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Suppe: Overtures / Gustav Kuhn, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra


Release Date: 07/15/1999 
Label:  Rca   Catalog #: 34174   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 49 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Rarely indeed, in music of this sort, does one hear interpretations so thoroughly rethought, and revealing so much more in the music than one ever realized was there.

These are most distinctive and distinguished performances of the most popular six Suppé overtures. Rarely indeed, in music of this sort, does one hear interpretations so thoroughly rethought, and revealing so much more in the music than one ever realized was there. The ebullience that one so readily associates with Suppé is here in good measure; but what so distinguishes these interpretations is the treatment of the slower passages. Slowness of tempos is indeed the overwhelming initial impression. Kuhn takes around a minute longer than other
Read more conductors over Dichter und Bauer, and in Ein Morgen, ein Mittag, em Abend the contrast is even more pronounced. By the end of the cello solo he is already as much as a minute behind Mehta in the latter's collection (CBS (lf CD44932, 3/90). Perhaps, indeed, the opening of the latter overture is too long drawn out. Yet, how exquisitely the cello solo is played and phrased! And it is just the same elsewhere. How beautiful is the clarinet solo in Leichte Kavallerie, and how splendid the way the Hungarian passion is wrung out in the following andante con mow! Best of all, I think, is Pique Dame, in the way the incessant opening rhythm is paced out before the hair is let down in the allegro con fuoco section, after which the passage for two flutes is quite irresistibly teased out.

The recorded sound makes its own contribution to a remarkable issue by bringing out details of the scoring that are too often obscured. It is a pity, then, that Eurodisc have found room for only six overtures, because this puts them at an immediate disadvantage to the splendid Dutoit collection (Decca (1) 414 408-213H, 2/86) and the bargainprice Sándor (LaserLight/Target (D 15 611—not submitted for review). I suppose that either of those must be the safer recommendation for anyone wanting a basic Suppé collection; but this new one really should be heard by all who believe they already know this music and who would, I believe, be astonished at the freshness that Kuhn and the RPO bring in such abundance to these oft-played pieces.

-- Gramophone [4/1990]
reviewing the original release of disc 1, Eurodisc 69307

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I gave a warm welcome last year to the first CD of Suppe overtures from Kuhn and the RPO (CD RD69307, 4/90). Its particular attraction lay in the freshness they brought to oft-played pieces with beautifully shaped slower sections building up to glorious climaxes. The most obvious attraction of this sequel CD is that the contents are anything but oft-played. Fatinitza is heard from time to time, and three others here (Die Irrfahrt um's Glück, Wiener Jubel and Die Frau Meisterin) were included in EMI's Marriner collection (CD CDC7 54056-2, 10/90). But there are still three that are new to the catalogue—Donna Juanita, Das Modell and Der Gascogner. The second of these works was an operetta completed by others after Suppe's death, but apparently the Overture was among the few numbers that he himself completed. It sounds authentic enough, if not really in the top flight.

Once again the beauties of the playing and the shaping of the themes are readily evident, most obviously in the jaunty build-up and rousing conclusion of the familiar Fatinitza. Wiener Jubel, in its third recording in two years, proves again what a marvellous discovery it has been, but scarcely less good is Donna Juanita. This is a longer and generally more subdued overture, with a beautiful violin solo and delightful intertwining woodwind. Kuhn's command over the music is nowhere shown to better effect than in the major theme towards the end, which he alternately holds back and then moves on, to irresistible effect.

As before, not everything comes off altogether convincingly. The opening of Die Irrfahrt um's Glück (dating from 1853, incidentally—the author of the booklet note confuses it with a completely different work of 35 years later) seems really too slow, as does the major theme (marked allegro moderato, assai dolciato) 2'45" into Die Frau Meisterin. But these are small prices to pay for an altogether stimulating, irresistible collection.

-- Gramophone [11/1991]
reviewing the original release of disc 2, Eurodisc 69226
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Works on This Recording

1.
Die leichte Kavallerie: Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1988 
2.
Pique Dame, 'Queen of Spades': Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1864 
Date of Recording: 1988 
3.
(Ein) Morgen, ein Mittag, ein Abend in Wien, 'Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna': Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1844 
Date of Recording: 1988 
4.
Banditenstreiche, 'The Jolly Robbers': Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1867 
Date of Recording: 1988 
5.
(Die) schöne Galathee, 'Beautiful Galatea': Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1865 
Date of Recording: 1988 
6.
Dichter und Bauer: Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1988 
7.
(Die) Irrfahrt um's Glück (Die Jagd nach dem Glück), 'Fortune's Labyrinth': Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1880 
Date of Recording: 1990 
8.
Donna Juanita: Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1990 
9.
Fatinitza: Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Vienna, Austria 
10.
(Das) Modell: Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1895 
Date of Recording: 1990 
11.
(Der) Gascogner: Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1881 
Date of Recording: 1990 
12.
Wiener Jubel, 'Vienna Jubilee': Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: pub 1890 
Date of Recording: 1990 
13.
(Die) Frau Meisterin, 'The Lady Mistress': Overture by Franz von Suppé
Conductor:  Pavel Kuhn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1868 
Date of Recording: 1990 

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