Monday Morning Music

8/11/2014 08:00:00 AM
While I'm tempted to post this version of the Willow song from Verdi's Otello, I decided to go with one that shows the dramatic action rather than just a concert performance:I've posted from Otello before, including the ambassadore scene and Dio mi potevi. The willow song takes place after those as Desdemona, terrified, awaits her own death at the hands of Otello's poisoned mind.

I deliberately chose a version that cuts off where it does, because the rest of Desdemona's solo was a shockingly bad artistic choice on Verdi's part. Not only does the subsequent Ave Maria aria interupt the dramatic action, more or less ruining the entire scene, it is also bad music--bad even when compared to other settings of Ave Maria. I can only assume that Verdi added the bit to make us empathize with what Otello is about to do--after sitting through such a bad setting of Ave Maria I wanted to strangle Desdemona myself.