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Eterna - Orff: Die Kluge, Der Mond / Herbert Kegel

Release Date: 06/28/1994 
Label:  Berlin Classics   Catalog #: 2104   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Carl Orff
Performer:  Hermann-Christian PolsterReiner SüssSiegfried LorenzEberhard Büchner,   ... 
Conductor:  Herbert Kegel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio ChorusLeipzig Radio Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

If you like Carmina burana and want to hear its logical successor, Der Mond is the place to go. Not only does it actually quote from the earlier work, but it contains a maximum of music with a minimum of dialogue. The story could not be simpler: four traveling fellows happen across the moon hanging on an oak tree. The town mayor, it is explained, bought it for cheap and hung it up there, and collects a fee weekly to keep it lit. The four steal it and take it home, hoping to cash in on a similar deal. After many years, each one dies and demands to take his quarter of the moon with him to the underworld, where the moon literally wakes the dead, who cause chaos until St. Peter, looking on from heaven, restores order by placing the moon in the Read more sky where it belongs.

Herbert Kegel’s performance of this charming fairy tale is unmatched, with tenor Eberhard Büchner an excellent narrator heading a superb ensemble cast. The work sort of peters out (no pun intended) toward the end, but that’s Orff’s fault. With exceptional playing from the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and pellucidly clear sonics, this the the version of the piece to own. No libretto is included, but you don’t really need it. Like Carmina burana, the music is fun to listen to simply on account of its folk-like tunes, driving rhythms, and glittering scoring. Orff never wrote anything else quite like it again.

The performance of Die Kluge (The Smart Woman) is also excellent, but it’s one of those annoying facts about the record business what while this set has the best Der Mond and a (very) slightly less fabulous Die Kluge, the competing Sawallisch set on EMI has the best Die Kluge (Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in the title role) and a slightly less great Der Mond. Not that there’s anything wrong with Magdalena Falewicz as the Smart Woman, or Reiner Süß as her put-upon father–she’s just no Schwarzkopf just as he’s no Gottlob Frick. Once again the story is simple and charming: the Smart Woman gets her dad out of trouble with the king, and he falls in love with her. She angers him and he attempts to send her away, telling her that she can leave with one trunk in which to put the things she loves most. So she drugs the king, sticks him in the trunk, and when he wakes up he realizes he truly loves her and they live happily ever after.

This work, however, is a bit less interesting than Der Mond–dialogue and dry rhythms are already starting to take over actual music and singing, although we’re still closer to Der Mond than to Orff’s other stuff (the Christmas and Easter Plays, for instance). You can also get this version of Der Mond separately, but really, at the price you might as well have both.

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

Die Kluge by Carl Orff
Performer:  Hermann-Christian Polster (Bass), Reiner Süss (Bass), Siegfried Lorenz (Baritone),
Eberhard Büchner (Tenor), Magdalena Falewicz (Soprano), Harald Neukirch (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert Kegel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Leipzig Radio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1976-80 
Language: German 
Der Mond by Carl Orff
Performer:  Paul Glahn (Bass), Horst Lunow (Bass), Reiner Süss (Bass),
Magdalena Falewicz (Soprano), Eberhard Büchner (Tenor), Wilfried Schaal (Bass)
Conductor:  Herbert Kegel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Leipzig Radio Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938/1970; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1970 
Language: German 

Sound Samples

Die Kluge: Scene 1: Die Geschichte vom Konig und der klugen Frau - Oh hatt' ich meiner Tochter nur geglaubt
Die Kluge: Scene 2: Spass muss sein, sprach die Katze zum Vogel und frass ihn
Die Kluge: Scene 3: Du, also du bist die Kluge
Die Kluge: Scene 4: Der Konig hat wieder eine Frau
Die Kluge: Scene 5: Alles ging die Kreuz, die Quer
Die Kluge: Scene 6: Weh mir, wie konnt mir das geschehn
Die Kluge: Scene 7: Heda! Was gibt's, wer ist's?
Die Kluge: Scene 8: Frag diesen Mann, was er da schafft
Die Kluge: Scene 9: So also, so war's gemeint
Die Kluge: Scene 10: Lass mich die Tafel dir bereiten
Die Kluge: Scene 11: Hab' ich euch endlich, hab' ich euch erwischt
Die Kluge: Scene 12: Komm da heraus, der Konig lasst dich frei
Die Kluge: Scene 12: Was ist, wo bin ich, wer hat das getan?
Der Mond: Vorzeiten gab es ein Land
Der Mond: Was ist das? Was ist das fur ein Licht?
Der Mond: Und wann ich hamwarts geh'
Der Mond: ist fort, wer hat ihn denn gestohlen?
Der Mond: Wirt, Leute Kommen!
Der Mond: Wenn ihr nachts aus der Taberne
Der Mond: So hangt ihn auf - Seht den Mond
Der Mond: Und sie brachten den Geraubten glucklich in Ihr Land
Der Mond: Zwischenspiel
Der Mond: Die 4 versorgten den Mond mit Ol
Der Mond: Lieg' ich hier an dieser Schwelle
Der Mond: Und als der Erste gestorben war
Der Mond: Und als der Mond dort leuchtete
Der Mond: Liebe Leichen, hort uns an
Der Mond: Du spielst, als lagst du noch im Grab
Der Mond: Floret silva undique
Der Mond: Was ist da dos?
Der Mond: Betrug! Betrug! Nun ist's genug!
Der Mond: Was ist denn das? Was ist das fur ein Licht?
Der Mond: Wie kalt ist's draussen in der Welt
Der Mond: Sitz ich am hohen Himmel
Der Mond: Hort ihr Toten, lasst euch sagen
Der Mond: So brachte Petrus die Toten Zur Ruh'
Der Mond: Ah, da hangt ja der Mond!

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