Author Topic: Otello di Rossini  (Read 3843 times)

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Offline Sarastro

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Otello di Rossini
« on: August 10, 2008, 12:07:09 AM »
Nice piece, indeed! :D

I've got three recordings:
1. Carreras, von Stade, Fisichella, Ramey, cond. Jesús López Cobos (1978)
2. Ford, Futral, Matteuzzi, D'Arcangelo, cond. David Parry (1999)
3. Irine Ratiani (mezzo-soprano, the Malibran version), Ciofi, Edwards, Soon Won Kang, cond. Paolo Arrivabeni (2000)

 Apparently Iago is of very small importance in Rossini's piece, and although Wikipedia does mention Shakespeare's basis, the libretto for Rossini's Otello originated from Giraldi Cintio's novel (1566). And the whole plot shares less similarities than differences.

 My favorite is the first mentioned recording with vigorous and unexpectedly florid Carreras, sensitive von Stade and reasonable Fisichella. It brings music in motion and makes it alive. Athough the other two are modern and more "belcanto stylish" with bonuses (such as the alternative happy ending, Desdemona's alternative aria which is actually Malcolm's cavatina from La donna del lago 0:)), I must say that Ford's and Matteuzzi's voices are not ear pleasing. ::) The Malibran version's difference is just a mezzo-soprano in the title role.

The opera features a balanced set of arias, duets and ensembles and is really one of Rossini's well-done works. Here are some excerpts:
 Young and tremendous Rockwell Blake singing Roderigo's aria "Ah come mai non senti" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-afscXr7tU
 Iago and Roderigo duet with Blake and De Cesare http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntoFpGg6iDE
 The willow song, June Anderson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lcCVE7V1qA
 A dazzling Otello-Roderigo duet Ah vieni! Nel tuo sangue http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng2nfnc_-OY&feature=related (Blake+Merritt)
 Otello's first act cavatina, Michael Spyres http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDfwQasXyrU

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Otello di Rossini
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2008, 01:06:10 AM »
I had the Opera Rara set, but couldn't get on with it at all, so got rid of it. I keep meaning to buy the Philips set, but haven't got round to it yet. Another one for the shopping list.

\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline knight66

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Re: Otello di Rossini
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2008, 03:39:23 AM »
I only felt the need for one set and that is the Phillips which I enjoy enormously. There are three high-flying tenor roles and it is no wonder that it is a relative rarity.

I first heard some music from the piece many years ago on what was a double album of rare Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi sung by Caballe. The Willow Song was part of the set. It is a particular highlight of the opera. von Stade sings it most beautifully, despite her not really being a soprano.

Mike

PS, Nice bottom notes from Mr Spyers, though as might be expected, he is being fully tested at the top. He manages what sounds like a very fulsome D though. I should think these roles are about as ruinous for those who don't have them comfortably within their grasp as Wagner has proved to be for many.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2008, 03:45:43 AM by knight »
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Offline knight66

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Re: Otello di Rossini
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2008, 03:58:58 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-dRQ3vpcqw&NR=1

Now to my ears, despite the YouTube praise for Rockwell Blake, Florez has much the more natrual and integrated voice for this music. It is of a piece from top to bottom and the vocal production does not alter through the registers as it sometimes does with RB. Florez does not sound as though the top notes are achieved by sheer force of will.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Sarastro

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Re: Otello di Rossini
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2008, 12:43:43 PM »
Mr Spyers

He was the only one on youtube to sing Otello's cavatina.

Offline Sarastro

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Re: Otello di Rossini
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2008, 08:51:57 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-dRQ3vpcqw&NR=1

A superb performance as ever, but I frequently fail to be moved by his singing. BTW, what do you think about Olga Peretyatko, the Desdemona? There are a few more videos of hers on Youtube. I happened to get to know her on a Russian opera board and just recently learnt she is a singer.

Offline knight66

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Re: Otello di Rossini
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2008, 11:00:22 AM »
Sarastro, She is a new name and face to me. Unfortunately YouTube is not playing properly for me tonight. I have waited a long time to load Caro Nome....first reaction shoot the pedestrian pianist.

She looks good, and the voice is right for the part. Her breath control is excellent, the voice is well produced. The tone started a bit shallow for my taste, but then warmed up. She has excellent soft high attack with the ability to then crescendo and good colouratura technique. It seems like this was a competition; it is a pity the aria was shorn of the final few phrases which can prove whether she has a real trill, the one produced was short and just a little tentative.

I will watch out for her, a sympathetic singer and she has that pure softness that only young voices can produce.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Sarastro

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Re: Otello di Rossini
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2008, 03:11:35 PM »
There is another Gilda, with Juan Pons, - Caro nome and si vendetta, also Linda di Chamounix's cavatina with a small trill, and Queen of the Night's first aria, all lovely. So check it out if interested.

Offline knight66

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Re: Otello di Rossini
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2008, 10:08:35 PM »
Sarastro, Thanks...I will have another go with YouTube, it often plays-up. My problem will be remembering her name, I have about the worst memory possible for names. But for the moment I can refer back here.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Superhorn

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The Other Otello
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2009, 02:49:18 PM »
   I've been listening to a CD of Otello recently. No, not the familiar masterpiece by Verdi, but a little-known opera by Rossini.
The earlier Otello was in fact quite popular before Verdi's great work was premiered in 1887, and I recently borrowed the excellent Phillips recording from a nearby library, and found it  highly enjoyable. It was recorded in the 70s, and features Jose Carerras in top form before his vocal decline, Frederica von Stade and Samuel Ramey, with Jesus Lopez-Cobos and the Philharmonia orchestra.
  The story is only loosely based on the Shakespeare play, and the story line bears almost no similarity to Verdi's Otello. But the music is top drawer Rossini, very beautiful and not at all lacking in drama. The orchestration features elaborate and delightful solos for woodwind and horn, all beautifully played on the Phillips recording.
   The Rome opera revived Rossini's Otello about 40 years ago, and brought the production to the Metropolitan opera for its visit to New York at that time.
   This would be a great opera for today's leading Rossini singers such as Juan Diego Florez and Cecilia Bartoli to name only a few. A Met production would might be a great success with audiences and critics.
  I don't know if the Phillips recording is still available, but any one who enjoys Rossini should  hear it.