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Otello (López Cobos recording)

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File:Otello lopez cobos lp.jpg
Philips Records LP: 6769 023
Studio album by
Jesús López Cobos
ProducerErik Smith
Philips Records CD: 432 456 2
Philips Records CD: 432 456 2

Buy this album Otello (López Cobos recording) or listen to it on amazon

Otello is a 153-minute studio album of Gioachino Rossini's opera Otello, performed by José Carreras, Nucci Condò, Salvatore Fisichella, Alfonso Leoz, Keith Lewis, Gianfranco Pastine, Samuel Ramey and Frederica von Stade with the Ambrosian Chorus and the Philharmonia Orchestra under the direction of Jesús López Cobos. It was released in 1979.

Background[edit | edit source]

Following Otello's première in Naples in 1816, Rossini wrote an alternative version of the opera which replaced its climax, Otello's murder of his wife and subsequent suicide, with a different ending. Jesús López Cobos's album presents the opera in accordance with Rossini's original autograph score.[1]

The album was the first studio recording of the opera ever undertaken.[2]

Recording[edit | edit source]

The album was recorded using analogue technology in September 1978 at an unidentified location in London.[3]

Packaging[edit | edit source]

The cover of the CD edition of the album, designed under the art direction of Ton Friesen, features a photograph by Hans Morren.

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

Reviews[edit | edit source]

The album was reviewed by Alan Blyth in Gramophone in September 1979.[4] He wrote that the album was "an issue that should be in all operatic collections worthy of the name". The album was also reviewed by William Livingstone in Stereo Review in December 1979,[1] by J. B. Steane in Gramophone in January 1980.[5] - "I don't think we have had a full-voiced spinto type of tenor singing runs like this since the very early years of the century" - by Richard Osborne in Gramophone in December 1992[6] - a "necessary library acquisition for lovers of memorable opera memorably performed" - and again by Osborne in Gramophone in February 2000.[7]

Accolade[edit | edit source]

Revisiting the album in Gramophone in December 1979, Alan Blyth included the album in his Critic's Choice list of the best recordings of the year.[8]

Track listing: CD1[edit | edit source]

Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

Otello (1816), Lyric tragedy in three acts, with a libretto by Francesco Maria Berio, Marchese di Salsa

  • 1 (8:23) Overture

Act One

No. 1, Introduction

  • 2 (3:34) "Viva Otello" (Chorus)
  • 3 (1:48) March

No. 2, Duet and chorus

  • 4 (2:40) "Vincemmo, a prodi" (Otello, Doge, Iago, Rodrigo)
  • 5 (7:08) "Ah! Sì, per voi già sento" (Otello, Iago, Chorus)

No. 3, Recitative and duet

  • 6 (3:07) "Rodrigo!" (Elmiro, Rodrigo, Iago)
  • 7 (5:16) "No, non temer" (Iago, Rodrigo)

No. 4, Recitative and duet

  • 8 (6:23) "Inutile è quel pianto" (Emilia, Desdemona)
  • 9 (4:11) "Vorrei, che il tuo pensiero" (Desdemona, Emilia)

No. 5, Finale I

  • 10 (5:20) "Ma che miro?" (Desdemona, Iago, Rodrigo, Elmiro, Emilia)
  • 11 (4:09) "Santo Imen!" (Chorus)
  • 12 (1:04) "Dove son? Che mai veggio?" (Desdemona, Elmiro, Rodrigo, Emilia)
  • 13 (4:41) "Nel cor d'un padre amante" (Elmiro, Rodrigo, Desdemona)
  • 14 (4:08) "Ti parli d'amore" (Rodrigo, Elmiro, Desdemona)
  • 15 (3:11) "L'infida, ahimè che miro?" (Otello, Chorus, Rodrigo, Elmiro)
  • 16 (5:49) "Incerta l'anima" (Chorus, Rodrigo, Otello, Desdemona, Elmiro)

Act Two

No. 6, Recitative and aria

  • 17 (1:40) "Lasciami" (Desdemona, Rodrigo)
  • 18 (6:04) "Che ascolto?" (Rodrigo)[3]

Track listing: CD2[edit | edit source]

Act Two, continued

No. 7, Recitative and duet

  • 1 (2:25) "M'abbandonò, disparve" (Desdemona, Emilia)
  • 2 (5:39) "Che feci?" (Otello, Iago)
  • 3 (4:02) "Non m'inganno" (Otello, Iago)
  • 4 (2:29) "L'ira d'avverso fato" (Otello, Iago)

No. 8, Recitative and trio

  • 5 (0:52) "E a tanto giunger puote" (Otello, Rodrigo)
  • 6 (8:59) "Ah vieni, nel tuo sangue" (Rodrigo, Otello, Desdemona)
  • 7 (2:30) "Tra tante smanie" (Rodrigo, Desdemona, Otello)

No. 9, Finale II

  • 8 (2:06) "Desdemona! Che veggo" (Emilia, Desdemona)
  • 9 (5:48) "Che smania. Oimè! Che affanni" (Desdemona, Chorus, Elmiro)
  • 10 (3:04) "L'error d'un' infelice" (Desdemona, Chorus, Elmiro)

Act Three

No. 10, Recitative, aria, duet and Finale III

  • 11 (3:51) "Ah! - Dagli affanni oppressa" (Desdemona, Emilia)
  • 12 (5:07) "Nessun maggior dolore" (Gondoliere, Desdemona, Emilia)

Canzona and recitative

  • 13 (9:01) "Assisa a' piè d'un salice... Che dissi!" (Desdemona, Emilia)
  • 14 (2:28) "Deh calma, o Ciel nel sonno" (Desdemona)
  • 15 (6:50) "Eccomi giunto inosservato" (Otello, Desdemona)


  • 16 (2:53) "Non arrestare, il colpo" (Desdemona, Otello)
  • 17 (2:24) "Notte per me funesta" (Desdemona, Otello)
  • 18 (3:33) "Che sento... Chi batte?" (Otello, Lucio, Doge, Elmiro, Rodrigo, Chorus)[3]

Personnel[edit | edit source]

Performers[edit | edit source]

  • Alfonso Leoz (tenor), Gondolier & Doge of Venice
  • Salvatore Fisichella (tenor), Rodrigo, son of the Doge
  • José Carreras (tenor), Otello, a victorious Moorish General in the Venetian army
  • Frederica von Stade (mezzo-soprano), Desdemona, in love with Otello but promised to Rodrigo
  • Samuel Ramey (bass), Elmiro, father of Desdemona
  • Gianfranco Pastine (tenor), Iago, secretly enamoured of Desdemona
  • Nucci Condò (mezzo-soprano), Emilia, maidservant and confidante of Desdemona
  • Keith Lewis (tenor), Lucio, a follower of Otello
  • Sioned Williams, harp
  • Ambrosian Chorus (chorus master: John McCarthy)
  • Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Jesús López Cobos, conductor[3]

Other[edit | edit source]

  • Richard Nunn, conductor's assistant
  • Ubaldo Gardini, music and language adviser
  • Erik Smith, producer[3][6]

Release history[edit | edit source]

In 1979, Philips Classics Records released the album as a triple LP (catalogue number 6769 023) and a double cassette (catalogue number 7699 110), both with notes, texts and translations.[4]

In 1992, Philips Classics Records issued the album as a double CD (catalogue number 432 456 2), packaged in a slipcase with a 172-page booklet.[3] The booklet contained synopses, libretti and an essay by the Rossini scholar Philip Gossett, all of them in English, French, German and Italian, as well as an engraving of Rossini, a publicity photograph of Carreras taken by Clive Barda and production photographs of the album's other singers and López Cobos taken by Mike Evans.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Stereo Review, December 1979, p. 150
  2. Gramophone, November 1978, p. 858
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Rossini, Giachino: Otello, cond. Jesús López Cobos, Philips Classics CD, 432 456 2, 1992
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gramophone, September 1979, pp. 518-521
  5. Gramophone, January 1980, p. 1122
  6. 6.0 6.1 Gramophone, December 1992, p. 140
  7. Gramophone, February 2000, p. 102-104
  8. Gramophone, December 1979, p. 969

Others articles of the Topic Opera : La casa imaginaria (opera), La fedeltà premiata (Antal Doráti recording), Cendrillon (Julius Rudel recording), Pelléas et Mélisande (Herbert von Karajan recording), Mozart & Rossini Arias, French Opera Arias, The Rossini Bicentennial Birthday Gala

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