1001 Nights - Breezes From The Orient / Schneidt, Guida, Ottenthal

Release Date: 5/26/2009
Catalog Number: 420
Number of Discs: 3

Physical Format:

CD
In Stock
$16.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews
From jingling janissaries to infatuated muezzins.


The Orient, its seduction, mystery, danger and otherness held the cultural attention at various times over the last three hundred years. Its mesmeric fascination is reflected in a series of discs issued by Capriccio in the late 1980s. While Capriccio once seemed to have gone to the great temple in the sky Phoenix Edition have a tight grip on the Capriccio catalogue.

This three disc set reflects the Capriccio connection. Rarities rub shoulders with more famous oriental works. Alongside a cleanly recorded and respectable rather then fierily inspired Rimsky Sheherazade we hear a much better Ravel Sheherazade sung by the smoky-toned mezzo Gisella Pasino. It's a demanding cycle and Pasino keeps tight control on vibrato. All in all this is a very pleasing recording of the Ravel and one to which I shall return. Schneidt and his Berlin orchestra make a very convincing contribution.

The second disc is again in the hands of Schneidt but is more various in its coverage. The Cornelius Barber of Baghdad is rather Weber-like - laid out like the Euryanthe or Oberon overtures. The skirling janissaries of Beethoven’s music for The Ruins of Athens comes across clearly. Gluck's Pilgrims of Mecca is represented through two Osmin-like arias. The Hasse Turkish with chorus is rather token Turkish down to the percussion jingle. Gluck's Omar aria sounds rather like Mozart's writing in Magic Flute. Mozart's Die Entfuhrung is also represented. Weber's Oberon overture is nicely done in its build up of tension. Then step decades forward to the jerky energy of Saint-Saëns Danse Bacchanale complete with castanets. This is all vividly done. Then we hear Au Fond Du Temple Saint with Servile and Lazzaretti accorded a strong sound image. Strauss's swayingly seductive Dance of the Seven Veils brings us into the twentieth century with its wilder percussive sounds and more tangled tonal relationships.

The most interesting disc is the first which includes Reyer's Le Sélam. Reyer came to attention through his Wagnerian opera Sigurd. Le Sélam is a fascinating piece in French romantic nineteenth century mode rather like Lakmé and Samson. It's heard here in concert performance with the occasional cough. It’s something of an extravaganza in tableau form. More impressive still is the Szymanowski Songs of the Infatuated Muezzin. It’s atmospherically done by Ottenthal and the BRSO. Nothing here however is as distinctive as Adolphe Biarent's Contes de l'Orient or the various oriental fantasies by Tomasi, McPhee, Cowell or Hovhaness.

Its gravely regrettable that Phoenix seem to have ignored another rare work that formed part of the original Brises d'Orient series Ferdinand David's Le Désert. Then again it has just been issued by itself in a Capriccio digipack 5017. You might also be interested in a recently published analytical study of exotic music by Ralph P Locke ‘Musical Exoticism - Images and Reflections’, Cambridge UP, 2009).

Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

Works on This Recording
1. Le Sélam for soprano, tenor, baritone, chorus & orchestra, symphonic ode by Ernest Reyer
Conductor: Guido Maria Guida
Period: Romantic
Written: 1850 ;
2. Songs of the infatuated muezzin, Op. 42: no 1, Allah, Allah, Akbar by Karol Szymanowski
Conductor: Guido Maria Guida
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Modern
Written: 1918 ;
3. Songs of the infatuated muezzin, Op. 42: Midi! La ville by Karol Szymanowski
Conductor: Guido Maria Guida
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Modern
Written: 1918 ;
4. Songs of the infatuated muezzin, Op. 42: A l'heure calme by Karol Szymanowski
Conductor: Guido Maria Guida
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Modern
Written: 1918 ;
5. Songs of the infatuated muezzin, Op. 42: O o o-li-o! Partie, et pour toujours! by Karol Szymanowski
Conductor: Guido Maria Guida
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Modern
Written: 1918 ;
6. Der Barbier von Bagdad: Overture by Peter Cornelius
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1858 ; Weimar, Germany
7. La rencontre imprévue: Les hommes pieuse by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer: Roberto Servile
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
8. La rencontre imprévue: Il fait entendre by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer: Roberto Servile
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
9. Le cadi dupé: Will mein Weib zu Hause brummen by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer: Roberto Servile
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
10. Der Freischütz, J 277: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1817-1821 ; Dresden, Germany
11. Samson et Dalila, Op. 47: Bacchanale by Camille Saint-Saëns
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1877 ; France
12. Les pêcheurs de perles: Au fond du temple saint by Georges Bizet
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1863 ; France
13. Salome, Op. 54: Dance of the seven veils by Richard Strauss
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1903-1905 ; Germany
14. Scheherazade, Op. 35 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer: Hans Maile (Violin), Georg Donderer (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1888 ; Russia
15. Ruins of Athens, Op. 113: no 5, Marcia alla turca by Ludwig van Beethoven
Period: Classical
Written: 1811 ; Vienna, Austria
16. Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: March of the Janissaries by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Period: Classical
Written: 1782 ;
17. Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: Singt dem grossen Bassa Lieder by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Period: Classical
Written: 1782 ; Vienna, Austria
18. Shéhérazade by Maurice Ravel
Performer: Gisella Pasino
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1903 ; France
19. Solimano, opera: Marcia alla turca / Triumphszene: Viva il prode, viva il forte by Johann Adolf Hasse
Period: Baroque
Written: 1753 ;
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