Monday 12 March 2018

Gramophone Reviews Verdi's Otello



"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. "

 

The Gramophone praises our Opera release of "Verdi - Otello" with Nikolai SchukoffMelody MooreLester Lynch , Kevin ShortLawrence Foster , Gulbenkian Orchestra . Read the review below.

 

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.

 

[Check out the album here:]

 

 

The Gulbenkian Orchestra and Chorus are splendid, though the latter is rather backwardly recorded. Lawrence Foster is good on detail, such as the chromatic trumpet phrase at Shakespeare’s ‘imminent deadly breach’, and the strings’ hairpin dynamics in the lively, tense passage as Iago observes Cassio’s fateful approach to Desdemona. The only blot on an outstanding performance is the speeding up in the orchestral postlude to the duet for Otello and Iago at the end of Act 2. It’s not serious, of course, but the effect is so much better when the tempo – steady, as it is here – of ‘Si, pel ciel’ is maintained. Otherwise, this is a notable achievement. 

Richard Lawrence

Read the full review on Gramophone - March 2018 issue