cossutta was, for a time in the Seventies, the only really acceptable alternative to Jon Vickers and
Read more Plácido Domingo as Otello, and he has advantages over both: a more authentically ‘Italianate’ timbre – dark and baritonal like Vickers’s, warm and Mediterranean like Domingo’s – and a native delivery of the text. He is also more musical than the other great Italian Otello of the postwar period, Del Monaco.

Bacquier was always a controversial Iago, more notable for his intellect and understanding of character than for his vocal endowments, but as Iago this makes him preferable to all but two of his recorded rivals: Giuseppe Valdengo (RCA/Toscanini) and Tito Gobbi (RCA/Serafin).

The glory of the set is Margaret Price’s Desdemona, the most beautifully sung, the most moving and musical I know. The set is worth buying for her alone. It goes without saying that the small parts are strongly taken (albeit by non-Italians), that the orchestral playing and chorus are superb and the recording is excellent. Not my favourite Otello – that would be Serafin’s version – but it ranks high alongside Toscanini and Levine (also RCA).
Performance: 5 (out of 5); Sound: 4 (out of 5)

-- Hugh Canning, BBC Music Magazine
Reviewing original release of this recording
Read less

Works on This Recording

Otello by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Kurt Moll (Bass), Hans Helm (Baritone), Kurt Equiluz (Tenor),
Peter Dvorsky (Tenor), Stafford Dean (Bass), Carlo Cossutta (Tenor),
Jane Berbié (Mezzo soprano), Gabriel Bacquier (Baritone), Margaret Price (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Boys' Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1977 
Venue:  Sofiensaal, Vienna 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title