Opera

Verdi: Otello

LSO0700 2SACD

Verdi Otello

Verdi Otello

Track List

 

Sir Colin Davis conductor

Shortlisted for the Gramophone Awards 2011

Editor’s Choice 'Gerald Finley gives a masterful account of the part (Iago) ... the chorus is exceptionally precise and expressive, the playing is alert and sensitive to drama and text' Gramophone

‘a spellbinding account' The Observer (UK)

Verdi had retired from opera following the premiere of Aida in 1871 but was eventually persuaded by his publisher to work with the librettist Arrigo Boito. As with Falstaff, Verdi’s final opera on which they would subsequently collaborate, they turned to Shakespeare for inspiration. Otello, which was premiered in 1887, marked a significant evolutionary development in Italian opera and is widely regarded as one of the great operatic masterpieces.

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Reviews

'Gerald Finley gives a masterful account of the part (Iago) ... the chorus is exceptionally precise and expressive, the playing is alert and sensitive to drama and text.'
Editor’s Choice
 Gramophone

Colin Davis gets the LSO, in shattering form, to play chords like cannon shots. The two male leads are superb: Simon O’Neill is the most complete Otello since Domingo, and some of his grandest passages are deeply stirring; Gerald Finley’s debut as Iago is also a great reading – the most chilling I have ever heard.
BBC Music Magazine

'Colin Davis gets the LSO, in shattering form, to play chords like cannon shots. The two male leads are superb: Simon O’Neill is the most complete Otello since Domingo, and some of his grandest passages are deeply stirring; Gerald Finley’s debut as Iago is also a great reading – the most chilling I have ever heard.' BBC Music Magazine

‘the whole thing just feels so alive and in the best sense ... the dramatic shape he [Davis] makes is so constant and clear and engaging, it just feels like everyone involved is participating wholly in the excitement of this piece of music theatre ... It has that feeling of the excitement of discovery for him [O’Neill] and throwing himself at the part but with complete control and musicianship, and you couldn’t have a better pairing than him with Gerald Finley who is a tremendous singing actor and whose Iago is scary. They’re both absolutely terrific ... The whole thing is tremendous. What you want in a production like this is the sense of it being live with the music theatre being generated on all sides and feeding back in and there’s such a presence about it. A wonderful recording and a wonderful testament of and to this opera and performance. It must have been wonderful to be at the Barbican and thank God you can get it on CD. And it does sound fantastic – the dynamic range they’ve captured is tremendous’ BBC Radio 3 CD Review 

‘a spellbinding account, thanks to O’Neill, Anne Schwanewilms’s Desdemona and Gerald Finley’s Jago, but above all to Colin Davis’s warm, urgent but never forced interpretation’ The Observer (UK)

‘Davis’s electrifying conducting keeps the temperature high throughout this gripping performance, recorded live at the Barbican in 2009. Simon O’Neill makes a powerful and confident debut in the title role, well matched against Gerald Finley’s subtle and sneaky Iago ... front-runner in the field’ 
Daily Telegraph (UK)

‘immensely powerful ... Unlike Domingo, O’Neill sings the repeated A flats of Dio mi potevi as Verdi demands and throughout his clarion tone is thrilling. But the heroes are Gerald Finley, a supremely malignant Iago, the superb orchestra and chorus, and Colin Davis, who makes the terror and pity in the opera almost unbearably vivid’ Sunday Times (UK)

'an insightful and revealing account ... The strong cast offers the virile tenor Simon O’Neill as Otello, the rich-voiced soprano Anne Schwanewilms as Desdemona and the compelling baritone Gerard Finley as an uncommonly intelligent Iago. In his lean, crackling performance Davis offers an alternative to the more typical approach of Verdi conductors who favor richer, darker orchestral textures and weightier voices for Otello and Iago. [The LSO] play brilliantly for him ... For devotees of the opera it will be a must' New York Times (US) 

Artists

Simon O'Neill Otello

Gerald Finley Jago

Allan Clayton Cassio

Ben Johnson Roderigo

Alexander Tsymbalyuk Lodovicio

Matthew Rose Montano

Lukas Jakobski A Herald

Anne Schwanewilms Desdemona

Eufemia Tufano Emilia

London Symphony Chorus

London Symphony Orchestra

Recording Details

James Mallinson producer
Jonathan Stokes and Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd balance engineers

Recorded December 2009, Barbican, London
DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording

Notes and synopsis in English/en français/auf Deutsch
Includes complete libretto in Italian and English

SACD
Catalogue number - LSO0700
UPC - 822231170020

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