Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Metronome Distribution

Albert LORTZING (1801-1851)
Der Wildschütz. Excerpts
Count Eberbach, Gottfried Hornik (bar); Countess, Doris Soffel (cont); Baron Kronthal, Peter Schreier (ten); Baronin Friemann, Edith Mathis (sop); Baculus, Hans Sotin, (bass); Nanette, Gertrud Von Ottenthal (m. Sop); Gretchen, Georgine Resick (sop)
Chorus of Berlin Radio and the Orchestra of the Staatskapelle Berlin/Bernhard Klee
Recorded Christuskirche Studio, Berlin, 1980-1982
Bargain Price

Premiered on New Year’s Eve 1842, this delightful work has long been a regular in the repertoire of German opera houses, although rarely getting an airing elsewhere. Its convoluted plot involves an elderly schoolmaster, Baculus, who goes poaching, his young fiancée, and members of the local aristocracy. Cross-dressing and mistaken identity make for a frivolous and light-hearted mélange that, unlike most operas, has a happy ending. Given its popularity in Germany and its lengthy spoken dialogue in that language, it is no surprise that the two versions that have dominated the catalogue emanated from that country. The 1963 EMI Electrola issue featured the delightful, but light, Anneliese Rothenberger and the beautifully toned Fritz Wunderlich as the Baron, the whole rather lacking the vivacity found on the set, first issued by DG in 1984, from which these excerpts are derived.

Despite the ADD designation the recording quality is first rate with voices and orchestra well balanced in an open airy acoustic. Whilst Schreier as the Baron hasn’t the heady tonal beauty of Wunderlich on the EMI, his voice is firm toned and well tuned. He certainly characterizes well (tr.11). As the Count, Gottfried Hornik, a renowned Papageno, is light voiced and even toned (trs.12-13). Edith Mathis is ideal in vocal weight and palette in her aria (tr.2) and ‘rides’ the orchestra well. However, it is the ensembles that dominate both the opera and this selection. I note how well the voices blend and carry the plot along under Klee’s idiomatic and vibrant phrasing and tempi (trs.5-9).

This excerpts disc is a delightful representation of a work little known outside Germany. It derives from the best recording and performance issued. It is thoroughly recommended to any opera lover who doesn’t know the work. Those who do will, I suspect, already have the complete performance, dialogue and all.

Robert J Farr



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