Opera Overtures, Choruses and Duets

Opera Overtures, Choruses and Duets
Composer Georges Bizet, Richard Wagner, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Artist Various
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 95414
EAN code 5028421954141
Release March 2019

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About this release

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 (Hansel und Gretel), Smetana (The Bartered Bride) and Suppé (Dichter und Bauer / Poet and Peasant and Leichte Kavallerie / Light Cavalry).

The Austro-Germanic angle of CD1 is widened on CD2 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’.

The ultimate starter’s kit for the aspiring opera lover: a generous selection of highlights from famous operas: Overtures, Duets and Choruses by Verdi, Wagner, Donizetti, Gounod, Bizet, Mozart, Smetana, Lortzing, Suppé, Strauss, Nicolai, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Von Flotow, Humperdinck, Weber.
Coming from the rich archives of the VEB, the former East-German label, it offers the finest singing and orchestral playing of its time, featuring Peter Schreier and Theo Adam, the Staatskapelle Dresden, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Dresdner Philharmonie, Staatskapelle Berlin, Bamberger Symphoniker and conductors Giuseppe Patanè, Manfred Honeck, Otmar Suitner, Franz Konwitschny, Herbert Kegel.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor/The Merry Wives of Windsor
  2. Die verkaufte Braut/The Bartered Bride, JB 1:100
  3. Hänsel und Gretel
  4. Der fliegende Höllander/The Flying Dutchman, WWV 63
  5. La Traviata 3. Akt/Act 3
  6. Donna Diana
  7. Dichter und Bauer/Poet and Peasant
  8. Leichte Kavallerie/Light Cavalry
  9. Die Fledermaus/The Bat

Disk 2

  1. Otello – Fuoco di gioia/Fire of Rejoicing
  2. Carmen – Les voci la quadrille!/There She Comes, They’re Dancing the Quadrille
  3. Der Fliegende Höllander – Summ und brumm, du gutes Rädchen/Humm, Humm, Spin my Little Wheel. WWV 63
  4. Cavalleria rusticana - Ah! Gli arancio lezzano/The Green Meadows Are Fragrant with Oranges
  5. Pagliacci – Don din dan/Dong-dong Calls the Bell from Yonder
  6. Lohengrin – Treulich geführt ziehet dahin/Faithfully Guided, Come to this Place, WWV 75
  7. Die Zauberflöte – O Isis und Osiris, K. 260
  8. Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor – O süßer Mond/Oh Lovely Moon
  9. Martha – Mädchen brav und treu/Maidens Good and True
  10. Aida – Gloria all’Egitto/Glory to Egypt
  11. Margarete: I. Vin au bière/Wine and Beer
  12. Margarete: II. Gloire immortelle/Eternal Glory
  13. Der Freischütz – Was gleicht wohl auf Erden dem jägervergnügen/What Pleasure on Earth Can Compare with the Hunter’s, Op. 77
  14. Don Pasquale – Che interminabile andirivieni/What an Interminable Coming and Going
  15. Tannhäuser – Freudig begrüßen wir die edle Halle/Joyfully We Greet the Noble Hall, WWV 70
  16. Nabucco – Va, pensiero, sull’ ali dorate/Fly Away, Free Thought, on the Wings of Yearning

Disk 3

  1. Die verkaufte Braut – Komm, mein Söhnen, auf ein Wort/Wer in Lieb entbrannt, JB 1:100
  2. Margarete: III. Ich bin da! Was soll das Estaunen?
  3. Die Perlenfischer – Am Abend war’s/Der Tempel Brahmas strahlt
  4. Die Macht des Schicksals – Die Stunde is heilig
  5. Die Entführung aus dem Serail – Vivat Bacchus, Bacchus lebe, K. 384
  6. Undine: I. Ich war in meinen jungen Jahren/Im Wein ist Wahrheit
  7. Undine: II. Was seh’ ich? Ihr seid glücklich wider da/O wie köstlich ist das Reisen
  8. Die Zauberföte, K. 260: I. Die Weisheitslehre dieser Knaben
  9. Die Zauberföte, K. 260: II. Bewahret euch vor Weibertücken
  10. Die Zauberföte, K. 260: III. Pamina, wo bist du