10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A good introduction to a great opera.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Verdi: Otello (Audio CD)
With three Domingo recordings of Otello to choose from, his first recording is not an obvious choice. However, while Domingo's interpretation is not as great on this recording as it was to become elsewhere, he still provides a rounded portrayal and conveys the drama of both text and music. The voice is in glorious condition also - trumpet like and, as always, well caught on RCA. Renata Scotto provides a tender portayal of Desdemona, though the bite at the top of her voice will not appeal to all ears. As Iago, Milnes gives a theatrical performance and interacts well with Domingo in Act II. Only occasionally does Milnes sound under pressure or resort to cheap histrionics- but his interpretation is worth hearing. Levine conducts a taught performance-full of power with the large choral sections handled well. This version is far preferable to Domingo's second recording, where Ricciarelli turns in a limp performance and Diaz proves to be a colourless Iago. That recording is also conducted by Maazel, where, as is often the case, he adopts idiosyncratic tempi and lets the performance sag. If you want definitive Domingo, go for his latest recording, which also has a splendid suppoting cast- especially Sergei Leiferkus as Iago. If you definately do not want to hear Domingo (though I cannot think why not), try Vickers on EMI, or on RCA, where Gobbi gives a chilling portrayal of Iago and Tulio Serafin conducts superbly. If you don't mind going back over half a decade, Toscanini conducts a searing account but the recording, made in 1947, is very dry and boxy and will sound from the Stone Age if you are used to digital recordings.