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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


Robert STOLZ (1880-1975)
Operetta Album for the 25th anniversary of Robert Stolz's death

CD1
Frühjahrsparade (1964) 'Jung san ma, fesch san ma'
Der Favorit (The Favorite) (1916) 'Du sollst der Kaiser meiner Seele sein'
Eva Lind (soprano)
Herbstmanöver (Autumn manoeuvres) (1935) 'Auf der Heide blüh'n die letzten Rosen'
Günter Wewel (bass)
Zwei Herzen im Dreivierteltakt (Two Hearts in Waltz time) (1930)
Helen Donath (soprano), Josef Protschka (tenor)
Frühling im Prater (Spring in the Prater) (1949)
Overture
'Du bist auf dieser Welt',
Manfred Schmidt (tenor)
'Im Prater blüh'n wieder die Bäume'
(In the Prater park the trees are blossoming) (1916)
Jiri Darek (violin)
'Vor meinem Vaterhaus steht eine Linde' (The Limes at the family home) (1933)
Paul Ritter (baritone)
Grüß aus Wien (Greetings from Vienna), Op. 898 (1952)
Frühjahrsparade (1934) Overture
Medley Peter Fröhlich (baritone)
Uno-Marsch (c.1945)
Servus Du (1911) Jiri Darek, (violin)
Prinzessin Ti-Ti-Pa (1928) 'Einmal hat mir zuv frühlingszeit das Glück gelacht'
Donald Grobe, (tenor)
Weiner Café (1935) 'Ich möchte in deinem Leben das Erlebnis sein'
Margit Schramm, (soprano)
Trauminsel (The Island of my Dream) (1962) Ballet scene
Film: Anni (1947) 'Wenn man tief ins Glaserl schaut'
Elfie Mayrhofer (soprano)
'Wir müssen alle nach der Pfeife tanzen' ('Let us dance to the music') (1953)
Walter Anton Dotzer (tenor)
Venus in Seide (Venus in Silk) (1932) 'Zigeunertanz' (Gipsy Dance)
Frühjahrsparade (Spring Parade) (1934) Marsch
CD 2
Film: Ich liebe die Frau'n (I love women) (1935) 'Ob blond, ob braun'
Heinz Hoppe (tenor)
Frühjahrsparade (1915), 'Wien wird bei Nacht erst schön' (Vienna at its best at night)
Melitta Muszely (soprano)
Der verlorene Walzer (The lost waltz) (1930),
'Auch du wirst mich einmal betrügen'
Liane Augustin (soprano)
Wenn die kleinen Veilchen blühen (1932) 'Du, du, du schließ deine Augen zu'
Frühjahrsparade (1964), 'Ich freu mich, wenn die Sonne lacht'
Monika Dahiberg (soprano)
Film: Ich liebe die Frau'n (1935) 'Schenk mir dein Herz heute Nacht'
Heinz Hoppe (tenor)
'Du bist nicht wert, dass ich um deine Liebe weine' (I cry for your love) (1950)
Liane Augustin (soprano)
Die Deutschmeister (The German Master) (c.1955), 'Wenn die Vöglein musizieren'
Monika Dahiberg (soprano)
Film: Zauber der Boheme (Charm of Bohemian life) (1937), 'Ich liebe dich'
Melitta Muszely (soprano) Heinz Hoppe (tenor)
Film: Hokuspokus (1930), 'Ich will deine Kameradin sein'
Liane Augustin (soprano)
Frühjahrsparade (1934) 'Singend, klingend ruft dich das Glück'
Monika Dahiberg (soprano)
Servus du (1934)
Liane Augustin (soprano)
Film: Mein Herz ruft nach dir (My heart yearns for you) (1933) 'Ich sing mein Lied heut nur für dich'
Melitta Muszely (soprano), Heinz Hoppe (tenor)
Im weißen Rössl (White Horse Inn) (1930) 'Mein Liebeslied muss ein Waizer sein'
Melitta Muszely (soprano), Heinz Hoppe (tenor)
Conductors: Klaus Arp, Peter Falk, Paul Landenberger, Roland Seiffarth, Emmerich Smola
Rec. 1963-1999
HÄNSSLER CLASSIC SWR 93.007 [CD 1 74:29, CD2 52.52]
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This pot-pourri of musical numbers from Viennese operettas is a mixed bag of rare items taken from shows, staged mainly in the 1930s. Some were briefly exported to France and Britain. Sadly, few of the titles are recognisable outside Germany today. Neither French nor British theatre managers seem interested in enlightening their discerning public. Radio producers are no better. Of the plots I know sadly nothing. Stolz was popular enough to write for the cinema (including Hollywood). Judging from the sampling provided by this set Stolz was never less than an interesting composer.

Stolz enjoys the reputation of being the last of the Viennese school who followed Strauss and Lehár in the silver-lined Viennese operetta tradition. One can certainly hear Strauss's influence in Zwei Herzen im Dreivierteltakt (Two Hearts in Waltz time) [CD1 tk.4] yet if the truth be told perhaps his interest in this tradition was motivated by the lucrative worldwide success of a Straussian style of composition. He did however ring the changes somewhat and progressed beyond the Viennese tradition by including new ideas from America. Judging from what I hear I would add that he, more than anyone, probably influenced Richard Rodgers in a fresh style of orchestration, rhythm and brass writing. He handles spectacle numbers and romantic ballads with equal ease. Listen to the flowing delivery of 'Einmal hat mir zuv frühlingszeit das Glück gelacht' (1928) by Donald Grobe (tenor) [CD1 tk.14] in what must have been an enchanting number to see on stage.

Fast-syncopated brass lines with trumpet decoration add to the catchy rhythms exploited by Stolz in the ’thirties, and though Uno-Marsch owes something to Sousa the sound is interestingly modern. [CD1 tk.12]. In fact all the marches in this set are interesting and fresh-sounding compositions whilst some of the songs seem to have more than a passing similarity to each other.

The zippy song 'Wenn die Vöglein musizieren' from Die Deutschmeister (c.1955) is charmingly sung by Monika Dahiberg who provides other delightful songs on these discs [CD2 tk.8].

The singers are first class and well suit the genre of pieces. The orchestras play the bright orchestrations with energy and enthusiasm, and only once did I find the accompaniment seriously behind the singer.

Despite the disparate sources and age of these recordings the ambience and balance between the various studios has been well matched. The sound has a considerable amount of presence and wide stereo separation. Both singers and orchestras are forwardly miked. However, it is unusual to find the transfers recorded at such a high level with 0dB peaking.

Of the booklet I found the layout disappointing and lacking in editorial control. Why on earth separate numbers from the same show? Frühjahrsparade appears in six instances, all separated from each other and on different CDs. Likewise on CD 2, Ich liebe die Frau'n has two numbers separated. The track listing gives prominence to the song rather than the show. This is understandable where all numbers are well known but the true merit of this album lies in hearing Stolz and his style over the decades.


Raymond Walker

 
 

 


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