Lortzing: Der Wildschutz

Composer Albert Lortzing
Artist Peter Schreier tenor
Edith Mathis soprano
Rundfunkchor Berlin
Staatskapelle Berlin
Bernhard Klee conductor
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 94701
EAN code 5028421947013
Release April 2014

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About this release

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 Wildschütz, a masterpiece of writing and whose libretto the composer himself fashioned from Kotzebue’s comedy Der Rehbock, oder Die schuldlosen Schuld bewußten, 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 Wildschütz, 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. An ardent admirer of Mozart, it is in Der Wildschütz, more than in any other of his operas, that Lortzing succeeded in writing at least a few numbers that are reminiscent of the great composer. This applies particularly to his carefully wrought ensemble passages, which greatly outweigh the arias in terms of number and of which the much-admired Billiards Scene (Act 2) is surely the greatest.

Lortzing’s operas were the most-performed in Germany for about 150 years, and from listening to Der Wildschütz it is easy to understand why. Recorded in the early ‘80s and bringing together many of Germany’s top singers of the period, this version remains one of the finest to date. ‘Edith Mathis is a delightful Baroness and Doris Soffel nicely characterises the Sophocles-besotted Countess…’, while ‘Georgine Resick sings a charming Gretchen, warm but with a will of her own.’ (Gramophone)

Other information:
- Recorded 1980–1982.
- Reissue of one of the gems of the East Germany archive recordings of Berlin Classics: Der Wildschütz by Albert Lortzing.
- Lortzing’s operas were extremely popular in their time, due to their good humour and wit, the memorable tunes and the general romantic nature feeling.
- A star studded cast of the best German voices of the time: Edith Mathis, Doris Soffel, Peter Schreier, Hans Sotin, Gottfried Hornik, and the magnificent Staatskapelle Berlin conducted by Bernhard Klee.
- Contains detailed notes on the music and plot synopsis.
- German Libretto available for download by clicking on 'Download booklet' below the cover.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Der Wildschütz: Overture
  2. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: Introduction. Dance
  3. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: Chorus “Es lebe das Brautpaar! - So munter und fröhlich wie heute” (Chorus, Gretchen, Baculus, Guest)
  4. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: “Lied A, B, C, D” (Baculus, Gretchen, Chorus)
  5. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: “Ein Brief vom Herrn Grafen” (Hunter, Baculus, Gretchen, Chorus)
  6. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: “Grete! Grete!” (Baculus, Gretchen)
  7. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: Duet “Laß Er doch hören!” (Gretchen, Baculus)
  8. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: “Wie kannst du so mein Herz touchieren?” (Baculus)
  9. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: “Viel Dank bin ich Ihm schuldig” (Gretchen, Baculus)
  10. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: Aria “Auf des lebens raschen Wogen” (Baroness)
  11. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: “Der Kutscher hat ausgespannt – Laß Er mich in Ruhe” (Nanette, Baroness, Gretchen, Baculus)
  12. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: Quartet “Was meint Ihr, lieber Freund” (Baroness, Gretchen, Baculus, Nanette)
  13. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: “Sagt mir, schönes Kind – He! Führt Er sich nicht ordentlich auf?” (Baculus, Nanette, Gretchen)
  14. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: "Was ist denn das für ein Geblase? - Hunting song. Seht dort den muntern Jäger” (Baculus, Gretchen, Baron, Count, Chorus)
  15. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: “Eine kurze Rast, Leute” (Count, Baron)
  16. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: Finale “Lasset uns nach Hause gehen” (Chorus, Count, Baron)
  17. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: “Ist der gnäd’ge Herr noch da?” (Gretchen, Baron, Count, Baculus, Chorus)
  18. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: “Seht, da bin ich” (Baroness, Chorus, Baron, Count, Gretchen, Baculus)
  19. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: “Bin ein schlichtes Kind vom Lande” (Baroness, Baron, Count, Gretchen, Baculus, Chorus)
  20. Der Wildschütz, Act 1: “Es läßt am Himmel sich” (Chorus, Count, Baron, Baroness, Gretchen, Baculus)
  21. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: Introduction. Prelude
  22. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: “Nicht geplautert! Acht gegeben!” (Pancratius, Chorus, Baculus, Countess)
  23. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: “Aber was hat denn das zu bedeuten – Nein, nein, Herr Stallmeister” (Baculus, Pancratius, Countess, Baron)
  24. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: Duet and Cavatina “Bleiben soll ich und stets sie sehen” (Baron, Countess, Baroness)
  25. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: Der junge Mann macht mir Angst” (Countess)

Disk 2

  1. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: “Frau Gräfin, ich habe untertänigst zu melden – ‘Strahl der Sonne’” (Pancratius, Countess, Baculus)
  2. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: Quintet “Was seh’ ich? Mir aus den Augen!” (Count, Baculus, Countess)
  3. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: “Ich höre, daß hier oben” (Baron, Count, Countess, Baroness, Baculus)
  4. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: “Wen seh’ ich?” (Count, Baron, Countess, Baroness, Baculus)
  5. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: “Die Herren möchten zur Abendtafel komen – Höre mich an, Gretchen” (Pancratius, Baron, Baculus, Baroness)
  6. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: Duet ”Ihr Weib?” (Baroness, Baron)
  7. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: “Was soll das heißen?” (Count, Baron, Baculus, Baroness)
  8. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: Quintet “Ich habe Num’ro eins” (Baron, Count, Baroness, Baculus)
  9. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: “Welch unruhvolles Treiben!” (Countess, Baron, Count, Baroness, Baculus)
  10. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: “Wie ein Schlag aus heitern Höhen” (Countess, Baron, Count, Baroness, Baculus)
  11. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: “He! Schulmeister!” (Baron, Baculus)
  12. Der Wildschütz, Act 2: Aria “Fünftausend Taler!” (Baculus)
  13. Der Wildschütz, Act 3: Recitative and Aria “Wie freundlich strahlt die helle Morgensonne – Heiterkeit und Fröhlichkeit” (Count)
  14. Der Wildschütz, Act 3: “Siehe da, der Herr Graf…” (Baron, Count)
  15. Der Wildschütz, Act 3: Ensemble “Um die Laube zu schmücken” (Chorus, Count, Baron)
  16. Der Wildschütz, Act 3: “Nicht übel, meine Herren – Und nun laß Er mich in Ruhe – Da bin ich. Habt Ihr der Sache nachgedacht?” (Countess, Count, Baron, Gretchen, Baculus)
  17. Der Wildschütz, Act 3: Trio “Komm, liebes Gretchen” (Baron, Gretchen, Baculus)
  18. Der Wildschütz, Act 3: “Seh’ ich recht? – Herr Stallmeister – Fast scheint es mir – Schönes Gretchen” (Baron, Baroness, Countess, Count)
  19. Der Wildschütz, Act 3: Finale “Was seh’ ich?” (Countess, Count, Baroness, Baron)
  20. Der Wildschütz, Act 3: Quartet “Kann es im Erdenleben” (Baroness, Countess, Baron, Count)
  21. Der Wildschütz, Act 3: “Unser Herr lebe hoch!” (Chorus, Count, Gretchen, Baculus, Countess, Baroness, Baron, Pancratius)