Written for the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Othello translates Elliot Goldenthal's signature film scoring techniques to the medium of ballet with impressive results. A work of remarkable structural intricacy, it embraces in full the dissonance and avant-garde leanings of the composer's feature film work, posing his most challenging and complex effort to date. Goldenthal is perhaps too successful in evoking the intrigue, deceit, and tragedy that galvanize William Shakepeare's classic narrative -- his music is so dark and expressive that it is at times heavy-handed, as if telling listeners what to think and feel rather than allowing them breathing room to interpret the work on their own terms. The sheer mass and density of Othello's sound is nevertheless awe-inspiring -- it's a powerful work, even if it often harnesses that power to bulldoze instead of finesse.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny
|Otello, suite from the ballet|