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Weinberger: Schwanda The Bagpiper / Popp, Prey, Wallberg

Release Date: 04/16/2008 
Label:  Cbs Masterworks Catalog #: 36926   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Jaromir Weinberger
Performer:  Lucia PoppGwendolyn KillebrewSiegfried JerusalemHermann Prey,   ... 
Conductor:  Heinz Wallberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony OrchestraBavarian Radio Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Includes 160 page libretto booklet in English, German and French.

Weinberger's Schwanda used to be extremely popular, and even the formerly ubiquitous Polka and Fugue seems to have fallen out of favor. This is the opera's only major-label recording, and happily it's fabulous. The cast, led by Hermann Prey in the title role, is as strong as can be, and the story is delightful: it's yet another take on "great music can charm even the devil," with (naturally) some love interest thrown in to set the plot rolling. The music is ornately lyrical: glitteringly scored and full of luscious chromatic filigree. It deserves to be popular again. Weinberger, who committed suicide in 1967
Read more at his home in St. Petersburg, Florida (if you've ever been there, you'd understand), was a fine composer who does not merit his current obscurity. In any event, thanks to Arkivmusic.com, you can get the complete opera "on demand" nicely packaged in a convenient slipcase, WITH THE ORIGINAL NOTES AND COMPLETE LIBRETTO! I kid you not. So if you missed this opera the first time around, go for it.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Schwanda the Bagpiper by Jaromir Weinberger
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano), Gwendolyn Killebrew (Mezzo Soprano), Siegfried Jerusalem (Tenor),
Hermann Prey (Baritone), Siegmund Nimsgern (Bass)
Conductor:  Heinz Wallberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; Prague, Czech Republ 
Language: German 

Featured Sound Samples

Act 1, Scene 2: Polka
Act 1, Scene 2: "Lied erklang"
Act 1, Scene 2: "Ein König bin ich"

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Long lost recording rediscovered! January 22, 2015 By Gill S. (Little Houghton, Northamptonshire) See All My Reviews "I bought this recording for a friend who has been looking for the best full recording of this delightful opera to replace his long-lost copy. He was very pleased and I must admit that I rather enjoyed listening to it with him. The singing is excellent (as you would expect from this cast) and i felt this was a lovely musical recording which did not really show its age. Recommended if you've only ever heard the main theme before." Report Abuse
 The Bagpiper Reigns February 8, 2013 By Steven Morgenstern (Austin, TX) See All My Reviews "I used to have this recording, but had to sell my CD collection several years ago. After having not heard this opera for at least 10 years, I bought it again and really like it. It's not great music, but the composer, Weinberger, was certainly talented. The vocal writing is melodic and the orchestration is at times quite opulent. The famous Polka and Fugue are a stand-out as are all the singers in this German version of the opera. If you are interested in Opera off the beaten track, I would highly recommend this one!" Report Abuse
 Fine singing; variable music October 27, 2012 By NEIL M. (Forest Hills, NY) See All My Reviews ""Schwanda" must be great to see and hear performed on stage, but the music itself, apart from that wonderful Polka, and the Fugue that accompanies the escape from Hell, is for me less memorable. I'd just love to see Herman Prey, a great singer AND comic actor, perform as Schwanda on stage, a role just perfect for him, but unfortunately there seems to be no video. I'm glad to have this CD, but parts of it are not so exciting. However; that Polka alone keeps going through my head." Report Abuse
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