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Lehar: Merry Widow Highlights / Mattes, Rothenberger


Release Date: 03/21/2006 
Label:  Emi Classics Encore Catalog #: 41434   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Lehár
Performer:  Robert IlosfalvyErika KöthAnneliese RothenbergerNicolai Gedda
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graunke Symphony OrchestraBavarian Radio Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 45 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



LEHÁR The Merry Widow: Highlights ? Willy Mattes, cond; Anneliese Rothenberger ( Hanna ); Nicolai Gedda ( Danilo ); Erika Köth ( Valencienne ); Robert Ilosfalvy ( Camille ); Graunke SO, Bavarian RCh. ? EMI 41434 (CD: 45:29)


This 1967 Read more recording, re-packaged here without dialogue for EMI?s midpriced ?Encore? series, qualifies as the ?third? Merry Widow for Nicolai Gedda, and the second commercial release featuring him in the lead role of Danilo (the first being the classic Vienna recording with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf that has been repeatedly reissued and remains the benchmark for this work).


Underrated operetta queen Anneliese Rothenberger offers a commanding, direct, and refreshingly unmannered Hanna, mapping the full spectrum from winsome girlishness in her duet scenes with Gedda to full diva glory in the famous Viljalied . Here she interpolates some high notes not in the score, but does so tastefully.


By contrast, Nicolai Gedda tries so hard to do something new with his well-worn Danilo that the portrayal is riddled with fussy mannerisms. Yet, he sings through them, with only a hint of crooning despite the many distensions of tempo, with a swagger that is winning in the end. The two singers combine at the end with a sotto voce ? Lippen schweigen ? calculated?perhaps too much?to tug at the heartstrings.


Less successful are the realizations of the secondary duet pair. The Valencienne, Erika Köth, employs a pleasant, clear soprano that is matched in tone by her Camille, Robert Ilosfalvy. But both of their ringing high notes tend to drift south of pitch, more troublingly in the ? Anständ?ge Frau ? number than in the Tristanesque Pavillon duet.


Throughout, Munich?s Graunke Symphony Orchestra plays idiomatically, with the flair that made them an institution in this repertoire. Surprisingly, though, Mattes?s conducting departs from its usual easy sense of style, by turns stilted and given to grotesque distortions of tempo. Perhaps he fell prey to the same disease as Gedda, trying too hard to say something new where the trying could only interfere.


For those who are new to this classic, this collection of prime excerpts is certainly adequate, and it is worth a listen by anyone who cares about the operetta. But, in the face of some extraordinarily stiff competition from more adept and complete renderings of the score, this is a non-starter. The running time is short, but this is also a reflection of the original provenance of the recording as a single-disc LP.


FANFARE: Christopher Williams
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Die lustige Witwe: Introduction by Franz Lehár
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 0 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 
2. Die lustige Witwe: Ich bin eine anständ'ge Frau by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Robert Ilosfalvy (Tenor), Erika Köth (Soprano)
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection begins "So kommen Sie..."
Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 
3. Die lustige Witwe: Bitte, meine Herr'n by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Anneliese Rothenberger (Soprano)
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 
4. Die lustige Witwe: Da geh' ich zu Maxim by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection begins "O Vaterland..."
Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 
5. Die lustige Witwe: O kommet doch, o kommt, Ihr Ballsiren by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), Anneliese Rothenberger (Soprano)
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection begins "Damenwahl!..."
Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 
6. Die lustige Witwe: Act 2 Introduction by Franz Lehár
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 
7. Die lustige Witwe: Es lebt eine Vilja...Vilja, o Vilja by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Anneliese Rothenberger (Soprano)
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 
8. Die lustige Witwe: Dummer, dummer Reitersmann by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Anneliese Rothenberger (Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection begins "Heia, Mädel, aufgeschaut..."
Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 
9. Die lustige Witwe: Ja, das Stadium des Weiber ist schwerz by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection begins "Wie die Weiber man behandelt?..."
Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 
10. Die lustige Witwe: Wie eine Rosenknospe by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Erika Köth (Soprano), Robert Ilosfalvy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 
11. Die lustige Witwe: Den Herrschaften hab' ich was zu erzählen! by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), Anneliese Rothenberger (Soprano)
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 
12. Die lustige Witwe: Es waren zwei Konigskinder by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), Anneliese Rothenberger (Soprano)
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 
13. Die lustige Witwe: Grisettenlied "Can-Can' by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), Anneliese Rothenberger (Soprano)
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 
14. Die lustige Witwe: Lippen schweigen by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), Anneliese Rothenberger (Soprano)
Conductor:  Willy Mattes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Bürgerbräu, Munich, Germany (06/04/1967 - 06/08/1967) 

Sound Samples

Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): Introduction
Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): So kommen Sie! Ich bin eine anständ'ge Frau
Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): Bitte, meine Herrn - Gar oft hab' ich's gehört
Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): O Vaterland...Da geh' ich zu Maxim (Act I)
Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): Damenwahl! - O kommet doch, o kommt, ihr Ballsirenen
Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): Introduction - Act II
Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): Vilja-Lied
Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): Heia, Mädel, aufgeschaut - Dummer, dummer Reitersmann
Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): Wie die Weiber man behandelt? - Ja, das Studium der Wieber ist schwer
Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): Wie eine Rosenknospe - Sieh dort den kleinen Pavillion
Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): Den Herrschaften hab'ich was zu erzahlen! - Ein flotter Ehestand - das hat Rass'
Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): Es waren zwei Königskinder
Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): Ja, wir sind es, die Grisetten
Die lustige Witwe (1987 Digital Remaster): Lippen schweigen

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