Schubert - Rosamunde (Fürstin von Zypern, D. 797)

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Title Of Album: Schubert - Rosamunde
Label: Deutsche Grammophon, 431 655-2
Genre: Classical
Quality, Bitrate: APE + Cue + Logs, Cover + PDF Infos
UPC: 028943165525
ASIN: B000001GEP
CD Release: June 14, 1991
Recording Type: DDD, Stereo, Studio
Recording Date: 1987 & 1989
Venue: see each work details
Total Time: 1 00' 05''
Total Size: 210.74 Mb, Cover 8.87 MB

Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzosoprano • Ernst-Senff-Chor
The Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Claudio Abbado, conductor

Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1829)
Rosamunde, Fürstin von Zypern, D. 797, Musik zu Helmina von Chézys Schauspiel Rrosamunde, Princess of Cyprus. Incidental, Music to Helmina von Chézy's play entr'actes, ballet music, Romanza for soprano, Shepherd's Song and choruses

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This recording takes obvious first place in performance of this music. Bouncy and youthful when needed and pastoral and nostalgic at other times, this performance is certainly better than the merely dutiful one of Masur on Phillips. Abbado and the COE are especially excellent in the Overture, the B Minor Entr'acte , thought by some to be originally intended as the finale of the B Minor Symphony, and much of the ballet music. The vocal numbers are excellent also. Focusing on the Entr'acte, the performance here is certainly the most interesting of any I've heard, including both those by Marriner , Phillips, and Mackerras , Virgin Veritas. Abbado seems to be making a case for this music as worthy of being the finale of the B Minor Symphony, though he doesn't use it in that role on his recording of that great work. It seems out of place in this incidental music, but it doesn't quite come up to the level of inspiration of the symphony. It's also in a different type of formal design; the symphony uses sonata-allegro and song form for the first two movements, but the Entr'acte is more of a fantasia, a more radical, Romantic method that doesn't seem to quite fit the rest of the Symphony. In any event, the complete incidental music for the forgotten play Rosamunde gets the performance it needs. This is the one to have. And if you want to try a radical method of listening to Schubert's B Minor Symphony, get Abbado and the COE on DG and play their performance of the first two movements, follow that with the Newbould completion of the scherzo played by Neville Marriner , Phillips, and then the possible finale , the B Minor Entr'acte, from this recording.

Die Zauberharfe Overture, D644
Venue: Konzerthaus, Großer Saal, Wien - December 1987
      01. Ouverture

Rosamunde, Fürstin von Zypern, D. 797
Venue: Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin - December 1989

      02. No. 1. Entr'acte nach dem 1. Aufzug
      03. No. 4. Geisterchor 'In der Tiefe wohnt das Licht'
      04. No. 2. Ballett
      05. No. 6. Hirtenmelodien
      06. No. 7. Hirtenchor 'Hier auf den Fluren'
      07. No. 5. Entr'act nach dem 3. Aufzug
      08. No. 3b. Romanze 'Der Vollmond strahlt auf Bergeshöh'n'
      09. No. 3a. Entr'act nach dem 2. Aufzug
      10. No. 8. Jägerchor 'Wie lebt sich's so fröhlich im Grünen'
      11. No. 9. Ballett

Franz Schubert is considered one of the greatest composers who ever lived, next to Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. But until recent decades, much of his orchestral output has tended to be overshadowed by the immense number of songs he composed during his short lifespan, he passed away only three months short of his 32nd birthday. One of his greates works in the orchestral arena was the incidental music he composed for Helmina von Chezy's melodramatic play "Rosamunde, Princess Of Cyprus" in 1823. The play itself was a disaster, closing after only two performances; and had it not been for two enterprising English scholars named Sir George Grove and Sir Arthur Sullivan, Schubert's score might well have been lost. Fortunately, because of their efforts, the music has survived; and it receives perhaps its greatest complete recording here with Claudio Abbado conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Beginning with the imposing "Magic Harp Overture", intended for an earlier play, Schubert's "Rosamunde" score is comprised of two ballet sections, three entr'actes, three choruses, a short pastoral passage for winds, and a Romanze for mezzo-soprano, "Der Vollmond Strahlt". Anne Sofie von Otter is excellent in her rendition of the latter; the Ernst Senff Choir is equally good in the choruses; and Abbado and the C.O.E. make the music sing and shine the way Schubert would have wanted it. It is by far one of the best recordings of theatrically-related classical music around, next to Mendelssohn's score for Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and is vigorously recommended.

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