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Opera Overtures, Choruses and Duets | Brilliant Classics 95414

Opera Overtures, Choruses and Duets

£13.75 £11.69

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Label: Brilliant Classics

Cat No: 95414

Barcode: 5028421954141

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 3

Genre: Opera

Release Date: 15th March 2019

Contents

Artists

Peter Schreier
Theo Adam
Staatskapelle Dresden
Leipzig Gewandhausorchester
Dresdner Philharmonie
Staatskapelle Berlin
Bamberger Symphoniker

Conductors

Manfred Honeck
Herbert Kegel
Bernhard Klee
Franz Konwitschny
Giuseppe Patane
Otmar Suitner

Artists

Peter Schreier
Theo Adam
Staatskapelle Dresden
Leipzig Gewandhausorchester
Dresdner Philharmonie
Staatskapelle Berlin
Bamberger Symphoniker

Conductors

Manfred Honeck
Herbert Kegel
Bernhard Klee
Franz Konwitschny
Giuseppe Patane
Otmar Suitner

About

From Mozart to Leoncavallo: three hours of opera’s greatest hits in rhythmically buoyant, highly enjoyable East-German recordings.

Taped between 1959 (Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer) and 1993 (Die Fledermaus), a collection of overtures gets this operatic compilation off to a (literally) flying start. Suitner in particular directs deliciously sprung performances of Humperdinck (Hänsel und Gretel), Smetana (The Bartered Bride) and Suppé (Dichter und Bauer / Poet and Peasant and Leichte Kavallerie / Light Cavalry).

The Austro-Germanic angle of CD 1 is widened on CD 2 by a selection of opera choruses that represents some of the most powerful moments of 19th-century Italian opera. There is the triumphant hymn in praise of Egypt from the second act of Aida as well as the sublime song of pride and defiance, ‘Va pensiero’, that crowns Nabucco and became before long the unofficial anthem of the Risorgimento and the struggle for Italian unification. Verismo choruses are here too, taken from that evergreen pairing of Pagliacci and Cavelleria rusticana. Favourite German operatic choruses include the Chorus of Guests in Wagner’s Tannhäuser as well as the hymn of the priests in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.

Suitner directs all these: a compilation album made in Berlin in 1978. He also exercises a subtle guiding hand over the Staatskapelle Dresden for a compilation of tenor/baritone opera duets recorded in 1972 with the two foremost East-German male singers of their generation, Peter Schreier and Theo Adam. ‘Expectably’ commented Fanfare, ‘the results are echt Deutsch’ – even if the repertoire itself again covers Smetana, Gounod and Verdi as well as Mozart and Lortzing, with all the numbers sung in German and ‘performed with zest’.

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