Dessau: Einstein / Otmar Suitner

Release Date: 10/15/1996
Catalog Number: BC0091092
Composer: Paul Dessau
Conductor: Otmar Suitner
Number of Discs: 2

Physical Format:

In Stock
Notes and Editorial Reviews
As an exile from Nazi Germany, Albert Einstein helped the Americans to develop the atomic bomb in order to defeat German fascism. But in Paul Dessau’s opera of 1974, such action appears to have profound social consequences, Einstein soon realising that the power in whose hands he has placed himself breeds a new form of fascism. As a result he loses faith in the humanistic value of his work to the extent of burning a new scientific formula on which he has been working for twenty years. It’s certainly a thought-provoking scenario, but in the time-honoured tradition of Brecht, Dessau’s music generally serves the function of interpreting, rather than enhancing the text. In this respect, the score’s frequent allusions to familiar pieces of music, from Bach to Richard Strauss, proves unusually disturbing. I am thinking here particularly of the scene in Act I where storm troopers vandalise Einstein’s flat to the distorted accompaniments of Bach’s Dorian Toccata for organ and the chorale, ‘Vom Himmel hoch’. Without doubt, the chilling immediacy of such episodes is brilliantly captured by the performers in this fascinating release, though in an opera where the words are all-important, it’s regrettable that Berlin Classics haven’t provided an English translation of the text.

-- Erik Levi, BBC Music Magazine
Works on This Recording
1. Einstein by Paul Dessau
Performer: Reiner Süss (Bass), Theo Adam (Bass), Peter Schreier (Tenor)
Conductor: Otmar Suitner
Period: 20th Century
Customer Reviews