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Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Das Paradies und die Peri - Oratorio in three parts to text by Emil Flechsig and the composer after Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh Op. 50 (1843) [93:98]
Overture, Scherzo and Finale op. 22 [17:58]
Julia Faulkner (soprano) - Die Peri; Heidi Grant Murphy (alto) - Die Jungfrau/Maiden; Florence Quivar (mezzo) - Der Engel/Angel; Elisabeth Wilke (mezzo) - Alto I; Keith Lewis (tenor); Robert Swensen (tenor) - Der Jüngling/Young Man; Robert Hale (bass-baritone) – Gazna
Staatsopernchor Dresden/Hans-Dieter Pflüger
Staatskapelle Dresden/Giuseppe Sinopoli
rec.25-28 March 1994, Semperoper, Dresden
originally released December 1995 on DG 445875
full track-listing at end of review
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94065 [54:43 + 57:56]

Experience Classicsonline

This recording has been issued by Brilliant Classics as part of the celebrations of Schumann Year 2010.
Schumann’s oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri is based on Persian fairytales – an early break from the Biblical norm. The music is undulatingly romantic – smooth and suave. The music is pliable and honeyedly yielding in Schumann’s most warmly engaging manner in O susses Land. The choir sing most beautifully as in the wispy wailing seduction of Weh, weh, weh (tr. 8) and the haloed choral visions of O heil’ge tranen in Part III. Schmucket die stufen even has a touch of janissary jingle alongside a most intriguing Mahler pre-echo. There is climactic grandeur too as at the end of Part I but the predominant hallmark is a sort of delight in gentle romance as exemplified by Die Peri weint (tr.13). Operatic ardour can however be heard in the urgency of O lass mich sung by Heidi Grant Murphy, Und wie sie niederwarts sich schwingt in Part III and the final episode Freud’ ew’ge freude.
Perhaps because of the exigencies of live recording the sound quality is rather less than ample in the case of the violins; one soon attunes. It is though not a great surprise that in 1999 DG took down a studio recording from Christoph Prégardien, Bernarda Fink, Alexandra Coku, Barbara Bonney, Neill Archer, Gerald Finley, the Monteverdi Choir, Hanover Boys' Choir, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, and John Eliot Gardiner (457660).
The booklet gives the sung words in German only. No English translation.
The authentic romantic spirit of Schumann is reflected in a most sensitive and responsive performance but with some compromise in the violin tone. Interesting that when DG came to choose a Paradies for the recent 35 CD Schumann Masterworks box they went for John Eliot Gardiner rather than Sinopoli.
Sinopoli’s Overture, Scherzo and Finale is sensitively done but fairly buzzes in the Finale. This is a performance that pays heed to airy buoyancy and avoids a heavily-booted tread even in the zesty resolve of the Finale.

Rob Barnett


Disc: 1
1. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part One - No. 1: 'Vor Edens Tor im Morgenprangen' (Alto)
2. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part One - No. 2: 'Wie glucklich sie wandeln, die sel'gen Geister' (The Peri)
3. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part One - No. 3: Rezitativ - 'Der hehre Engel, der die Pforte des Lichts bewacht' (Tenor) - 'Dir, Kind des Stamms, schon, doch voll Sunden' (The Angel)
4. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part One - No. 4: 'Wo find' ich sie? Wo bluht, wo liegt die Gabe' (The Peri)
5. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part One - No. 5: 'So sann sie nach und schwang die Flugel' (Tenor) - 'O susses Land! O Gotterpracht!' (Vocal Quartet)
6. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part One - No. 6: 'Doch seine Strome sind jetzt rot'
7. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part One - No. 7: 'Und einsam steht ein Jungling noch' (Tenor) - 'Komm, kuhner Held, und huld'ge mir' (Gazna) - 'Du schlugst des Landes Burger' (The Young Man, Gazna)
8. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part One - No. 8: 'Weh, weh, weh, er fehlte das Ziel'
9. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part One - No. 9: 'Die Peri sah das Mal der Wunde' (Tenor) - 'Sei dies, mein Geschenk, willkommen dorten' (The Peri, Vocal Quartet)
10. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part Two - No. 10: 'Die Peri tritt mit schuchterner Gebarde vor Edens Tor' (Tenor) - 'Gern grussen wir, die so gegangen' (The Angel)
11. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part Two - No. 11: 'Ihr erstes Himmelshoffen schwand' (Tenor) - 'Hervor aus den Wassern geschwind' - 'Ach Eden, ach Eden' (The Peri)
12. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part Two - No. 12: 'Fort streift von hier das Kind der Lufte' (Tenor) - 'Fur euren ersten Fall' (The Peri)
13. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part Two - No. 13: 'Die Peri weint' (Tenor, Vocal Quartet)
14. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part Two - No. 14: 'Im Waldesgrun am stillen See' (Alto) - 'Ach, einen Tropfen nur aus der See' (The Young Man)
15. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part Two - No. 15: 'Verlassener Jungling' (Mezzosoprano) - 'Doch sieh, wer naht dort leise schleichend' (Tenor) - 'Du hier?' (The Young Man)
16. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part Two - No. 16: 'O lass mich von der Luft derchdringen' (The Maiden) - 'Sie wankt - sie sinkt' (Tenor)
17. Paradise And The Peri, Op.50: Part Two - No. 17: 'Schlaf nun und ruhe in Traumen voll Duft' (The Peri)
Disc: 2
1. Das Paradies und die Peri: Part Three - No. 18: 'Schmucket die Stufen zu Allahs Thron' - Auch der Geliebten vergesset nicht' (Vocal Quartet) - 'Seht da, die Bahn zum ew'gen Licht'
2. Das Paradies und die Peri: Part Three - No. 19: 'Dem Sang von Ferne lauschend' (Tenor) - 'Noch nicht! Treu war die Maid' (The Angel)
3. Das Paradies und die Peri: Part Three - No. 20: 'Verstossen! Verschlossen aufs neu das Goldportal!' (The Peri)
4. Das Paradies und die Peri: Part Three - No. 21: 'Jetzt sank des Abends goldner Schein' (Baritone)
5. Das Paradies und die Peri: Part Three - No. 22: 'Und wie sie niederwarts sich schwingt' (Tenor) - 'Peri, ist's wahr, dass du in den Himmel willst?' (Vocal Quartet) - 'Mit ihrer Schwestern Worten wachst ihr Schmerz' (Baritone)
6. Part Three - No. 23: 'Hinab zu jenem Sonnentempel!' (The Peri) - 'Sie schwebt herab im frohen Hoffen' (Tenor) - 'Doch horch, wie Vesperruf zum Beten' (Mezzosoprano) - 'Und was fuhlt er, der sund'ge Mann' (Tenor) - 's war eine Zeit, du selig Kind' (The ...
7. Das Paradies und die Peri: Part Three - No. 24: 'O heil'ge Tranen inn'ger Reue' (Vocal Quartet)
8. Das Paradies und die Peri: Part Three - No. 25: 'Es fallt ein Tropfen aufs Land Agypten' (The Peri) - 'Und sieh, demutig betend kniet der Mann' (Tenor)
9. Das Paradies und die Peri: Part Three - No. 26: 'Freud', ew'ge Freude, mein Werk ist getan' - 'Willkommen, willkommen unter den Frommen!' (The Peri)
10. Ouverture, Scherzo und Finale: I. Ouverture. Andante con moto - Allegro
11. Ouverture, Scherzo und Finale: II. Scherzo. Vivo
12. Ouverture, Scherzo und Finale: III. Finale. Allegro molto vivace













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