Classical | MP3 320kbps CBR | 1 CD | Full Scans | 190 MB
Label: Naxos | Catalog Number: 8573418 | Rls.date: 30th March 2015
The flourishing genre of the comic opera had its roots in eighteenth-century Italian opera buffa, whose irrepressible brio was soon taken up outside the country's borders. In France it produced opéra comique and operetta, and in German-speaking countries Spieloper and Viennese operetta. Some of the world's most popular comic opera overtures, filled with gorgeous tunes, brilliant orchestration and race-to-the-finish endings, are presented here. They include staples of the concert repertoire such as Hérold's dramatic Zampa, the textual delicacy of Wolf-Ferrari's Il segreto di Susanna and the vivid colour of Lortzing's Zar und Zimmermann.
Composer: Louis Ferdinand Herold, Otto Nicolai, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Ambroise Thomas, ...
Conductor: Lance Friedel
Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Scottish National Orchestra
They don't write ‘em like this anymore. This splendid program of comedy overtures spans more than a century, from Cimarosa's Il matrimonio segreto of 1792 or Wolf-Ferrari's Susana's Secret of 1909. Funny how these two bookends both involve secrets, isn't it? Along the way we get just about every popular favorite that appeared in the intervening years, from Hérold's Zampa to Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor, not forgetting Thomas' Mignon, Flotow's Martha, Auber's Fra Diavolo, Reznicek's Donna Diana, Lortzing's Zar und Zimmermann, and wrapping up with Peter Cornelius' The Barber of Baghdad. Sadly many of these delightful works, which used to grace "pops" programs both live and on disc, are familiar no longer, so all credit to Naxos and conductor Lance Friedel for offering seventy-nine minutes' worth of them here.
The performances are as vibrant as the music itself. Friedel has the Royal Scottish National Orchestra playing with real brilliance and warmth. It sounds like everyone is having a good time, with crisp rhythms at the climaxes, well-balanced percussion that never becomes obnoxious, and a certain easy elegance in the many lyrical passages that the music absolutely demands. Friedel never takes the music for granted just because it's "light." There are numerous places where you'll hear some lovely touch of detail that you might not have noticed before-those little jabs of color from the trumpets towards the start of the Wolf-Ferrari for example. A particular joy is the delicious melody backed by glockenspiel in Adolphe Adam's overture to Si j'étais roi. As I said, they don't write ‘em like this anymore-heck, no one names their kid Adolph anymore either, for depressingly obvious reasons. The world has changed. Happily, we can enjoy this generous, extremely well played and well engineered program to remind us of times past.
1. Zampa: Overture 00:08:27
Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor: Overture
2. Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor: Overture 00:08:22
Il segreto di Susanna: Overture
3. Il segreto di Susanna: Overture 00:03:06
4. Mignon: Overture 00:08:24
Reznicek, Emil Nikolaus von
Donna Diana: Overture
5. Donna Diana: Overture 00:06:01
Flotow, Friedrich von
6. Martha: Overture 00:08:24
Fra Diavolo, S. 18: Overture
7. Fra Diavolo, S. 18: Overture 00:08:13
Zar und Zimmermann: Overture
8. Zar und Zimmermann: Overture 00:06:05
Il matrimonio segreto, Act I: Overture
9. Il matrimonio segreto, Act I: Overture 00:06:43
Si j'etais roi: Overture
10. Si j'etais roi: Overture 00:07:18
Mottl, Felix, arranger(s)
Der Barbier von Bagdad: Overture (arr. F. Mottl for orchestra)
11. Der Barbier von Bagdad: Overture (arr. F. Mottl for orchestra) 00:08:39