Search - Giuseppe Verdi, Mirella Freni, Plácido Domingo :: Verdi: Otello / Domingo, Freni, Cappucilli, Kleiber

Verdi: Otello / Domingo, Freni, Cappucilli, Kleiber
Giuseppe Verdi, Mirella Freni, Plácido Domingo
Verdi: Otello / Domingo, Freni, Cappucilli, Kleiber
Genres: Blues, Classical
  •  Track Listings (23) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (23) - Disc #2


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CD Reviews

Placido Domingo's First Otello: A Classic Remastered
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This December 1975 live performance from La Scala was Placido Domingo's first Otello and as such is of great value to his fans who collect the operas he sang throughout his career. It has been digitally remastered so that the sound is terrific. This same recording exists in two Opera D'Oro versions but the sound quality is not as great as this one. Domingo's first Otello is in many ways his best vocal-wise. He is in his prime and his voice is steely, vibrant, powerful and beautiful. The supersquillo is here and although he would later refine his interpretation, he would lose some of the power he once had in the voice. Consequently, his two other Otellos- from 1986 with Katia Ricciarelli and Justino Diaz and the 1991 with Cheryl Studer and Sergei Leiferkus, are not as exciting as this one. All fans of Domingo in his prime will wan to own this recording as he makes an intense, passionate and riveting performance.

Mirella Freni was no stranger to the role of Desdemona when she sang opposie Domingo in this performance. She had already sung the role with Jon Vickers, another powerful Otello interpretor. Freni sings with sweetness, true lyrico spinto abilities and powerful dramatic heft. She was actually a blonde and that helps a lot in the physical aspects of the role of the blonde/Aryan Desdemona in love with the black Moor Otello. Her arias and lines are spun like threads of gold but she is also highly influenced by the dramatic aspect.

Piero Cappucilli is a supremely excellent Iago. He makes his voice seem darker than usual, with a powerful and frightening quality. He was masterful in Verdi baritone roles (Nabucco, Macbeth) and here he pulls out all the stops, and all sung in beautiful voice. He really is a great match for Domingo and satisfies.

With a cast like this, you're hard pressed to find a better Otello. Many complain about the other Domingo Otellos. His second Otello with Ricciarelli is not as well-received because many feel Ricciarelli and Diaz are underpowered and uninteresting. Studer on the third recording from the 90's is beautiful but bland and Leiferkus is totally miscast. With Carlos Kleiber making the score tight and dramatic, you get a fine, phenomenal Otello. I PRAY THEY KEEP THIS RECORDING IN THE MARKET FOR A LONG TIME."
In agreement with previous review
L. ADAMIAN | NYC | 06/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As I was reading the previous review I kept thinking yes but what about Kleiber and then the reviewer got to it. I just want to add that the conducting is electrifying! This is indeed a great recording all around."