I'm never quite sure why this recording doesn't get a look in when critics compare it to the later, 1960, Karajan set with the same principals. Yes, it's rough in parts but that's precisely what gives it the feeling of a live performance; it's all thrills and visceral emotion - and all three main singers are six years younger, hence fresher and more powerful than in the Karajan. The occasional unsteadiness in del Monaco's emission of tone could be said to anticipate Otello's eventual mental breakdown and Tebaldi is sweeter at the top of her voice than she was to become. Protti's no Gobbi -still less a Tibbett - but the basic quality of voice is attractive and he does characterize successfully; he certainly does not let the side down. This recording is in bright 1954 stereo and really delivers. I do not think that the perfect recording of "Otello" exists and some would come no further forward in time than Serafin's account with a restrained, intense Vickers, an insinuating, yet often dry-toned Gobbi, and a wavery but moving Rysanek. I have no time for the Domingo recordings; it's simply not an "Otello" voice; instead I would go back to the veteran Toscanini and Busch sets, both with Vinay, in clean, clear, mono sound and both with good Desdemonas and superb Iagos in Valdengo and Warren respectively - actually both have more voice than, and as much artistry as, Gobbi. Or, best of all, according to taste, is the 1991 live Forlane recording with the under-rated Giacomini, whose thrilling baritonal timbre and trumpeting top notes encompass all the demands of this role. He is ably supported by the veteran Manuguerra, still singing amazingly well at 66, and Margaret Price meltingly beautiful as Desdemona. But this Erede set is cheap and strongly sung, too; don't hesitate.