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Verdi: Otello [CD]

Georg Solti Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £13.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Georg Solti, 21 October 1912 – 5 September 1997) was a Hungarian-British orchestral and operatic conductor. He was a major classical recording artist, holding the record for having received the most Grammy Awards, having personally won 31 as a conductor, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.[2] In addition to his recordings he is ... Read more in Amazon's Georg Solti Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Feb 2012)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B006IOOX82
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,139 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Una vela! Una vela! - Stafford Dean, Peter Dvorsky, Gabriel Bacquier, Kurt Equiluz, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
2. Esultate! - Carlo Cossutta, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
3. Roderigo, ebben che pensi? - Gabriel Bacquier, Kurt Equiluz, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
4. Fuoco di gioia! - Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
5. Roderigo, beviam! - Gabriel Bacquier, Peter Dvorsky, Kurt Equiluz, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
6. Inaffia l'ugola! Trinca, tracanna (Brindisi) - Gabriel Bacquier, Peter Dvorsky, Kurt Equiluz, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
7. Capitano, v'attende la fazione ai baluardi - Stafford Dean, Peter Dvorsky, Gabriel Bacquier, Kurt Equiluz, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
8. "Abbasso le spade!" - Carlo Cossutta, Gabriel Bacquier, Peter Dvorsky, Stafford Dean, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
9. Già nella notte densa...Venga la morte - Carlo Cossutta, Margaret Price, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
10. Non ti crucciar - Gabriel Bacquier, Peter Dvorsky, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. La vedetta del porto - Hans Helm, Carlo Cossutta, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
2. Continua - Carlo Cossutta, Gabriel Bacquier, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
3. Dio ti giocondi, o sposo - Margaret Price, Carlo Cossutta, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
4. Esterrefatta fisso - Margaret Price, Carlo Cossutta, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
5. Dio! mi potevi scagliar - Carlo Cossutta, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
6. Cassio è là! - Gabriel Bacquier, Carlo Cossutta, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
7. Vieni; l'aula è deserta - Gabriel Bacquier, Peter Dvorsky, Carlo Cossutta, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
8. "...e intanto, giacchè non si stanca mai" - Gabriel Bacquier, Peter Dvorsky, Carlo Cossutta, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
9. Quest'è il segnale - Gabriel Bacquier, Peter Dvorsky, Carlo Cossutta, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
10. Il Doge ed il Senato salutano - Kurt Moll, Carlo Cossutta, Margaret Price, Jane Berbié, Gabriel Bacquier, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cossutta v Domingo 21 Feb 2012
Format:Audio CD
It saddens me when one considers the fact that Domingo recorded Otello three times. His first for RCA was closely followed by this Decca recording with Carlo Cossutta in the title role. Cossutta is simply better: better suited vocally and, in my opinion, a better interpreter of the role - yet Domingo gets all the press.

From the "Esultate" onwards you are confident Cossutta has the vocal range right up to a rock solid B natural (the C is not counted as it is only touched). He is not tempted into vocal mannerisms nor is he tempted to ham-up the soliloquy. I think he is even better than Vickers (in his second crack of the role under Karajan).

Margaret Price is a wonderful Desdemona - assured, clear of tone and an impassioned performance.

Gabriel Bacquier is straining at times as Iago but he makes up for it with his interpretation, particularly in the recitative.

The Vienna Philharmonic orchestra and chorus seem to have a god-given right to play this opera as it should be - particularly under Solti. It will be worth your money to get a copy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A bargain! 26 Oct 2013
By M. Joyce TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This recording was made in the Sofiensaal in Vienna back in 1977. The conductor, Sir Georg Solti, made a subsequent recording with Luciano Pavarotti a number of years later, but this is undoubtedly the better version and it is, I would suggest, one of the very best available.

Carlo Cossutta never achieved superstar status, but his trumpet-toned tenor seems to me to be well nigh perfect for the role of Otello and he sings and acts with great sensitivity. Margaret Price is to my mind the finest Desdemona on record; it is a gorgeous voice, of course, but she too sings with great intelligence and sensitivity. Nobody would pretend that Gabriel Bacquier had the most beautiful baritone voice of all time, but it is eminently suited to the role of Iago and he was, of course, one of the finest singing actors of his generation.

The supporting cast is probably the strongest ever assembled on disc. Peter Dvorsky is stellar casting as Cassio, while the great Evangelist Kurt Equiluz makes his mark in the third tenor role, Roderigo. Jane Berbié is a superb Emilia, while the two remaining supporting roles are taken by Kurt Moll and Stafford Dean, arguably my two favourite basses of all time!

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the State Opera Chorus are both on top form, as is Sir Georg, and the recorded sound is excellent. Moreover, at this budget price, this is a "must-buy" disc the fact that all we are given is a brief synopsis (no libretto is included) is no great price to pay when opera libretti are so readily accessible online.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic! 11 Jun 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Why on earth was my CD & LP collection missing an Otello? I saw it in Covent Garden aeons ago, as a student watching from the Gods, conducted by Solti himself. A performance never to be forgotten, and now I can listen again to the great maestro at a reasonable price. He brought electricity to everything he conducted, and this is no different.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the price is right 28 Nov 2012
By Stanley Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
First of all, it has to be said that Margaret Price's singing in Act 4 is simply beyond praise -- it is easily the finest, musically and dramatically, that I have ever heard, and it is alone worth the price of the set. Not that there's anything wrong with her singing elsewhere -- in the Act 1 love duet, she shapes the lines very seductively without any loss of purity in the singing, and in Act 3 she defends herself vigorously. It's a great interpretation by a great singer. There's much to like too about Carlo Cossutta's Otello. The voice is clear, big enough, and he sings musically, but he doesn't seem as dramatically engaged as Vickers (1960) or Domingo (1978), and his voice isn't quite as firm as either under pressure -- the vibrato widens noticeably, though not off-puttingly. I disagree with the other reviewer who thinks that Cossutta's voice is inherently better suited to the part than Domingo's -- compared with Vickers and Del Monaco, both are perhaps a bit underpowered, but then, so was Martinelli's. My overall impression is of a concert performance from Cossutta. The Iago, Gabriel Baquier, certainly is dramatically engaged, but the voice is uneven and he sounds hard pressed at times. Gobbi (1960) and Sherrill Milnes (1978) are in another league; big handsome voices, vivid actors. Finally, the conductor -- Solti's Vienna Philharmonic sounds great, but it is placed at more distance from the voices than, say, Levine's orchestra in the 1978, and the overall effect (partly the distance and partly the phrasing) isn't highly dramatic. It's never less than pleasing and much better than merely competent, but it isn't vivid. Levine, by contrast, whips up the drama, risks overpowering the singers at times, but has the smell of the stage, so to speak. I wouldn't be without Vickers and Gobbi (1960) or Domingo and Milnes (1978), and even Scotto (1978), while not as pure as Price, turns in a memorable and vivid performance. But I wouldn't be without this one either -- a distinguished effort, with one sublime performance.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cossutta v Domingo 15 Nov 2012
By Viva Verdi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It saddens me when one considers the fact that Domingo recorded Otello three times. His first for RCA was closely followed by this Decca recording with Carlo Cossutta in the title role. Cossutta is simply better: better suited vocally and, in my opinion, a better interpreter of the role - yet Domingo gets all the press.

From the "Esultate" onwards you are confident Cossutta has the vocal range right up to a rock solid B natural (the C is not counted in my opinion, as it is only touched). He is not tempted into vocal mannerisms nor is he tempted to ham-up the soliloquy. I think he is even better than Vickers (in his second crack of the role under Karajan).

Margaret Price is a wonderful Desdemona - assured, clear of tone and an impassioned performance.

Gabriel Bacquier is straining at times as Iago but he makes up for it with his interpretation, particularly in the recitative.

The Vienna Philharmonic orchestra and chorus seem to have a god-given right to play this opera as it should be - particularly under Solti. It will be worth your money to get a copy.
3.0 out of 5 stars I Never Thought I'd Say This of a Solti Recording, But... 30 Mar 2014
By Robert B. Lamm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This recording is just not that exciting. There's not much wrong with it, and with one exception the singing is good, but Otello is nothing if not great drama, and this has no great drama.

First, the singing. Carlo Cossutta is actually very good. Some think his Otello is superior to Domingo's; I'm not sure I'd go that far, but it's quite good. There are some squally patches when he's under pressure, but by and large he does a very creditable job, from a ringing "Esultate!" to his final "Un Bacio".

I never saw Margaret Price in person. She's got an excellent voice, but this recording reminds me of Leona Mitchell (though the voices are very different); namely, she has this splendid instrument but phones it in. It works well in scenes where she's supposed to be submissive, but that subdued approach doesn't work throughout the opera and makes her seem distant. Also, her voice is perhaps a bit too matronly for the role (maybe she recorded it on the late side of her career?).

Gabriel Bacquier is the weakest link in the cast. He's not as bad as Carlo Guelfi in an otherwise spectacular new recording by Riccardo Muti, but he's not the virile villain that one loves to hate.

The conducting is next. As noted, it's hard to imagine any recording - much less of this opera - by Solti as unexciting, but this one is. Some have criticized the separation of the orchestra from the soloists; perhaps that's it, but I don't know. Suffice it to say that there are spots in any recording of this opera that normally make my neck hairs stand up, and it just didn't happen here. I also found the sound a bit off; at times it seemed muted and lacking dynamic range.
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