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Matthus: Judith / Reuter, Berlin Comic Opera

Release Date: 07/21/1998 
Label:  Berlin Classics   Catalog #: 9339   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Siegfried Matthus
Performer:  Eva-Maria BundschuhWerner Haselau
Conductor:  Rolf Reuter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Comic Opera OrchestraMunich Radio ChorusBerlin Comic Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

With the obvious exceptions of Stockhausen and Henze, I suspect that contemporary Austro-German music is largely a closed book to most anglophone listeners. Even a senior figure such as Helmut Lachenmann, feted on the continent, has yet to make much of an inroad in the UK, and that’s as much, if not more, true of composers from the former GDR. A prime example is the 64-year-old Siegfried Matthus who, despite a well-received production of his 1985 opera Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke by Glyndebourne Touring Opera and a Prom outing last year for his tone-poem Der Wald, has still to receive the attention he may well deserve. That’s a pity, because Judith is a powerful, intensely theatrical opera, the equal, I would Read more maintain, of any by Henze and – by virtue of its scintillating orchestral colours and sharper harmonic focus – arguably superior. With its eponymous decapitating heroine there are obvious literary parallels with Strauss’s Salome. But there are musical ones too: Matthus’s ear for orchestral colour is relentlessly inventive, and when need be his vocal lines can soar and dive as ecstatically and beguilingly, not least in this involving performance, recorded in 1986 soon after the work’s premiere, by Berlin’s Komische Oper.

-- Antony Bye, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

Judith by Siegfried Matthus
Performer:  Eva-Maria Bundschuh (Soprano), Werner Haselau (Baritone)
Conductor:  Rolf Reuter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Comic Opera Orchestra,  Munich Radio Chorus,  Berlin Comic Opera Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; Germany 

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