While Ludwig van Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio remains at home timelessly on all the major stages, concert audiences are usually only aware of the relevant overtures of the other stage music by the great composer. However, the eminently appealing music of Egmont with its beautiful and catchy songs and its energetic and melodious orchestral scores might be considered as Beethoven’s most interesting and worthwhile stage music after Fidelio.
Antonín Reicha’s dramatic cantata Lenore is the musical setting of the eponymous horror ballade by the German poet Gottfried August Burger, famous today above all as the author of the tales concerning the Baron of the Lies, Munchhausen. In comparison with Beethoven (who is said greatly to have admired Reicha’s Lenore and even to have recommended it be performed), in musical terms Reicha’s cantata does not point into the future despite all its onomatopoetic effects, but takes its bearings audibly from the epic oratorio style of Reicha’s mentor and friend, Joseph Haydn.
L.v. Beethoven: Music to Goethe's Tragedy Egmont op. 84
RUTH ZIESAK Sopran / soprano • ULRICH TUKUR Erzahler / Narrator
PHILHARMONISCHES STAATSORCHESTER HAMBURG
GERD ALBRECHT Dirigent / conductor
A. Reicha: Lenore for vocal soloists, Choir and Orchestra (dramatic cantata)
LENORE: CAMILLA NYLUND Sopran / soprano
MUTTER: PAVIA VYKOPALOVÁ Mezzosopran / mezzosoprano
ERZAHLER: CORBY WELCH Tenor WILHELM: VLADÍMIR CHMELO Bass P
RAGUE CHAMBER CHOIR
VIRTUOSI DI PRAGA • Oldřich Vlcek Konzertmeiser / concert master
FRIEDER BERNIUS Dirigent / conductor