Franz von SUPPÉ (1819-1895)
Overture to Leichte Kavallerie (1866) [6:33]
Overture to Boccaccio (1879) [6:51]
Boccaccio-Marsch (1879) [2:36]
Overture to Pique Dame (1864) [6:45]
Humoristische Variationen (1848) [5:46]
Overture to Dichter und Bauer (1846) [9:26]
Marziale nach Motiven aus der Operette Fatinitza (1876) [4:24]
Overture to Das Modell (1895) [6:35]
Uber Berg, uber Thal (date uncertain) [2:35]
Overture to Die schöne Galathee (1865) [6:51]
Juanita-Marsch (1880) [4:39]
Overture to Ein Morgen, ein Mittag und ein Abend in Wien (1844) [8:08]
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Neeme Järvi
rec. Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, 17-18 April 2012
CHANDOS CHSA 5110 SACD [79:42]
Calum Macdonald’s liner-note reminds us that Franz von Suppé was for years known as the ‘Viennese Offenbach’. He wrote operetta after operetta and a sampling of these has been recorded by CPO: Pique Dame, Schöne Galathee and Fatinitza.
He had a knack for a good tune and was no slouch with catchy melodies either. This at least guaranteed a long life for his overtures, which were recorded in the 78 and LP eras. They also found a happy home in numerous arrangements for brass band and pier-end orchestra. They subsisted in good company with similarly popular overtures by Auber and Reznicek. In the late LP- and CD eras they were taken up in collections by Boskovsky (EMI), Marriner, Mehta (CBS-Sony) and Dutoit (Decca - preferred by Dan Morgan). Before these there were zesty versions from Paul Paray on Mercury (review review), now aptly coupled with overtures by Auber. An unknown quantity - at least to me - is the compendious 6-CD Von Suppé overtures series from Marco Polo - see review of volume 6 with Alfred Walter conducting.
Järvi always seems up for refreshing neglected or unfashionable corners of the repertory. The results can sometimes be flat; not so here. He is back with the orchestra with which he won so many laurels in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He brings both zip and sentiment to these orchestral delights. He is, for example, as soulful as Bruch in the preamble to Dichter und Bauer and explosively staccato in Leichte Kavallerie and Pique Dame. The overtures tend to follow the mainstream Weber model with slow romantic introductions and stormy or nervy main expositions. He must also have learnt from the overtures to the big Rossini operas as well as from the starched Imperial, Janissary and Zigeuner traditions that provided the ram-rod backbone for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Strauss family sound is mixed in and we even get some Iberian spice in Juanita and Isabella. This idiom spread like wildfire to the stage music of Herbert, Sousa and Monckton, though rather etiolated.
This disc could hardly be more generously assembled and the quality of the audio and the music-making is similarly high. I reviewed the standard CD layer rather than the SACD. If you are in the market for this music then you can opt for this Chandos disc with confidence.
Rob Barnett 

This disc could hardly be more generously assembled and the quality of the audio and the music-making is similarly high. 

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