WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Mendelssohn: Der Onkel aus Boston / Rilling, Valentin, Kovács

Release Date: 02/14/2006 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 98221   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Carsten SüssBernd ValentinIstván KovácsKate Royal,   ... 
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach CollegiumGächinger Kantorei Stuttgart
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 46 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s youthful opera "The Uncle from Boston" was presented with great success for the first time 180 years since its composition at the New Philharmonic in Essen in October 2004.

This early work of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy - written in 1823 when the composer was 14 years old – was performed only once, for the enjoyment of his family and friends at a private gathering and is presented on disc for the first for the enjoyment of all. Now, you can enjoy a musical work, which was lost to the ages. This double CD is presented in deluxe packaging and comes with a detailed Booklet, which offers a detailed introduction to this interesting work.

R E V I E W S:

Both Mozart
Read more and Mendelssohn displayed an early fascination with the operatic stage. Mozart composed his first operas when he was 12 and continued to compose opera until the year of his death. Mendelssohn’s first stage works stem from his 11th year, but his last completed opera followed only nine years later. Other possible librettos, including a setting of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, were discussed during the 1830s, but Mendelssohn never found his equivalent of Mozart’s Lorenzo da Ponte. A brief fragment of a late attempt at an opera, Der Loreley (1847), shows that Mendelssohn never lost his interest in the stage. The composer’s early attempts at composing opera proved to be a fertile training ground, as evinced in the cpo reissues of earlier EMI recordings of Die beiden Pädagogen (1821) and Die Heimkehr aus de Fremde (1829), and the more recent Channel Classic release of Die Hochzeit des Camacho (1825). Those who have heard the latter recording will know that, even in his early teens, Mendelssohn possessed a highly developed lyrical sense, great charm, and skill with orchestration. His sense of dramatic pacing would have developed further with maturity and working with serious subjects. The prospect of a mature Mendelssohn opera on The Tempest is a mouth-watering prospect—but, alas, one that will remain in the realms of imagination.

Die beiden Neffen oder Der Onkel aus Boston (1823), Mendelssohn’s fourth Singspiel, received its only performance in the Mendelssohn home on the composer’s 15th birthday. Even if the score does not have the melodic profile of the composer’s music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (as suggested by the liner notes), it remains a staggering achievement for one so young. A comic opera in three acts, the action takes place in Brandenburg where two young lovers engage in many deceptions to hide their romantic feelings from their uncle visiting from what must have seemed an exotic place to the 14-year-old composer. After that private performance, the score was set aside. Although some of the spoken dialogues went missing over time, the veteran conductor, Helmut Rilling, decided to prepare the surviving music for concert performances at his Oregon Bach Festival and in Germany. Rilling assembled a cast of young vocal soloists who sing with spirit and obvious engagement with this well-crafted and melodic score. The recording is live, however, and the scrutiny of the close microphone placement is not kind to all of these young voices, especially the women. Rilling’s orchestra and chorus are afforded a more congenial acoustic, and they are very responsive to the conductor’s well-paced and affectionate leadership. There are detailed notes and the libretto is given in German and English. In spite of minor caveats, this is a significant and enjoyable release.

Paul F. Rice, FANFARE
Read less

Works on This Recording

Der Onkel aus Boston by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Carsten Süss (Tenor), Bernd Valentin (Baritone), István Kovács (Bass),
Kate Royal (Soprano), Andreas Daum (Bass), Lothar Odinius (Tenor)
Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium,  Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1824; Germany 
Language: German 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title