Arturo Toscanini was the second cellist in the orchestra of La Scala, Milan, for the triumphant first performance of Verdi’s Otello on 5th February 1887. Sixty years later he led a radio broadcast of Otello spread over two evenings that is considered by many to be the most successful of his opera recordings for NBC. Described by one of Toscanini’s biographers, Joseph Horowitz, as ‘the one that comes closest to recapturing Toscanini’s revolutionary impact in the pit’, this December 1947 recording is remarkable for Toscanini’s dramatic grasp of Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy, and his scrupulous observation of Verdi’s most detailed dynamic markings.
Giuseppe Verdi: Otello
Opening announcement for 6 December 1947 broadcast
Act I: Spoken Synopsis
Act I: Una vela! (Chorus, Montano, Cassio, Iago, Roderigo)