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Nicolai: Sinfonie In D-dur, Etc / Rickenbacher, Bamberg So


Release Date: 02/22/2008 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 91079   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Otto Nicolai
Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Berlioz greatly admired Nicolai—he encountered him and his work in Vienna—above all as a brilliant conductor, and one facing a hostile public and musical establishment as formidable as that in Paris. He also admired him as a composer. He praised the Symphony here recorded, and has left a good account in his Memoirs of the opera Die Heimkehr des Verbannten. This began life as Il proscritto, a libretto written for Verdi, and in Nicolai's setting lasted only a single night in Milan in 1841. Vienna heard it in 1844, and Berlioz was there in the following year. The Overture is a vehement, not to say violent piece of work, suitably matched to the dark story which Berlioz summarizes (it might have done rather well for Verdi in his Forza del Read more destino vein).

More characteristic of Nicolai is the charming Overture to Der Tempelritter, or Il templario, an Ivanhoe opera which once had a good international career extending from Mexico to St Petersburg. The Overture has a delightful second subject indicating that, though Nicolai was successful in Italy, he had not forgotten Weber; but it is still overtaken by the famous Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (''The Merry Wives of Windsor'') Overture. The whole opera deserves its now rather occasional revivals; the Overture, with its lovely opening textures and its catchy main tune (caught by Wagner, in Die Meistersinger, among others), is delightfully played here, as is the rather more staid Weihnachtsouverture (''Christmas Overture''). This makes expert orchestral play with the chorale Vom Himmel hoch, in which a full chorus presently joins.

The Symphony is an interesting work, though it is difficult wholly to share Berlioz's enthusiasm. The first movement is rather strenuous in its symphonic workings, and the Adagio does not really come off, with its graceful opening turning unconvincingly to a darker side. There is a busy scherzo, and quite a lively finale which well maintains Nicolai's high reputation as an orchestrator. To this aspect of his music Berlioz would have responded with understaniable enthusiasm.'

-- John Warrack, Gramophone [3/1990]
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Works on This Recording

1. Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor: Overture by Otto Nicolai
Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1989 
Venue:  Kulturraum, Bamberg 
Length: 8 Minutes 31 Secs. 
2. Der Tempelritter: Overture by Otto Nicolai
Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1989 
Venue:  Kulturraum, Bamberg 
Length: 8 Minutes 16 Secs. 
3. Die Heimkehr des Verbannten: Overture by Otto Nicolai
Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1989 
Venue:  Kulturraum, Bamberg 
Length: 7 Minutes 43 Secs. 
4. Weihnachts-Ouvertüre über Vom Himmel hoch by Otto Nicolai
Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1989 
Venue:  Kulturraum, Bamberg 
Length: 10 Minutes 51 Secs. 
5. Symphony in D major, WoO. 99 by Otto Nicolai
Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835/1845; Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1989 
Venue:  Kulturraum, Bamberg 
Length: 35 Minutes 26 Secs. 

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