Listen to a Sample:
Ramón Vinay's legendary portrayal of Otello is given a wonderful showcase from the forces of Covent Garden, lead in a tightly-wound performance by Edward Downes. 1957 was a little late in the day for Vinay's Lion of Venice, captured just three years before he would switch over to singing baritone roles. His understanding of the role is paramount, and if occasionally his tone turns a bit shouty, it is compensated for by moments of unparalleled beauty. Gré Brouwenstijn is a rather timid Desdemona and Otakar Kraus shows why he was London's baritone-in-demand for many years with an elegant, complex take on Iago. The sound is decent.