WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Egk: Peer Gynt / Wallberg, Hermann, Et Al

Release Date: 04/04/1995 
Label:  Orfeo   Catalog #: 5822   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Werner Egk
Performer:  Wilfried VorwoldKari LövaasNorma SharpCornelia Wulkopf,   ... 
Conductor:  Heinz Wallberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony OrchestraBavarian Radio Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 50 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Works on This Recording

Peer Gynt by Werner Egk
Performer:  Wilfried Vorwold (Bass), Kari Lövaas (Soprano), Norma Sharp (Soprano),
Cornelia Wulkopf (Alto), Janet Perry (Soprano), Waldemar Wild (Bass),
Carmen Anhorn (Soprano), Monika Schmitt (Soprano), Angela Feeney (Soprano),
Heiner Hopfner (Tenor), Paul Hansen (Tenor), Peter Lika (Bass),
Heinrich Weber (Tenor), Roland Hermann (Baritone), Hans Hopf (Tenor)
Conductor:  Heinz Wallberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1981 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio Studio no 1, Munich 
Length: 109 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: German 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 An opera deserving to be better known September 2, 2013 By Allan Clark (Carlsbad, CA) See All My Reviews "Grieg's incidental music to Peer Gynt is well known, but Werner Egk's setting of Ibsen's five act play is hardly known at all. The only item from the opera recorded in any version besides the one here is the celebrated Tango, an alluringly evil and exotic piece. (Track 6, Scene 6 of Act II.) Throughout the opera the orchestra plays quite a significant role and is never just accompaniment for the singers. The music is sly, witty, snide, harsh, and occasionally cartoonish—the troll's anthem is a hilarious perfect parody of national anthems, a little gem. Why is Egk's opera not better known? Ibsen's play is a difficult text to begin with. Forty scenes make it difficult to stage as a play and hard to condense into an opera. Peer Gynt himself is not an entirely sympathetic character—a willful braggart and ne'er-do-well who does just as he pleases and seems incapable of goodness. The story does not lend itself to a lyric musical treatment and Egk's music—especially the first two acts—is more often clever and satirical than beautiful. The third act does have beautiful music, beginning with the trio of black birds. The orchestral interlude before scene 8 is marvelous. More beautiful than anything else in the opera is the haunting final scene of the opera in which Peer, now exhausted and defeated by his wild life, returns to Solveig, the only one who loves him and believes him good. Her lullaby, sung here by Norma Sharp, is such gorgeous music it is surprising no one else has recorded it as an aria separately. This recording, originally on vinyl, was made in 1981 just two years before Egk died. There is a libretto with German, English, and French versions. Egk himself adapted the libretto from Ibsen. There are not many tracks—only eight for the whole two discs. The sound is fine and voices excellent. Roland Hermann makes a fine Peer Gynt, Norma Sharp is enormously appealing as Solveig, and the supporting cast is excellent with a few exceptions. The complex orchestral score is handled well by Heinz Wallberg." Report Abuse
Review This Title