Released in 2013 in celebration of Giuseppe Verdi’s bicentennial, this recording of his late opera Otello is taken from three concert performances by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, recorded on April 7, 9, and 12, 2011. This is Muti’s second release on the CSO Resound label, following his critically acclaimed recording of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem in 2010, and his position with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is evidently secure, if the polished results of these ambitious performances are any indication. Featuring Aleksandrs Antonenko as a commanding Otello, Krassimira Stoyanova as a passionate Desdemona, and Carlo Guelfi as the scheming Iago, the international cast has remarkable confidence and presence, offering credible interpretations in this unstaged presentation. Add to this the overwhelming power of the large chorus and the vividness of the orchestra’s playing, and this performance of Otello easily ranks with the finest of past recordings, though it is assured a special place among audiophiles. Released in standard CD and hybrid SACD formats, the sound is extraordinarily clear and powerful, with deep dimensions and dynamics that are utterly realistic and even shocking at times.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2