Composed by Gioachino Rossini
Performed by Italian International Orchestra
with Patrizia Ciofi, Simon Edwards, Gregory Bonfatti, Daniele Gaspari
Conducted by Paolo Arrivabeni
Since Verdi's Otello is one of my favorite operas I must admit that I was reticent about listening to Rossini's version of Shakespeare's tragedy. I was quite mistaken. Otello is one of Rossini's finest operas and is as different from Verdi's Otello as Norma is from Aida.3 CD's, 320kbps, 400MB Single Link:
This recording by Dynamic does not use the original tenor role that Rossini composed for the character of otello but uses the soprano variation I'm assuming Rossini wrote later for the great prima donnas, Pasta and then for Maria Malibran ( the Maria Callas of the ninetenth century).
The only place I had to adust myself with a female voice for Otello was in the confrotation between Otello and Desdemona before he strangles her. It was difficult keeping tract of which character was singing. If I spoke Italian or was seeing this performance I'm sure this would not be a problem, my ears soon adjusted.
I have three wonderful things to say about this recording. First the sound quality surpasses that of any live cd I have heard, almost on a studio level. Second the singers are on an equal level-Superb. Third, the more I listen the more I fall in love with the music. Desdemona's willow song is, in my opion, one of the most haughting arias in opera. This does not lessen Verdi's and Boito's great accomplishment. I believe that Rossini's Otello was Italian opera's first tragic ending. Still, much of the public was not ready for a violent ending with no redeeming value. So Rossini also wrote a alternative happy ending for Otello's first performance in Rome. This cd has both endings.
The bel canto in this recording is breathtaking, the melodies enchanting, the music of the drama moving. So I learned something, Rossini could compose tragic operas with the best of them. If you love opera, buy this recording. Viva Verdi and Rossini. -Amazon Customer Review
Found at La Gazzetta Belcantista