Verdi - Otello (2017)

Verdi

Gulbenkian Orchestra and Chorus

Lawrence Foster

Throughout the history of opera, only in the rarest of cases have the absolute masterpieces been created in a torrential, yet ingenious frenzy of composition. On the contrary, often years went by before the initial idea, the first inspiration evolved into a completed work of the highest quality. Ideally, a creative discourse would take place between composer and librettist, an exchange of ideas in which each urged the other onward to achieve artistic excellence. The partnership struck up by composer Giuseppe Verdi and librettist Arrigo Boito for the opera Otello is an admirable demonstration of this protracted, yet highly lucrative process of artistic development. An intensive correspondence lasting many years allows us to access the spiritual world of the creative duo. This correspondence reveals the profound seriousness with which Boito and Verdi dedicated themselves to “their” Otello over the years, permitting us to take a peek at the creative “workshop” of one of the most fascinating partnerships in the history of opera; one that can be mentioned in the same breath as, for instance, the duos of Mozart/da Ponte and Strauss/von Hofmannsthal.

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Lawrence Foster

Since 2013 Lawrence Foster has held the position of Music Director of l'Opéra de Marseille and l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille, with which he toured in the summer of 2014 and conducted at the Kissinger Sommer and in China. This season sees, among others, opera productions of The Flying Dutchman and Falstaff.
Highlights of the 2014/15 season include engagements as guest conductor with l’Orchestre National de Lyon, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Beijing Music Festival and Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Lawrence Foster will also be returning to the MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig. In the summer of 2014 he conducted the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with Ute Lemper, at the Edinburgh International Festival and the Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich at the Grafenegg Festival

Melody Moore

More than a promise for the future

Soprano Melody Moore is enjoying a thriving career on the world’s leading stages, prompting Opera News to label her “a revelation.” After her recent soldout solo recital at Carnegie Hall, the same publication raved, “As I left the auditorium, I could only think: more of Moore, please.” In 2012, Melody Moore proved her mettle stepping in for Angela Gheorghiu after the first act in Puccini’s Tosca at San Francisco Opera. It was a huge success that launched her career. The singer with such a suitably apt first name is carefully developing her repertoire in the Italianate and Germanic spinto soprano roles of Verdi, Puccini, Strauss and Wagner, while maintaining her passion for American opera and song. In a short period of time, she has added – or rather, conquered – numerous new roles. Long gone are the days when the young girl stood up before her small church congregation to sing. Now, she is adored by the audiences at the great opera houses of the world. Melody Moore’s voice is more than just a promise for the future, as the critics point out: “She has a lyrical voice with pronounced dark overtones. Besides, she has the typical ‘kapow!’ of the spinto soprano. Her extraordinary abilities can best be described by mentioning the names of Renata Tebaldi and Gabrielle Tucci.” A truly powerful artistic prediction, which Melody Moore is only too happy to confirm on stage as well as in the recording studio.

photo: from booklet 'An American Song Book'

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Verdi - Otello (2017)

Verdi

Gulbenkian Orchestra and Chorus

    Musicweb International

Now here comes a brand new studio recording – a rarity today – with largely little known forces under the experienced Lawrence Foster. I haven’t associated him with opera in the past, but he has been Music Director of l’Opéra de Marseille since 2013 and he is a regular visitor to the opera houses in Frankfurt, Hamburg, San Francisco and Monte Carlo and was also hailed for his La traviata at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in 2015. The distance between the mainly chamber-size domestic setting in Traviata and the high-strung crime passionnel of Otello is of course wide but Mr Foster has, to judge from this recording, an unfailing sense for both the high octane drama and the admittedly few moments of true intimacy – primarily the duet that concludes the first act. The opening storm of the act is certainly one of the most thrilling scenes in the opera literature and here Foster goes on knock-out with tremendous force – maybe a notch too much, since Otello’s glorious Esultate! is almost drowned by the orchestra. This also happens in some other places where the adrenaline level is on top. Whether the fault is the conductor’s or the balance engineer’s is hard to know. I listened in traditional 2-channel stereo and it is quite possible that this problem is non-existent at multi-channel listening. What is very obvious throughout the performance is Foster’s care over details, bringing out Verdi’s many expressive point-making commentaries. Time and again he also makes the music come alive through rhythmical springiness. The Fuoco di gioia! chorus literally dances, and the drinking scene is springy and alert. For the lyrical moments he is just as sensitive. The chorus scene in act II is truly atmospheric with Desdemona soaring beautifully over the ensemble. I could point out numerous examples of exquisite flexibility, for instance the orchestral backing up of Iago’s credo. (...)

Göran Forsling [read full review]

Verdi - Otello (2017)

Verdi

Gulbenkian Orchestra and Chorus

Producer: Job Maarse
Recording Engineer: Jean marie Geijsen, Lauran Jurrius
Recording location: Grande Auditorio of the Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Purtugal
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: 64fs

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PTC5186562: Verdi - Otello
02:22:38   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
First Act - Una vela!
Verdi
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2.
First Act - Esultate
Verdi
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3.
First Act - Fuoco di gioia!
Verdi
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4.
First Act - Roderigo, beviam!
Verdi
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5.
First Act - Inaffia l' ugola!
Verdi
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6.
First Act - Capitano, v'attende la fazione ai baluardi
Verdi
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7.
First Act - Ola?! che avvien?
Verdi
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8.
First Act - Gia? nella notte
Verdi
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9.
First Act - Quando narravi
Verdi
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10.
First Act - Venga la morte!
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11.
Second Act - Non ti cruciar
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12.
Second Act - Credo in un Dio crudel
Verdi
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13.
Second Act - Eccola
Verdi
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14.
Second Act - Cio m' accora
Verdi
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15.
Second Act - Dove guardi splendono raggi
Verdi
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16.
Second Act - D'un uom che geme
Verdi
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17.
Second Act - Desdemona rea!
Verdi
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18.
Second Act - Ora e per sempre addio
Verdi
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19.
Second Act - Era la notte
Verdi
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20.
Second Act - Si, pel ciel
Verdi
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21.
Third Act - Introduction
Verdi
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22.
Third Act - La vedetta del porto
Verdi
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23.
Third Act - Dio ti giocondi, o sposo
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24.
Third Act - Dio! mi potevi scagliar
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25.
Third Act - Vieni, l'aula e deserta
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26.
Third Act - Questa e una ragna
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27.
Third Act - Come la uccidero
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28.
Third Act - Viva il Leon di San Marco!
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29.
Third Act - A terra! ...si...nel livido fango
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30.
Fourth Act - Era piu calmo?
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31.
Fourth Act - Mia madre aveva una povera ancella
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32.
Fourth Act - Ave Maria
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33.
Fourth Act - Chi e la?
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34.
Fourth Act - Calma come la tomba
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35.
Fourth Act - Nium mi tema
Verdi
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