Notes and Editorial Reviews
While recognizably indebted, mainly to Strauss and Puccini, Irrelohe as drama with music holds you almost from start to finish. The characters and the vocal lines are drawn with care and the orchestral textures are sumptuous. My only reservation is that although there is a great deal of highly imaginative material and a sophisticated orchestral resource, Schreker's music is predominantly a succession of finely realized atmospheres: melodic inspiration of a strongly individual profile is less in evidence though there are inspired passages – the Prelude to Act 3 is one, though the act as a whole strikes me as the least interesting musically. Everything is dramatically effective and indeed masterly.
The performance under Peter Gulke is thoroughly committed and the cast is a strong one. The recording derives from a concert performance given in the Grosser Musikvereinsaal in Vienna and although the singers are favoured there is an excellent and well-balanced orchestral detail. Those who know Der ferne Klang or Der Schatzgraber will probably need no prompting to investigate this set; for those who don't, Irrelohe is for the most part a gripping and imaginative score, well served by all involved in this production.