Muzyka Klasyczna The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775.html Mon, 17 Jun 2024 18:22:50 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management pl-pl Carl Maria von Weber - Abu Hassan (Ludwig) [2005] http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/10500-carl-weber-abu-hassan.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/10500-carl-weber-abu-hassan.html Carl Maria von Weber - Abu Hassan (Ludwig) [2005]

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1.	Ouverture 		3:52 	
2. 	Duett: Liebes Weibchen, Reiche Wein! 		5:16 	
3. 	Arie: Ich Gebe Gasterein, Mit Liedern Und Mit Tanzen 		6:50 	
4. 	Chor Der Glaubiger: Geld! Geld! Geld! 		3:38 	
5. 	Duett: Tranen Sollst Du Nicht Vergiessen 		6:21 	
6. 	Arie: Wird Nachtigall Wohl Trauern 		4:18 	
7. 	Duett: Siehst Du Diese Grosse Menge 		5:08 	
8. 	Terzett: Ich Such' Und Such' In Allen Ecken 		4:40 	
9. 	Arie: Hier Liegt, Welch' Martervolles Los 		3:56 	
10. 	Terzett: Angstlich Klopft Es Mir Im Herzen 		6:57 	
11. 	Schluss Chor: Heil Ist Dem Haus Beschieden 		0:45

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf – soprano
Irmgard Seefried – mezzo-soprano
Erich Witte – tenor
Michael Bohnen – bass

Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Leopold Ludwig – conductor

 

Abu Hassan is a German singspiel in one act. It is a light, vivacious work that was highly successful at its Munich premier, which took place on June 4, 1811. Although there haven't been many modern performances, whenever it is staged it is well-received by the public. The libretto, written by Franz Carl Hiemer, was derived from Le dormier Eveille, or The Sleeper Awakened, by Antoine Galland. It is one of the tales of the Thousand and One Arabian Nights. These stories were brought to Europe by Galland in the early 1700s and published in several volumes. The Sleeper Awakened was not one of the original stories but was added later and opens Galland's twelfth volume of the set. The stories were extremely popular with eighteenth-century readers because of their exotic flavor and their frank discussion of sexual matters, fantasies, cruelty, and corruption. They also found favor with the romantics of Weber's generation, and influenced all types of art and theatrical entertainments. Weber's librettist only used the second half of the story. The entire story was used by the librettist of Giacomo Meyerbeer's 1815 Lustspiel Wirth und Gast.

The subject of this comic work concerns a debtor, Abu Hassan, and his wife Fatime, and their effort to outsmart the Caliph and gain from him the money allotted for their funerals so that they can pay their debts and live in ease. They are both beset by creditors as the opera opens, as was Weber at the time of its composition. Franz Carl Hiemer, a friend from Weber's Stuttgart days where they both had been frequently in debt, sent Weber the libretto in March of 1810. However, work did not begin on the opera until August of that same year. It was then that Weber began the working out of the creditor's chorus, "Geld! Geld! Geld!" a lively interpretation of the kind of creditors that were hounding Weber at the time. The rest of the numbers followed over several months, and the work was completed in January of 1811. There were a total of eight original pieces and an overture when the work was premiered. In 1813, Weber added a love duet for Abu Hassan and Fatime, to establish the closeness of their relationship. It is in a more serious style than the rest of the interplay that takes place between the scheming husband and wife, who banter about playfully through most of the opera. Nevertheless, it is still a lovely addition to the work. A solo lament for Fatime, which she sings as she tries to convince the Caliph's servant that her husband is indeed dead, was added for a Dresden revival in 1823. An extremely beautiful lament, it is also not quite of the same mood of the rest of the opera, which is lighthearted, sentimental, and comic.

Abu Hassan is characterized by richness and variety, and the influence of Mozart's Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail is felt throughout. The characterizations are lively and keen, and the orchestra is handled deftly, with only a hint of Turkish elements added for that exotic flavor so loved by the Romantics. Both Fatime and Abu have solo arias with which to display their vocal expertise. Fatime's aria features a cello obbligato and plenty of opportunity for coloratura display, while Abu Hassan's is a complex structure composed of many parts. Two guitars and a comical bassoon accompany his posturing as he sings of his love for Fatime, but the piece closes with vocal virtuosics to rival those of his wife. --- Rita Laurance, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Weber Carl Maria von Tue, 11 Oct 2011 18:45:27 +0000
Weber - Chamber Music (2005) http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/22767-weber-chamber-music-2005.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/22767-weber-chamber-music-2005.html Weber - Chamber Music (2005)

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Clarinet Quintet In B Flat Major, J182 	28:41
1 	Allegro 	10:55
2 	Fantastia: Adagio 	5:39
3 	Menuetto: Capriccio 	5:36
4 	Rondo: Allegro Giojoso 	6:31
Trio For Flute, Cello And Piano In G Minor, J259 	20:25
5 	Allegro Moderato 	7:59
6 	Scherzo: Allegro Vivace 	2:39
7 	Schäfers Klage: Andante Espressivo 	4:00
8 	Finale: Allegro 	5:51
Piano Quartet In B Flat Major, J76 	23:54
9 	Allegro 	9:32
10 	Adagio Ma Non Troppo 	6:05
11 	Menuetto: Allegro 	2:15
12 	Finale: Presto 	6:00

The Gaudier Ensemble:
Cello – Christoph Marks
Clarinet – Richard Hosford
Flute – Jaime Martin
Piano [Steinway & Sons] – Susan Tomes
Viola – Iris Juda
Violin [I] – Marieke Blankestijn
Violin [Il] – Lesley Hatfield

 

Weber’s chamber music – just these three pieces if you don’t count the duos – clearly shows him on the cusp between Classical and Romantic. The Quartet for piano and strings, written in his early twenties between 1807 and 1809, begins with a Haydnesque gracefulness and politeness which is gradually invaded by more unruly harmonies and textures; the dramatic slow movement looks ahead to Schumann, while the closing fugue of the finale dresses 18th-century procedures in 19th-century colours. Then there’s the element of virtuosity which is a hallmark of the early Romantic era, in the showy piano part of the Quartet, which Weber wrote for himself, the concerto-like clarinet part in the Quintet with strings, designed for the pioneering Heinrich Baermann, and all three parts of the tuneful Trio for flute, cello and piano. The talented members of the pan-European Gaudier Ensemble are perfectly equipped to convey these different aspects of Weber’s musical personality, with the fleet-fingered pianist Susan Tomes leading the way in the Quartet and Trio, and Richard Hosford in the Clarinet Quintet recalling contemporary descriptions of Baermann’s own effortless brilliance. With a top-quality recording, this is a disc which does full and thoroughly entertaining justice to a still under-rated master. ---Anthony Burton, classical-music.com

 

Carl Maria von Weber composed few works for chamber ensembles, and sidestepped the usual Classical constraints on the occasions when he did. The works on this 2005 release from Hyperion seem peculiarly outside the mainstream of their day, and striking for their virtuosity and devil-may-care approach to such concerns as ensemble balance, structure, and thematic coherence. The Clarinet Quintet in B flat major, J182, is, to all practical purposes, a flamboyant clarinet concerto with a scaled-down string accompaniment; and the Piano Quartet in B flat major, J76, is a bravura showpiece, sparkling with a dazzling piano part that Weber apparently intended for himself. The Trio for flute, cello and piano in G minor, J259, more closely resembles a Classical chamber work in its fairly even repartee and comparatively modest displays of technique; yet here, too, are flashes of the concertante style. Weber's music is so vivid and appealing that few will protest his liberties, and even fewer will resist the charms of the Gaudier Ensemble in these lively performances. All the musicians are in fine form, but special praise is deserved by clarinetist Richard Hosford, whose witty, nearly operatic interpretation makes the Clarinet Quintet particularly delightful, and by pianist Susan Tomes, who is wonderfully expressive and controlled in her playing in the Piano Quartet. Hyperion's sound quality is terrific. ---Blair Sanderson, AllMusic Review

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Weber Carl Maria von Mon, 25 Dec 2017 13:42:10 +0000
Weber - Die Drei Pintos (completed by Gustav Mahler) [1976] http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/10280-carl-maria-von-weber-die-drei-pintos-completed-by-gustav-mahler.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/10280-carl-maria-von-weber-die-drei-pintos-completed-by-gustav-mahler.html Weber - Die Drei Pintos (completed by Gustav Mahler) [1976]

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CD1
1. Act I: Ensemble - Leeret die Becher, mutige Zecher! 	6:44 
2. Act I: Rondo a la Polacca - Was ich dann tu', das frag' ich mich 	3:22 
3. Act I: Terzettino - Ei, wer hatte das gedacht! 	1:11 
4. Act I: Romanze vom verliebten Kater Mansor - Leise weht' es, leise wallte 	3:44 
5. Act I: Seguidilla a dos - Wir, die den Musen dienen 	5:24 
6. Act I: Terzett - Also frisch das Werk begonnen! 	7:25 
7. Act I: Finale - Auf das Wohlergeh'n der Gaste! 	11:11

CD2
1. Entr'acte 	6:40
2. Act II: Introduction und Ensemble - Wisst ihr nicht, was wir hier sollen? 	11:59 
3. Act II: Ariette - Hochste Lust ist treues Lieben 	3:41 
4. Act II: Arie - Ach, wenn das du doch vermochtest! 	8:19 
5. Act II: Duett - Ja, das Wort, ich will es sprechen 	5:13 
6. Act II: Terzett-Finale - Geschwind nur von hinnen! 	3:27
7. Act III: Lied mit Chor - Schmucket die Halle mit Bluten und Zweigen 	2:35 
8. Act III: Duett - Nun, da sind wir 	3:01
9. Act III: Terzettino - Madchen, ich leide heisse Liebespein! 	1:51 
10. Act III: Ariette - Ein Madchen verloren, was macht man sich d'raus? 	4:23 	
11. Act III: Rondo-Terzett - Ihr, der so edel 	6:00 
12. Act III: Habt ihr es denn schon vernommen? 	2:34 
13. Act III: Mit lieblichen Blumen, mit duftenden Bluten 	1:57 	
14. III: Finale A - Was wollt Ihr? 	10:32 
15. Act III: Finale B - Heil sei Euch, Don Pantaleone! 	2:55

Don Pantaleone - Franz Grundheber
Clarissa - Lucia Popp
Don Pinto de Fonseca - Kurt Moll
Laura - Kari Lövaas
Don Gaston - Werner Hollweg
Ambrosio - Hermann Prey
Ines - Jeannette Scovotti
Don Gomez - Heinz Kruse

Müncher Philharmoniker
Nederlans Vocaal Ensenble
Gary Bertini - conductor, 1976

 

Die drei Pintos (The Three Pintos) is a comic opera of which Carl Maria von Weber began composing the music, working on a libretto by Theodor Hell. The work was completed about 65 years after Weber's death by Gustav Mahler.

In 1821, Theodor Hell developed a drama called The Battle for the Bride, with a story taken from Der Brautkampf (1819) by Carl Seidel. Hell gave his friend Weber the text, but Weber disliked the title and changed it to Die Drei Pintos ("The Three Pintos"). The title comes from the protagonist, Don Pinto, who is impersonated by two other characters in the course of the opera.

Weber began composing the score and worked at it off and on from then until 1824, but other work including Euryanthe intervened and it remained incomplete at his death (in 1826). All that existed, so far, were a number of coded fragments of music: 7 sketches for 17 numbers, and a total of bars scored out of an eventual total of 1700 bars.

Weber's bereaved family made a number of unsuccessful attempts to have Die Drei Pintos completed, but eventually his widow Caroline took the draft to Giacomo Meyerbeer, a composer, and friend of Theodor Hell. For some reason, Meyerbeer did nothing and — 26 years later, just before Caroline died — the fragments were returned to her untouched. Her son Max then approached various composers seeking one who would finish the opera, but he was advised to "give up".

After Max's death in 1881, his son Carl (Carl senior's grandson) inherited the composer's musical estate, and vigorously continued the task of trying to find someone to complete the opera. He eventually encountered the 26-year-old Gustav Mahler, who was working as second conductor at the Leipzig Stadttheater for the 1886-87 season. Mahler was keen to help, and became a regular visitor at the Webers' residence (ostensibly to deal with operatic matters though he was also enamoured of Carl's wife Marion; Carl tried to ignore that situation as best he could).

In the spring of 1887, Mahler cracked C. M. von Weber's code, unscrambled the drafts and instrumentalized the existing fragments in accordance with Weber's wishes. A further 13 musical numbers were needed in addition to the existing 7, and Mahler went ahead and composed this music himself, based on Weber's themes. It was decided that the original shape of the opera should be kept: a dialogue with musical numbers. However, the interlude music between Acts I and II (Pinto's dream) and the two-part finale of Act III were written by Mahler, although still based on Weber's leitmotifs and themes.

Mahler had been an admirer of Weber, and in this way he succeeded in creating a complete opera which was premiered at the Neues Stadttheater, Leipzig on 20 January 1888, with Mahler conducting. Richard Strauss admired the work, but appears to have changed his opinion after his mentor Hans von Bülow panned it; like Bülow, the influential critic Eduard Hanslick was also critical.

After Mahler's death (1911) Die drei Pintos gradually disappeared from regular production. Although it is rarely produced nowadays, the "Intermezzo", composed entirely by Mahler based on melodies by Weber, hints at the flute calls (echoed by other wind instruments such as the oboe and bassoon) in the slow section of the first movement of Mahler's Symphony no. 1.

Performances are rare. There was a production at the John Lewis Theatre in London on 10 April 1962 and a concert performance at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1976. The American première, given by the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, took place on 6 June 1979, and in June 1997 a concert performance was given as part of the Vienna Festival. In January 1998, seven fully staged performances in a new production conducted by Geoffrey Moull were given by the Bielefeld Opera in Germany. In February 1998, three performances in English were given in a fully staged production by Opera Omnibus in Haslemere, England. In October 2003, there were six performances of a new production at the Wexford Festival. In 2010, the Bronx Opera Company will give the New York staged premiere in English. In March 2011, there were four performances by UCOpera at the Bloomsbury Theatre near University College London.

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Weber Carl Maria von Tue, 20 Sep 2011 08:58:11 +0000
Weber - Flute Trio & Sonatas (1984) http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/6897-weber-complete-chamber-music.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/6897-weber-complete-chamber-music.html Weber - Flute Trio & Sonatas (1984)

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1. Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano, J. 259: I. Allegro moderato	Stephen Preston, Jennifer Ward Clarke, Richard Burnett		8:43	 
2. Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano, J. 259: II. Scherzo: Allegro vivace	Stephen Preston, Jennifer Ward Clarke, Richard Burnett	2:52	 
3. Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano, J. 259: III. Schafers Klage: Andante espressivo	Stephen Preston, Jennifer Ward Clarke, Richard Burnett	4:20	 
4. Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano, J. 259: IV. Finale: Allegro	Stephen Preston, Jennifer Ward Clarke, Richard Burnett	8:35	 
5. Sonata No. 4 in E Flat Major: I. Moderato	Stephen Preston, Richard Burnett	3:49	
6. Sonata No. 4 in E Flat Major: II. Rondo vivace	Stephen Preston, Richard Burnett	2:05
7. Sonata No. 1 in F Major: I. Allegro	Stephen Preston, Richard Burnett	3:48	
8. Sonata No. 1 in F Major: II. Romanze: Larghetto	Stephen Preston, Richard Burnett	1:55
9. Sonata No. 1 in F Major: III. Rondo: Amabile	Stephen Preston, Richard Burnett	3:19	
10. Sonata in D Major: I. Air russe: Allegretto moderato	Stephen Preston, Richard Burnett	2:18
11. Sonata in D Major: II. Rondo: Presto	Stephen Preston, Richard Burnett	2:40	
12. Sonata No. 6 in C Major: I. Allegro con fuoco	Stephen Preston, Richard Burnett	3:48
13. Sonata No. 6 in C Major: II. Largo	Stephen Preston, Richard Burnett	1:10	
14. Sonata No. 6 in C Major: III. Polacca	Stephen Preston, Richard Burnett	3:52

Stephen Preston – flute
Jennifer Ward Clarke – cello
Richard Burnett – piano

 

The flute figures in nearly half of Weber's small catalog of chamber music and the most substantial of these items (though not quite as extended as his more popular clarinet quintet) is the Flute Trio with the flute replacing the violin in the usual trio configuration. It's unclear why Weber chose this instrumentation; he designed his clarinet and bassoon works for specific soloists, but no court flutist seems to have inspired this trio, which is dedicated to Philipp Jungh, Weber's friend and doctor. (Weber's flute sonatas are merely alternate versions of his violin sonatas, fairly easy pieces intended for domestic consumption.) The somber first movement (Allegro moderato) begins with long cello and flute lines over a throbbing piano accompaniment and is full of dramatic outbursts. The second theme abounds in more conventional, Classical-style twittering and this tension between dark Romanticism and bright Classicism drives the movement's development with Romanticism having the last word. The Scherzo begins with a rugged, offbeat figure reminiscent of the out-of-kilter scherzo from Beethoven's "Spring" Sonata, though lacking Beethoven's humor. This alternates with a flighty waltz melody, a strong contrast that allows Weber to leave out the scherzo's customary trio section. The third movement, Andante espressivo, bears the title "Schäfers Klage" or "Shepherd's Lament." The simple flute tune creeps along, seemingly unsure of itself, gradually elaborated by all three instruments except for a strange, chromatic interruption similar to the spot where Weber's Oberon Overture harmonically falls apart. The long finale (Allegro) is more conventional, a loose assemblage of chipper tunes, some lyrical and some of the sewing-machine variety. Weber gives the instruments free rein, allowing each to come to prominence through the movement's course and then recede into the general trio texture. ---Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Weber Carl Maria von Mon, 20 Sep 2010 14:12:16 +0000
Weber - Oberon (Gardiner) [2005] http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/3714-carl-weber-oberon-kubelik.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/3714-carl-weber-oberon-kubelik.html Weber - Oberon (Gardiner) [2005]

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CD 1
1. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 1 – Overture
2. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 1 - Narration: In a garden full of beautiful flowers
3. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 1 - Trio: Light as fairy foot can fall
4. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 1 - Narration: Watching over Oberon, his sleeping master
5. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 1 - Aria: Fatal vow!
6. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 1 - Narration: Puck, searching high and low
7. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 1 - Vision: O why art thou sleeping, Sir Huon the brave?
8. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 1 - Narration: The vision is gone
9. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 1 - Ensemble: Honour and Joy
10. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 1 - Narration: Huon is sure that his vision...
11. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 1 - Aria: From boyhood trained
12. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 1 - Narration: So Knight and squire take ship from France
13. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 1 - Finale: Haste, gallant knight
14. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 – Glory
15. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Narration: It is the wedding day...
16. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Dance of the bayaderes
17. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Narration: Reiza whispers anxiously...
18. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Melodrama and Narration: Summoned by the horn
19. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Narration: While Huon and Reiza get ready to leave
20. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Arriette: A Lonely Arab Maid
21. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Narration: All is now set fair...
22. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Quartet: Over the dark blue waters
23. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Narration: But the lovers' troubles...
24. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Solo & Choir: Spirits of air and earth and sea

CD2
1. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Narration: On a barren island
2. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Ruler of this awful hour
3. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Narration: Huon has lost the magic horn
4. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Scene & Arie: Ocean thou mighty monster
5. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Narration: What Reiza has seen...
6. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Narration: Alas poor mortal
7. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Narration: Oberon orders Puck
8. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 2 - Finale: And hark, the mermaids...Oh is pleasant
9. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Narration: Rescued by corsairs
10. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Lied: O Araby dear
11. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Narration: Sherasimin is entranced
12. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Duet: On the banks
13. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Narration: Puck has magicked...
14. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Terzettino: And I must I then
15. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Narration: But there is no response...
16. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Cavatine: Mourn thou poor heart
17. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Narration: Almanzor is bewitched
18. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Rondo: I revel in hope
19. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Narration: Suddenly the curtains part...
20. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Chorus & Ballet: For thee hath beauty
21. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Narration: Huon tries to break free
22. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Almanzor is rooted to the spot...Finale: Hark what notes
23. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - Narration: Huon with true heroism
24. Oberon - English Text Version with Narration / Act 3 - March & Finale

Oberon - Steve Davislim
Reiza - Hillevi Martinpelto
Fatima - Marina Comparato
Sir Huon of Bordeaux -Jonas Kaufmann
Sherasmin -William Dazeley
Narrator - Roger Allam

Monteverdi Choir
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
John Eliot Gardiner - conductor

 

Here is a major new studio recording of Weber’s exotic supernatural three act opera Oberon. Philips have assembled international forces conducted by period instrument and historically informed performance specialist Sir John Eliot Gardiner. The Swedish soprano Hillevi Martinpelto, German tenor Jonas Kaufmann and Australian tenor Steve Davislim were all engaged to lead a distinguished cast in this enigmatic mythical drama. The studio recording was made at the Watford Colosseum following critically acclaimed concert performances and is said to be the first to be recorded in an English language version.

Weber was a reformer whose goal was to make opera into a total work of art - musical, literary, dramatic and stenographic. In this sense he anticipated Wagner, who admired him greatly. As a composer Weber was a progressive who rejected well-worn Italian operatic formulae in favour of a new, intensely Romantic and specifically German style. This was in fact a cross-breeding of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century French opera with popular German Singspiel, in which sung pieces alternate with spoken dialogue, a form that had reached its artistic peak in Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio and The Magic Flute. In Weber’s three best-known operas: Der Freischütz (The Free Shooter), Euryanthe and Oberon, all completed in the early to mid 1820s, the musical depiction of nature became an important element, and an atmosphere of the supernatural and of fantasy wafted onto the stage. It is no wonder that Weber’s operas so powerfully influenced the next generation of Romantic opera composers, especially Berlioz and Wagner, just as his evocative instrumental writing, in his concert and salon pieces as well as his operas, influenced Mendelssohn, Chopin and Schumann. Sadly, Oberon was to be Weber’s swansong as he was to die in London only six weeks after the London première.

The unqualified success of Weber’s opera Der Freischütz (The Free Shooter) in 1824 in London brought about a commission from Covent Garden to write a new opera. Billed at its Covent Garden première in 1826 as, ‘A Grand Romantic and Fairy Opera’, Oberon, is a spectacular in twenty one scenes and lavish sets with a large cast. The libretto, in an English text from James Robinson Planchéis, is based on a translation of Oberon by the German poet Christoph Wieland, itself based on a medieval French chanson, with the addition of Shakespeare’s Fairy King Oberon and the mischievous Puck. The ridiculous plot follows the well used fictional world of the heroic Christian Knight against the shadowy Muslim Caliph of Baghdad. The action jumps uncomfortably from Oberon’s bower in fairyland to France, to Baghdad, a ship, a rocky Mediterranean island, and to Tunis. The opera ends triumphantly in the court of Charlemagne.

Oberon is full of a rich variety of musical styles and mixes some of the familiar fantasy characters of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream with trials of love in exotic settings. Along with Weber’s best known opera Der Freischütz, enormously important in the development of the genre of opera, Oberon manages to link the world of Mozart’s Magic Flute with the music dramas of Wagner. Unfortunately it is often said to lack sustained interest and suffers from a deplorable libretto. It was famously damned by musicologist Donald Tovey, who claimed that Weber had poured his finest music into a pig trough.

In its best pages Oberon reaches a summit that few other operas attain. It is at its best in the overture which is a magical excursion into the kingdom of fairies, sprites and elves, continually touched with the mystery and wonder of the forest. It seems clear that the young Mendelssohn must have been influenced by this when he composed his Overture to ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Op. 21 in 1836. In the delightful overture Gardiner and his orchestra combine sharply observed detail with wonderfully natural and unaffected playing.

The inclusion of a narrator is a successful move; the role is taken by English actor Roger Allam, acclaimed for his many appearances with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Tenor, Steve Davislim, as the fairy King Oberon in the opening Aria, scene no.2, Fatal vow! is a disappointment and seems rather nervous with noticeable wobble in his voice. The part of the Oberon is rather curious as the character is hardly employed in the score. As the noble Knight, Sir Huon of Bordeaux, the tenor Jonas Kaufmann is a first-rate casting. In one of my favourite moments Kaufmann is in fine voice in his romantic Aria, scene no. 5, From boyhood trained with strong, direct and expressive singing and an appealing timbre to his voice. Another highlight is Reiza’s wonderful set piece Aria, scene no. 13, Ocean! thou Mighty Monster. Soprano Hillevi Martinpelto, as Reiza soars beautifully to the heavens and the rich and smoky timbre of her voice is most attractive. In Fatima’s popular Aria, scene no. 15, O Araby, dear Araby, my own native land! the mezzo-soprano Marina Comparato displays her smooth and velvety voice with considerable clarity. The orchestral contribution really sparkles and the playing and singing is beautifully tailored to the score drawing out an endless kaleidoscope of subtle colours.

The sound from the Philips engineers is top quality. The company is also to be congratulated for a superb presentation providing full texts, a synopsis and superb essays. Under the baton of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Oberon is a delightful experience and deserves to heard by a wider audience. ---Michael Cookson, musicweb-international.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Weber Carl Maria von Tue, 02 Mar 2010 22:36:44 +0000
Weber - Piano Concertos, Polacca Brillante, Konzertstück (1994) http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/4294-karl-maria-weber-piano-concertos.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/4294-karl-maria-weber-piano-concertos.html Weber - Piano Concertos, Polacca Brillante, Konzertstück (1994)

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01. Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 11: I. Allegro    [0:09:22.07]
02. Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 11: II. Adagio    [0:04:17.70]
03. Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 11: III. Presto    [0:07:52.23]
04. Piano Concerto No. 2 in E Flat Major, Op. 32: I. Allegro maestoso    [0:09:10.37]
05. Piano Concerto No. 2 in E Flat Major, Op. 32: II. Adagio    [0:05:46.65]
06. Piano Concerto No. 2 in E Flat Major, Op. 32: III. Rondo: Presto    [0:08:36.48]
07. Pollaca Brillante, Op. 72    [0:09:55.00]
08. Konzerstück in F Minor, Op. 79    [0:16:43.47]

Benjamin Frith [Piano]
RTE Sinfonietta
Proinnsias O Duinn [Conductor]

 

Carl Maria von Weber gave the first performance of his Opus 11 Concerto in C Major on 19 November 1810 in Mannheim. This work provides a connection between Mozart and Beethoven and those who followed as Classical eventually gave way to Romantic. There are considerable technical demands made on any pianist who attempt to play Weber's piano works. This was because Weber's hands had a particularly wider stretch than most. The soloist on this recording is Benjamin Frith, who seems to be up to the challenge. Weber's Piano Concerto No. 2 in E flat was completed in 1812, with the first performance given by the composer on 17 December. He started on a 3rd concerto in 1815, which turned out to be just a single movement Konzertstuck (Concert-Piece) in F minor, Op. 79. It was completed in 1821. Gramophone magazine's review stated that "The Konzertstuck goes very well, with plenty of colour in the phrasing and a lively orchestral accompaniment to match." The very challenging arpeggios and other heavy demands are expertly dispatched by the soloist Frith. The Penguin Guide states that Frith "receives splendid support from (conductor) O'Duinn and the excellent Dublin Sinfonietta...(the Konzertstuck is particularly fine)". As a nice bonus Naxos adds Weber's solo piano work, the Polacca Brillante, that was transcribed by Franz Liszt for piano and orchestra. Liszt uses as an introduction to this work part of Weber's earlier Grande Polonaise. All in all, this CD is very well recorded, if a little heavy on the timpani. This is contrary to the anonymous reviewer below. Although perhaps not quite up to Steven Hough's full-priced recording on Hyperion, this budget price release on the highly-respected Naxos label is an attractive alternative. --- JohnL, amazon.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Weber Carl Maria von Sun, 18 Apr 2010 11:26:03 +0000
Weber - Symphonies 1 & 2, Overture 'Der Freischutz' (1995) http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/26182-weber-symphonies-1-a-2-overture-der-freischutz-1995.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/26182-weber-symphonies-1-a-2-overture-der-freischutz-1995.html Weber - Symphonies 1 & 2, Overture 'Der Freischutz' (1995)

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Symphony No 1, J. 50 in C/C-dur/utmajeur
1 	Allegro con fuoco	7:48
2 	Andante 	6:42
3 	Scherzo: Presto. Trio  	4:16
4 	Finale: Presto 	4:34

5 	Overture to Der Freischütz, J.277 	10:10

Symphony No 2, J. 51 in C/C-dur/ut majeur
6 	Allegro  	6:55
7 	Adagio ma nn troppoeu 	4:34
8 	Menuetto: Allegro. Trio 	1:36
9 	Scherzo: Presto 	2:27

Philharmonia Orchestra
Claus Peter Flor - conductor

In contrast to the recent version of Weber's two symphonies by Roger Norrington, whose London Classical Players made delightfully vivid play with the textures of something close to Weber's own orchestra, Claus Peter Flor and the Philharmonia suggest a later romanticism; and the recording is intelligently handled to provide a suitable depth of tone. The works can stand this, not least because their implications for later composers are so strong. All the same, it is asking a lot of the Scherzo of the First Symphony to give it a Brahmsian weight, and the Menuetto of the Second simply collapses under the burden. This is partly because Flor is rhythmically rather heavy-handed; and he does not sense with much ease the tempo changes, so that his accelerando and then rallentando at the end of the opening movement of No. 1 sound manufactured. One of the most successful movements, unexpectedly, is the finale of No. 2, a problematic piece that can sound like an afterthought: here, the contrasts between the abruptly broken off phrases and a broodingly dark atmosphere engendered by the central horn passage are well handled to suggest something strikingly enigmatic. This quality also makes for a powerful opening to the Freischutz Overture, though the bright element represented by Agathe's theme is less successful. Those looking for a coupling of the symphonies should opt for the Norrington version, which has a splendid bonus in Melvyn Tan's performance of the Konzertstuck.' ---John Warrack, gramophone.co.uk

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Weber Carl Maria von Sun, 01 Dec 2019 16:52:37 +0000
Weber - Symphonies Nos. 1 And 2 - Turandot Overture - Silvana (1994) http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/14216-weber-symphonies-nos-1-and-2-turandot-overture-silvana-1994.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/14216-weber-symphonies-nos-1-and-2-turandot-overture-silvana-1994.html Weber - Symphonies Nos. 1 And 2 - Turandot Overture - Silvana (1994)

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01] Symphony 1 C Major J.50 / 1 Allegro Con Fuoco
02] Symphony 1 C Major J.50 / 2 Andante
03] Symphony 1 C Major J.50 / 3 Scherzo And Trio
04] Symphony 1 C Major J.50 / 4 Finale: Presto
05] Symphony 2 C Major J.51 / 1 Allgero
06] Symphony 2 C Major J.51 / 2  Adagio Ma Non Troppo
07] Symphony 2 C Major J.51 / 3. Menuetto And Trio
08] Symphony 2 C Major J.51 / 4 Finale: Scherzo Presto
09] Turandot  J.75 / 1 Overture
10] Turandot  J.75 / 2 Funeral March From Act 5
11] Turandot  J.75 / 3 March From Act 2
12] Silvana J.87 / 1 Tanz Der Edelknaben
13] Silvana J.87 / 2 Facel Tanz (Torch Dance)
14] Die 3 Pintos Anh. 5 / 1 Antr'acte

Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra
John Georgiadis – conductor

 

Naxos really are doing us proud. Here is yet another first-class disc of comparatively out of the way music, beautifully performed and recorded. I am very enthusiastic for Weber in general. He had a superlative melodic gift for one thing, he was a brilliant orchestrator and he is blessedly free of pretentiousness. Nobody would look to his compositions for lessons in intellectual techniques, but I will happily trade that to be spared laboured workings-out, twaddling `passages' and the whole baggage of second-rate 19th century instrumental music. All the music on this record is comparatively lightweight, but the symphonies less so than the incidental music. Being perfectly candid, I find them more interesting than the early symphonies of my beloved Schubert. There is a theatrical feel to them, but that is no bad thing in my opinion, and when the inevitable thoughts of Rossini came to the forefront of my mind I also found myself reflecting that Weber had a soul within him, a thing of fire and air, where Rossini had nothing but a vacuum.

The recorded quality is in some ways very striking indeed, with startling resonance in the bass - to start with I could almost have sworn that I heard a tuba. The Queensland Philharmonic play with real life, vigour and enthusiasm, and the conductor has to my way of thinking the right extroversion and sense of style and pace for this particular music. There is also a businesslike and helpful liner-note giving some information on conductor and orchestra as well as commentary on the music.

Right at the end we have something very different and very interesting indeed - an entr'acte put together by Mahler from material Weber had left from an unfinished opera The Three Pintos. Suddenly to hear Mahler's idiom and Mahler's scoring in a ghostly embrace with Weber's has real `tingle-factor` for me, something like the effect of the last bars of the Flying Dutchman overture, written by the Wagner of Tristan and Isolde. I am going to get very attached to this record. ---David Bryson, amazon.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Weber Carl Maria von Mon, 03 Jun 2013 16:24:18 +0000
Weber – Clarinet Concertos (Paul Meyer) [1992] http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/5940-weber-clarinet-concertos-clarinet-quintet.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/5940-weber-clarinet-concertos-clarinet-quintet.html Weber – Clarinet Concertos (Paul Meyer) [1992]

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01. Concerto in f minor - I Allegro    [0:07:50.48]
02. Concerto in f minor - II - Adagio ma non troppo    [0:06:21.40]
03. Concerto in f minor - III. Rondo:  Allegro    [0:06:03.25]
04. Concerto in E-flat Maj - I - Allegro    [0:08:23.50]
05. Concerto in E-flat Maj - II - Andante con moto    [0:07:00.47]
06. Concerto in E-flat Maj - III - Alla Pollaca    [0:06:12.53]
07. Concertino for Clarinet & Orchestra in C Minor/E-flat major    [0:08:41.47]

Paul Meyer – Clarinet
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Gunther Herbig – Conductor

 

Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) composed his Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor, Op. 73, in 1811 after his Concertino for Clarinet and Orchester in E flat major, Op. 26, and before his Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 74. All three works were written for and dedicated to the clarinetist Heinrich Joseph Baermann, and all three show a complete understanding of the capabilities of the instrument. Weber's Clarinet Concerto No. 1 is distinctly different from the earlier concertino: where the earlier work is lightly playful and lyrically expressive, the Concerto No. 1 is deeply serious and dramatically, almost operatically, expressive. The concerto is in three movements: a forceful opening Allegro, an intensely expressive central Adagio, and an energetic closing Rondo Allegretto. Weber is clearly a master of the Romantic orchestra, and his writing for the soloists is supremely skillful throughout. --- James Leonard, Rovi

 

Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) composed his Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 74, in 1811 immediately after his Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor, Op. 73, and his Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra in E flat major, Op. 26. Like the earlier works, Weber wrote his Concerto No. 2 for clarinet virtuoso Heinrich Joseph Baermann and the work displays a thorough knowledge of the capacities of the instrument. After the most dramatic Concerto in F minor, the Concerto in E flat major revisits the more lighter and more lyrical world of the Concertino in E flat. Set in three movements, the Concerto in E flat opens with a virtuosic Allegro, moves through a gloriously bel canto Andante Romanza, and closes with a playful Alla Polacca. As in all his orchestral works, Weber's mastery of color and tone is complete and his writing for the soloist is breathtakingly difficult but wholly idiomatic. --- James Leonard, Rovi

 

Weber wrote his Concertino for clarinet and orchestra in E flat major (1811) for Heinrich Bärmann, one of the most accomplished clarinetists of the day. As the instrument was relatively new, Weber's works for the clarinet broke new ground by affording it a new measure of prominence and displaying its wide-ranging capabilties for both expressivity and virtuosic display.

The Concertino consists of three short movements that conform to the traditional organization of the solo concerto: Adagio ma non troppo, Andante, and Allegro. It opens with a tragic song for the clarinet that resembles nothing so much as an opera aria; indeed, the most notable aspect of the work is perhaps the distinctively vocal manner in which Weber uses the clarinet. From this starting point Weber spins increasingly elaborate variations that eventually make their way back to the original gloomy mood.

The success of the premiere, given in the presence (and at the request) of the King of Bavaria, was such that the king commissioned from Weber two full-scale clarinet concerti; these works, together with the Concertino, remain pioneering efforts in the history of the instrument as well as cornerstones of its repertoire. ---Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Weber Carl Maria von Thu, 15 Jul 2010 14:33:45 +0000
Weber – Euryanthe (2008) http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/16278-weber--euryanthe-2008.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/775-carlmariaweber/16278-weber--euryanthe-2008.html Weber – Euryanthe (2008)

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Disc 1
1	Euryanthe: Ouverture			
2	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 1, Introduktion: Dem Frieden Heil! (Chor)			
3	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 1, Ernster Reigen			
4	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 1, Rezitative: Mein Adolar! So fern dem heitern Reigen? (Konig, Adolar, Lysiart)			
5	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 2, Romanze: Unter blueh'nden Mandelbaeumen (Adolar)		
6	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 3, Chor: Heil Euryanth', der Lieblichsten der Schoenen! -Rezitative: Ich trag' es nicht! (Lysiart, Adolar, Konig)			
7	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 4, Terzett mit Chor: Wohlan! Du kennst mein herrlich Eigentum (Lysiart, Adolar, Konig, Mannerchor)			
8	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 5, Kavatine: Gloecklein im Tale (Euryanthe)			
9	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 5, Rezitative: So einsam bangend find' ich dich? (Eglantine, Euryanthe)
10	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 6, Arie: O mein Leid ist unermessen (Eglantine)			
11	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 6, Rezitative: Freundin! Geliebte! An meine Brust (Euryanthe, Eglantine) 
12	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 7 Duett: Unter ist mein Stern gegangen (Euryanthe, Eglantine)	
13	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 8, Rezitative und Arie: Betoerte, die an meine Liebe glaubt		
14	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 9, Finale: Jubeltoene, Heldensoehne (Chor, Euryanthe, Eglantine, Lysiart) 
15	Euryanthe: Akt I, Nr. 9, Finale: Froehliche Klaenge, Taenze, Gesaenge (Euryanthe, Chor, Eglantine, Rudolf, Lysiart)			

Disc 2
1	Euryanthe: Akt II, Nr. 10, Szene und Arie: Wo berg' ich mich?			
2	Euryanthe: Akt II, Nr. 11, Rezitative und Duett: Der Gruft ertronnen, atm' ich wieder (Eglantine, Lysiart)			
3	Euryanthe: Akt II, Nr. 11, Rezitative und Duett: Komm denn, unser Leid zu raechen! (Eglantine, Lysiart)			
4	Euryanthe: Akt II, Nr. 12, Arie: Wehen mir Luefte Ruh' (Adolar)			
5	Euryanthe: Akt II, Nr. 13, Duett: Hin nimm die Seele mein (Euryanthe, Adolar)		
6	Euryanthe: Akt II, Nr. 14, Finale: Leuchtend fuellt die Koenigshallen (Mannerchor, Konig, Euryanthe, Lysiart, Adolar)			
7	Euryanthe: Akt II, Nr. 14, Finale: Lass mich empor zum Lichte wallen (Euryanthe, Konig, Lysiart, Adolar, Mannerchor)			
8	Euryanthe: Akt II, Nr. 14, Finale: Verleih mein Recht mir (Lysiart, Konig, Adolar, Euryanthe, Mannerchor)			

Disc 3
1	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 15, Rezitative und Duett: Hier weilest du? Hier darf ich ruh'n? (Euryanthe, Adolar)			
2	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 15, Rezitative und Duett: Wie liebt ich dich (Adolar, Euryanthe)	
3	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 16, Arioso und Szene: Schirmende Engelschar (Euryanthe, Adolar) 
4	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 17, Szene und Kavatine: So bin ich nun verlassen			
5	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 17, Szene und Kavatine: Hier dicht am Quell (Euryanthe)		
6	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 18, Jagerchor: Die Tale dampfen, die Hoehen glueh'n (Mannerchor) 
7	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 19, Duett mit Chor: Lasst mich hier in Ruh' erblassen (Euryanthe, Konig, Mannerchor)			
8	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 20, Arie mit Chor: Zu ihm! O weilet nicht! (Euryanthe, Mannerchor) 
9	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 21, Szene mit Chor: Pas de cinq (Ballettmusik)			
10	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 21, Szene mit Chor: Der Mai bringt frische Rosen dar (Adolar, Chor) 
11	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 22, Solo mit Chor: Vernichte Kuehn das Werk der Tuecke (Adolar, Chor) 
12	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 23, Hochzeitsmarsch, Szene und Chor: Das Frevlerpaar! Weh diesem Bunde! (Adolar, Eglantine, Lysiart, Chor)			
13	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 24 Duett mit Chor: Trotze nicht! Vermessener! (Lysiart, Adolar, Chor) 
14	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 25, Finale: Lasst ruh'n das Schwert! (Konig, Adolar, Eglantine, Lysiart, Euryanthe, Chor)			
15	Euryanthe: Akt III, Nr. 25, Duett mit Chor: Hin nimm die Seele mein (Euryanthe, Adolar, Chor)

Renate Krahmer (Soprano) - Bertha
Tom Krause (Baritone) - Lysiart
Harald Neukirch (Tenor) - Rudolf
Jessye Norman (Soprano) -  Euryanthe
Siegfried Vogel (Bass) – Konig Ludwig VI
Rita Hunter (Soprano) - Eglantine
Nicolai Gedda (Tenor) - Adolar

Dresden Staatskapelle,  Leipzig Radio Chorus
Marek Janowski – conductor

 

This is the only Read more Euryanthe , and—on balance—it is a fine one. This is at least its sixth issue in America, and chasing down old Fanfare s has been a revelation. In 10:3 (January 1987), David Johnson wrote a six-page review that is one of the most fascinating pieces I’ve read in any magazine; I’ll get to it later. The occasion was a three-LP EMI digitally remastered issue of a 1975 four-LP Angel set. Johnson found the sound somewhat improved; In 14:2, I thought the first CD issue “makes a much stronger impression” than did the LPs, with each act now complete on one disc. Berlin Classics issued it in 1994, reviewed by James Camner in 18:4. None of us agree about the singing: Johnson found Norman’s voice “big and beautiful” but all wrong for the innocent ingénue that is Euryanthe. I found her “triumphant as a fresh, radiant Euryanthe” (I still do), Camner has her “overparted: she cannot manage the climactic notes.” We all agreed that Gedda, late in his career, was not a success; Camner wondered what Wunderlich might have done with a part so tailor-made for his voice and abilities. Our biggest disagreements came with the lesser roles: Johnson and I approved, with some reservations. Camner: “The rest of the cast bark their music like dogs in a kennel—a caricature of bad German singing.” Orchestra and Chorus are excellent. Only two things need be reported about the current issue: compared to the first EMI CDs, its sound is improved yet again; everything is noticeably clearer and cleaner. Second, the libretto here is in German only; EMI includes a side-by-side English translation.

There are live-performance alternatives: a 1950s outing with a very young Joan Sutherland is wonderful, the whole performance fresh and sparkling. But it omits Euryanthe’s biggest aria, and the sound quality is rotten, rotten, rotten. A modern live performance, on the Dynamic label, features a no-name cast that does a fine job. A DVD version of the same performance is colorful and enjoyable, although the villains look, sing, and act better than the heroes; Eglantine and Lysiart’s duet of evil is the highlight.

So what about this opera? It is musically glorious from first note to last, with never a dull moment. Both Schumann and Wagner were so impressed that they tried to duplicate it ( Genoveva, Tannhäuser ). The libretto is the catch; it has been continuously (and deservedly) bad-mouthed from day one. Reviewing the Dynamic issue in 27:3, David L. Kirk nails it: “The libretto is so bad . . . it makes Il trovatore Pulitzer Prize material.” Kirk, like almost everyone else, blames librettist Helmine von Chezy. But here’s where Johnson fascinates: he points out that Chezy was following Weber’s exact specifications and creating just what he wanted, although he did let others try and help later on. Weber even rejected (for fear of the censors) a logical plot device that had been in the story for centuries—Shakespeare’s Cymbeline , among others—replacing it with one of the most ridiculous ideas of all. I wish I could reprint Johnson’s review in its entirety, but six pages for a reissue? No way. Find it if you can.

In sum, I recommend this new issue not only for the finer aspects of the performance and the improved sound, but also because we language-challenged listeners won’t be able to follow the plot. Sit back and enjoy the wonderful music. ---FANFARE: James H. North

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Weber Carl Maria von Mon, 07 Jul 2014 22:27:06 +0000