Magazine article Gramophone

Verdi: Otello

Magazine article Gramophone

Verdi: Otello

Article excerpt

Verdi

Otello

Nikolai Schukoff ten     Otello
Lester Lynch bar         lago
Melody Moore sop         Desdemona
JunHo You ten            Cassio
Carlos Cardoso fen       Roderigo
Kevin Short bass-bar     Lodovico
Luis Rodrigues tor       Montano
Leandro Cesar bass-bar   Herald
Helena Zubanovich mez    Emilia

Gulbenkian Chorus and Orchestra / Lawrence Foster Pentatone (F) (2) [SACD] PTC51? DDD) Includes synopsis, libretto and translation

Nikolai Schukoff is Austrian, Melody Moore and Lester Lynch are from the United States. Their names might be unfamiliar but greatness is surely around the corner, for among modern interpretations of Otello these must rank among the best. Melody Moore is a warm, womanly Desdemona. She floats a lovely 'Amen risponda'--dolcissime, as Verdi asks in the love duet. She manages not to wheedle over-much when pleading for Cassio, before protesting her innocence with dignity; come the passage about weeping--'Guarda le prime lagrime' she pours out her sorrow in one glorious, passionate phrase. There's no shrieking at 'Ah! Emilia, addio!', just a sense of loneliness and despair. Lester Lynch can't quite hit the top As in Iago's drinking song but he delivers a very respectable trill earlier on, when recounting his jealousy of Cassio. His powerful 'Credo' is not enhanced by the maniacal laughter that follows. If his relating of Cassio's dream is prosaic, elsewhere his scheming is all too plausible.

Nikolai Schukoff is rather too free with the rhythm at Otello's entrance, after which his performance is exemplary. …

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