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DVD Spotlight

Elemental Ferocity

Verdi's 'Otello' -
reviewed by
ROBERT ANDERSON

'... this Desdemona can float a line with utmost tenderness ...'

Giuseppe Verdi: Otello. © 2006 Opus Arte

Antoni Ros-Marbà and the Liceu orchestra hurl themselves at the shores of Cyprus with an elemental ferocity that should send Othello straight to the bottom of the sea and thus spare us the protracted horrors of this murderous tale [watch and listen -- DVD 1 chapter 2, 1:55-3:03]. Desdemona and the chorus are naturally frantic, as also is the wind machine that shrieks through the score, even if the absent-minded Verdi omitted to write for it. This most exacting of all composers also demanded on occasion a dynamic as precise as pppppp. He would not have approved the cavalier attitude of the Barcelona team to such instructions. I have every sympathy for their being carried away by so compelling a drama, none for any wilful disdain of Verdi's markings.

Tempestuous storms and thunderbolts! Desdemona (Krassimira Stoyanova) and members of the chorus at the start of Act 1 of Verdi's 'Otello'. DVD screenshot © 2006 Opus Arte/Gran Teatre del Liceu
Tempestuous storms and thunderbolts! Desdemona (Krassimira Stoyanova) and members of the chorus at the start of Act 1 of Verdi's 'Otello'. DVD screenshot © 2006 Opus Arte/Gran Teatre del Liceu

 

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Copyright © 23 July 2007 Robert Anderson, London UK

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