Berlin State Opera Orchestra

Composers

Biography

Active: Berlin, Germany -
The Berlin State Opera originated with the establishment by Elector Joachim II of his "Kurfurstliche Hofkapelle" (Electoral Court Ensemble), formally organized in 1570. By the early seventeenth century the orchestra numbered thirty-seven players, becoming one of the largest in Europe, but during the Thirty Years' War it shrank to just seven players. It slowly recovered, now as an ensemble mostly of strings. In 1696, Elector Friedrich III Read more established the first regular opera in Berlin, using the Hofkapelle as its orchestra.

In 1701, Brandenburg became the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Elector became King Friedrich I. Its musical establishment was enlarged and named "Königliche Kapelle" (Royal Ensemble), but with the accession of King Friedrich Wilhelm I in 1713 the group dwindled to a small brass band used for hunting and parades.

The next king, Friedrich II (Frederick the Great), known as a military genius, was also a music lover, good flute player, and adequate composer who wrote over 120 flute concertos. He brought in excellent musicians to serve as his Kapellmeister, including Quantz and C. P. E. Bach. His lovely Royal Opera House on Unter den Linden, built in 1742, was strictly for the court and military officers. It has been destroyed by fire and war more than once, but rebuilt each time, and it still serves as the home of the opera and the orchestra.

Frederick died in 1786, and in 1789 the Unter den Linden opera opened to the public for the first time. The first public symphony concert featuring the Kapelle was a 1796 benefit concert for Constanze Mozart of her late husband's music. From the beginning of the new century the orchestra began giving public concerts which, from 1821, were played at the Gendarmenmarkt Theater.

There were only sporadic concerts until 1842 when Kapellmeister, Giacomo Meyerbeer, organized regular subscription concert series. The orchestra's series remained limited and highly conservative by comparison with those of the Berlin Philharmonic Society (founded 1826 and organized as a professional orchestra in 1882) until conductor Felix Weingartner, appointed to head the Königliche Kapelle in 1892, made it a leading part of the city's musical life. Richard Strauss was its music director from 1908 to 1920.

The post-War Revolution toppling the monarchy (known as the German Empire since 1871) resulted in the "Royal Kapelle" being renamed the Kapelle der Staatsoper (State Opera Orchestra). As part of the lively musical scene in Berlin in the 1920s it now became associated with modern music. Its great conductors during the period included Furtwängler, Erich Kleiber, Klemperer, Zemlinsky, and Bruno Walter. Many of them left after the 1933 accession of the Nazis to power.

In 1934, the opera orchestra was named the Staatskapelle (State Orchestra), and from 1938 to 1945 was led by the young Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan. Another political reorganization in 1944 renamed the orchestra the Preussiche Staatskapelle (Prussian State Orchestra), which ceased giving concerts on April 19, 1945 when Allied troops began to enter the city. But it soon reopened (June 16, 1945) as the "Staatskapelle Berlin." Two long-serving music directors, Franz Konwitschny and (from 1964 to 1990) Othmar Suitner, saw the Staatskapelle Berlin through its years as the leading orchestra in East Berlin, firmly under German Democratic Republic government rule.

In 1989, the members of the orchestra presented to the government a petition demanding the reorganization of the Staatskapelle as an independent, democratically run organization. This became part of the widespread public pressure that within months caused the collapse of the German communist state and the reunification of Germany. Since 1991, Daniel Barenboim has been general music director of the Staatskapelle Berlin. Read less
Browse 1-20 of 20 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Great Wagner Singers [6-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826302 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Sieglinde Wagner,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Heinrich Hollreiser,  Wilhelm Pitz,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Richard Kraus  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus  ... 
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  • 2.
    Flieg, Gedanke: Verdi auf Deutsch [10-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 166512 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Gottlob Frick,  Rudolf Schock,  Erika Köth,  Josef Metternich  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Schüchter,  Werner Schmidt-Boelcke,  Horst Stein,  Giuseppe Patané  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Busoni: Die Brautwahl / Barenboim, Berlin State Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 660580 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferruccio Busoni
    Performer:  Günter von Kannen,  Siegfried Vogel,  Carola Höhn,  Graham Clark  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Chorus
    CD: $18.99
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  • 4.
    Voices Of German Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40497 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Heinrich Marschner  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Edda Moser,  Kurt Moll,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Langrée,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Berislav Klobucar,  Rudolf Moralt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 5.
    Chopin: Concertos / Daniel Barenboim, Andris Nelsons, Staatskapelle Berlin
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001538702 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Andris Nelsons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Friedrich Schorr Vol 2 - Wagner Operas
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10222 Release Date: 12/03/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Friedrich Schorr,  Gota Ljungberg,  Rudolf Laubenthal,  Ben Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Albert Coates,  Leo Blech,  Lawrence Collingwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Rudolf Schock Vol 1 - Verdi, Puccini, Mascagni
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10312 Release Date: 11/23/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Rudolf Schock,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Erna Berger,  Leonie Rysanek  ... 
    Conductor:  Issay Dobrowen,  Arthur Rother,  Walter Susskind,  Wilhelm Schüchter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 8.
    111 More Classic Tracks [6-CD Set - Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001483202 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Franz Liszt,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Maurice André,  Stefan Askenase,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Karel Ancerl,  Hans Stadlmair,  John Nelson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    Knappertsbusch Conducts Bach, Handel, Haydn & Mozart
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 897 Release Date: 02/11/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Wolfgang Schneiderhan
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 10.
    The Art Of Oscar Fried, Vol. 4 / Oscar Fried, Berlin State Opera Orchestra & Choir
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1231 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner,  Pietro Mascagni
    Conductor:  Oscar Fried
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Chorus
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  • 11.
    In Memoriam Christel Goltz
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93455 Release Date: 09/08/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Christel Goltz,  Bernd Aldenhoff,  Max Lorenz,  Elisabeth Wysor  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Robert Heger,  Kurt Striegler,  Ferdinand Leitner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian State Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
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  • 12.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto; Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto / Eddy Brown, Weissmann, Berlin State Opera Orchestra
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1373 Release Date: 09/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  John Powell
    Performer:  Eddy Brown,  John [Film Composer] Powell
    Conductor:  Frieder Weissmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Early Orchestral Recordings 1927-1943
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 459001 Release Date: 07/06/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Richard Strauss,  Otto Nicolai,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Richard Strauss,  Paul van Kempen,  Victor de Sabata  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian State Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Festival Of The Primadonnas
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 8025 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Arrigo Boito,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Ljuba Welitsch,  Maria Callas,  Astrid Varnay  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Max Rudolf,  Hermann Weigert,  Wilhelm Schüchter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 15.
    Hans Knappertsbusch Conducts Richard Wagner
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6569 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 16.
    Icon - Fritz Kreisler - The Charming Maverick
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65042 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Fritz Kreisler,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Richard Heuberger  ... 
    Performer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Haddon Squire,  William Primrose,  Thomas Petre  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Landon Ronald,  Leo Blech  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kreisler String Quartet,  Royal Albert Hall Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 17.
    The Record of Singing - The Very Best of Vols 1-4
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28956 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Arthur Sullivan,  Giacomo Puccini,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Marian Anderson,  Kosti Vehanen,  Dame Clara Butt,  Richard Crooks  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Schmalstich,  Clarence Raybould,  Georges Lauweryns,  Nat Finston  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra  ... 
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  • 18.
    The Record of Singing Vol 5 - From the LP to the Digital Era
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28949 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Luciana Serra,  Neil Shicoff,  Alain Vanzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Georges Prêtre,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 19.
    Essential Mozart
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2057278 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Hanno Müller-Brachmann,  Katharina Kammerloher,  Daniela Bruera,  Werner Güra  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Bertrand De Billy,  Hartmut Haenchen,  Manfred Honeck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    DVD: $78.99
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  • 20.
    German Composers Conduct Wagner, Egk, Schrecker, Künneke, Etc / Berlin Po, Et Al
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 9787 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Max von Schillings,  Eduard Künneke,  Franz Schreker  ... 
    Conductor:  Siegfried Wagner,  Max von Schillings,  Eduard Künneke,  Franz Schreker  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 21.
    Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night's Dream / Herbig, Masur
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1434 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Günther Herbig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Chorus,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 22.
    The Puccini Experience / Mehta, Italian Radio So Rome, Italian Radio Chorus Rome
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 510974 Release Date: 05/20/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Géza Szilvay,  Csaba Szilvay,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Catherine Malfitano  ... 
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano,  Zubin Mehta,  James Conlon,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Strings,  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome  ... 
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  • 23.
    Koloman Von Pataky - Recordings 1927-1936
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10177 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Adolphe Adam,  Charles Gounod,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Koloman von Pataky,  Heinrich Schlusnus
    Conductor:  Manfred Gurlitt,  Johannes Heidenreich,  Julius Prüwer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Ludwig Hofmann Vol 1 - Recordings 1928-1932
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10110 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Friedrich von Flotow,  Albert Lortzing,  Otto Nicolai,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Ludwig Hofmann,  Albert Peters,  Gotthelf Pistor
    Conductor:  Julius Prüwer,  Franz Schmidt,  Karl Muck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Ludwig Hofmann Vol 2 - Recordings 1942-1943
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10111 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Ludwig Hofmann,  Grossmann,,  Franz Volker,  Hilde Scheppan
    Conductor:  Robert Heger,  Arthur Rother,  Richard Kraus
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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