Verdi: Otello

Album cover art for upc 827949056260
Label: PENTATONE CLASSICS
Catalog: PTC5186562
Format: SACD

Orquestra Gulbenkian; Schukoff, Nikolai; Cardoso, Carlos; Short, Kevin; Moore, Melody; You, Junho; Zubanovich, Helena; Lynch, Lester; Foster, Lawrence; César, Leandro; Rodrigues, Luis; Coro Gulbenkian

The opera Otello by Giuseppe Verdi and Arrigo Boito not only represents the outstanding result of an intensely fruitful creative collaboration between composer and librettist, but also one of the most important core works ever in the opera repertoire. With his musical setting of Shakespeare’s play, the composition of which took him several years, Verdi also achieved a new level of quality within the framework of his operatic oeuvre. His path was resolute and consistent, leading him away from structured numbers of arias, recitatives and ensembles, and towards the through-composed, large-scale dramatic form: yet without taking a leaf from Wagner’s book! All this based on an outstandingly crafted literary foundation and a dramatic story, in which three extremely different people – with characters ranging from profoundly evil, madly jealous and distrustful, to enamoured of death – take an emotional roller-coaster ride. A ride ending in death for all three. This drama is supported by music that, especially in the depths of the orchestral scoring, subtly penetrates the psyche of the characters, without ruthlessly dissecting them. Music that, despite its magic of its refined tones, never brushes aside the greatest priority of the Italian opera: the human voice.

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