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Humperdinck: Dornroschen / Schirmer, Fassbaender, Kaiser, Haaks, Landshamer

Humperdinck / Chor Des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Release Date: 01/25/2011 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777510  
Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck
Performer:  Brigitte FassbaenderChristina LandshamerTobias HaaksKristiane Kaiser
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio ChorusMunich Radio Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This live recording is splendid and the music is mostly fresh and melodious and well worth hearing.

To most general music-listeners Engelbert Humperdinck is synonymous with Hänsel und Gretel. In fact, he wrote a number of other stage works of which Königskinder, at least occasionally, has an outing. It was played five times in Zurich in February last year (2010).

Dornröschen (Sleeping Beauty), based on Perrault and the Brothers Grimm but with some added ingredients, isn’t strictly speaking an opera. ‘Fairytale in a prelude and three acts’ it is labelled and it consists of a fair amount of spoken dialogue interspersed with musical numbers, many of them very brief,
Read more even fragmentary. The weakest point is the libretto and Humperdinck allegedly wasn’t very keen on setting it but finally succumbed.

There are several quite substantial orchestral pieces and Humperdinck put together an orchestral suite of some of them, even before the premiere of the ‘opera’. He was a splendid orchestrator and melodist –influenced by Wagner, but less so here than in Hänsel und Gretel. The overture with a beautiful horn solo is a catchy piece, almost seven minutes long. There is also a ballad that opens the second act and a very good Irrfahrten. The chorus also have grateful music to execute, for instance the melodious Versuchung (CD 2 tr. 21). As in Hänsel und Gretel there are many references to folk-songs, not least Dornröschens Bild (CD 2 tr. 6) in ¾-time. There is enough attractive music throughout to enjoy this work without bothering very much about the plot. A problem arises here for non-German speakers, since the libretto in the booklet only prints the sung texts but not the spoken dialogue. With some knowledge of German and the synopsis at hand one can still get the gist of the story and the diction of the speaking roles is very clear. In particular Brigitte Fassbaender as Dämonia, the evil fairy, is just as articulate and expressive as we remember her from her singing career. She radiates evil in every phrase.

Ulf Schirmer, who has recorded several operatic rarities for CPO, has obviously taken this music to his heart and his Munich forces assist him admirably. Apart from a rather shaky contralto as Morphina the solo singing is excellent. Kristiane Kaiser as Röschen has a crystal-clear, very beautiful soprano and Tobias Haaks sings well as Reinhold. The live recording is splendid.

Hänsel und Gretel is a much better work but the music in Dornröschen is mostly fresh and melodious and well worth hearing, even though the story in itself is only mildly interesting.

-- Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Dornröschen by Engelbert Humperdinck
Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano), Christina Landshamer (Soprano), Tobias Haaks (Tenor),
Kristiane Kaiser (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Munich Radio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1902 

Sound Samples

Dornroschen: Prelude Scene 1: Orchestral Prelude
Dornroschen: Prelude Scene 1: Happy Event: Duftige Rosen lasset uns binden (Chorus of Maidens)
Dornroschen: Dialogue 1
Dornroschen: Prelude Scene 1: Arrival of the Fairies: Seht dorf, vom Morgenwind getragen (The Messenger, 12 Fairies)
Dornroschen: Prelude Scene 1: Fairy Banquet
Dornroschen: Prelude Scene 1: Baptismal Song: Lasst unds jetzt den Reigen schliessen (Rosa, Fairies)
Dornroschen: Prelude Scene 1: Blessing and Curse: Wohlan so nenne dich nach mir (Rosa, Bella, Sophia, Viola, Poesis, Mab, Flora, Hulda, Veritas, Blanca, Damonia)
Dornroschen: Prelude Scene 1: Sleep for Death: Nach ruht dein Gluck in meinen Handen (Rosa, Morphina, The Other Fairies)
Dornroschen: Dialogue 5
Dornroschen: Act I: Praeludium
Dornroschen: Act I Scene 2: Festive Music
Dornroschen: Dialogue 6
Dornroschen: Act I Scene 2: Ich fuhl' ein leises Bangen (Roschen, Rose, Forget-Me-Not, Breeze)
Dornroschen: Dialogue 7
Dornroschen: Dialogue 8
Dornroschen: Act I Scene 2: Doom: O seht doch Mutterchen, seht doch (Roschen, King, Chorus of the Guests, Cook, Table Master, Damonia, Morphina)
Dornroschen: Act II Scene 3: Ballade
Dornroschen: Dialogue 9
Dornroschen: Dialogue 10
Dornroschen: Act II Scene 3: Sleeping Beauty's Picture: O, welch' Entzucken (Reinhold, Overseer)
Dornroschen: Dialogue 11
Dornroschen: Act II Scene 3: Admonition: Wenn drei Tage noch verstrichen (Overseer) - Dialogue 12 - Interlude: Wanderings
Dornroschen: Dialogue 13
Dornroschen: Act II Scene 4: Heavenly Ascent: Mondesstrahl (Damonia)
Dornroschen: Act II Scene 5: Dance of the Spheres: Herbei zum Tanz (Chorus of the Fixed Stars)
Dornroschen: Dialogue 14
Dornroschen: Dialogue 15
Dornroschen: Act II Scene 5: Declaration of the Stars: Wir halten Wacht (Chorus of the Stars)
Dornroschen: Act II Scene 5: Dance of the Spheres: Ihr Sterne, herbei! (Sonne, Chorus of the Stars)
Dornroschen: Act III Scene 6: Ach, das Gleiten (Quicksilver)
Dornroschen: Act III Scene 6: The Oath: Die Ringe mein! (Reinhold, Quicksilver)
Dornroschen: Dialogue 17
Dornroschen: Act III Scene 6: Temptation: Halt ein! (Damonia, Nymphs and Naiads)
Dornroschen: Dialogue 18
Dornroschen: Act III Scene 6: Triumph: O zaudre nicht (Damonia, Nymphs and Naiads, Reinhold)
Dornroschen: Dialogue 19
Dornroschen: Dialogue 20
Dornroschen: Act III Scene 6: Interlude: The Thorn Castle
Dornroschen: Dialogue 21
Dornroschen: Act III Scene 7: Damonia's End: Ich sterbe! (A Dull Voice, A Gentle Voice) - In the Castle Garden: O Wunder ohne Gleichen! (Quicksilver, Reinhold)
Dornroschen: Act III: The Awakening: Ich seid ein Esel! (Cook, Table Master, King, All the Guests, Sleeping Beauty, Reinhold, Pages, The Envoy, Queen, Rosa, Chorus)

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