Lortzing - Der Wildschutz
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Label: Brilliant Classics
Cat No: 94701
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 21st April 2014
Reissue of one of the gems of the East Germany archive recordings of Berlin Classics: Der Wildschütz by Albert Lortzing.
Lortzings operas were extremely popular in their time, due to their good humour and wit, the memorable tunes and the general romantic nature feeling. This release contains a star studded cast of the best German voices of the time, and the magnificent Staatskapelle Berlin conducted by Bernhard Klee.
Albert Lortzing was familiar with the stage from his earliest years, for both his parents were actors, and by the age of 18 he too was engaged as both an actor and singer. His career was anything but stable, however - a competent composer, he divided his time between precarious kapellmeister positions, including a stint at the Theater an der Wien, and having to revert to acting in order to support himself. He died impoverished and unhappy in 1851, a few months after securing his third kapellmeister post.
Today he is best remembered for his Singspiel Der Wildschutz, a masterpiece of writing and whose libretto the composer himself fashioned from Kotzebue's comedy 'Der Rehbock, oder Die schuldlosen Schuld bewusten', which had been published earlier in 1816. Kotzebue's work is a whirlwind of character disguise, a piece whose titillating coquetry touches firmly on frivolity but manages to evade full-scale immorality, and Lortzing also added small touches of his own to the story - including the character of the majordomo Pancratius, whose role has traditionally been performed in Saxon dialect.
The enduring appeal of Der Wildschutz, however, clearly rests on the score, with Lortzing's lightness of touch, his memorable and catchy tunes, and the vivid characterisation of comic situations lending his music a charm that appears as fresh as ever.
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