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Various Artists - Happy New Year: Die Operettengala aus Dresden
ICH EINFACH UNVERBESSERLICH 3
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Nach Höhepunkten aus den Operetten von Franz Léhar in 2010/11 widmen sich Christian Thielemann und die Staatskapelle Dresden nun im mittlerweile traditionellen Silvesterkonzert den Operetten-Hits von Emmerich Kálmán wie "Die Gräfin Mariza", "Kaiserin Josephine", "Die Herzogin von Chicago" u.a.
Die stimmungsvolle Kulisse für das festliche Spektakel bildet erneut die prunkvoll geschmückte Semperoper. Vokalen Glanz auf höchstem Niveau garantieren Sopranistin Ingeborg Schöpf und der polnische Startenor Piotr Beczala - beide ausgestattet mit dem besonderen "Feeling" für die Operette in der Tradition einer Elisabeth Schwarzkopf und Anneliese Rothenberger, eines Rudolf Schock oder René Kollo.
Unter dem Titel Happy New Year erscheint der Mitschnitt auf CD (inkl. DVD von 2011) und als DVD. Über 3 Std. Musik - in populärer Aufmachung.
01 Happy New Year - Die Operettengala aus Dresden - Opening Credits
03 Höre ich Zigeunergeigen
04 Komm Zigany
05 Einmal möcht' ich wieder tanzen
07 Heia, heia in den Bergen
08 Weißt Du es noch?
09 Zwei Märchenaugen
10 Ballet & Ensemble
11 Mein Traum, mein Traum
12 Wenn es Abend wird - Grüß mir mein Wien
13 Grand Palotas de la Reine
14 18: Ein kleiner Slowfox mit Mary
15 Heut' Nacht hab' ich geträumt von Dir
16 Tanzen möcht ich
17 Ob blond, ob braun, ich liebe alle Frau'n
18 Carrambolina, Carramboletta
19 O komm mit mir, ich tanz mit dir ins Himmelreich hinein
20 An der Elbe, Op.477
21 Happy New Year - Die Operettengala aus Dresden - Closing Credits
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The concert essentially highlights arias sung by the two soloists with additional items played by the orchestra, sung by the choir and danced by the ballet company. Ingeborg Schopf makes a very fine job of replacing the indisposed Diana Damrau at the very last minute. She is the leading soprano of the Dresden State Operetta company and is obviously at home with the repertoire. Her voice is well able to cope with the demands placed upon it in her four solo arias and also in the fifth piece, where she leads the chorus. She also partners Piotr Beczala in four duets with suitable aplomb.
The chorus are featured in three pieces and sing with gusto and enthusiasm plus some energetic gypsy clapping! The ballet sequence takes the form of a mini-story in much the same way as is familiar with the regular Vienna New Year's Day concerts. The dancing is expertly done and the costumes are exquisite. The orchestra play extremely well throughout under the attentive and meticulous Thielemann, who became their principal conductor in September 2012.
Piotr Beczala, however, clearly steals the show with highly enthusiastic support from the packed audience after each of his five solo arias. He has an effortlessly clear voice, ideally suited to this music and which fills the hall with apparent ease. His manner is most attractively relaxed so his popularity is easily understood. This is his second appearance at these concerts and it is easy to understand why.
The HD recording has all the expected clarity and range of colour. The sound is presented in both DTS surround (default) and stereo. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish with the music being sung in the original German.
This is a most attractive light music concert and is well presented. If the program of music by Kalman appeals, I would suggest that this latest disc in the new 'tradition' from Dresden would be well worth considering.
Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:
I have the 2011 concert and particularly enjoyed the performances by Ana Maria Labin. The german lyrics in translation to the song sung by Piotr Beczala we know as "Girls were made to love and kiss" be warned are rather more blunt and not as poetic. I did not care for the Oscar Strauss encore by Angela Denoke, dressed in a black trouser suit for a modern take on love. The song "why not have an affair?" was meant to be witty and frivolous but seemed more like something cynical from 'Cabaret' and was a bit of a downer after the romance of the former pieces.. (U.K. review)
Dear Angela, I agree with your comment about the Oscar Strauss piece - a strange choice for an encore. Of the three concerts so far I have enjoyed the second the most. (Full of Lehar without the Merry Widow). There is an excellent DVD of that operetta conducted by Welser-Most which you may enjoy. Best wishes, Ian Giles
Dear Ian, I have the excellent DVD of the Merry Widow to which you refer, much enjoyed by all the family. A delight.. (U.K. review)
The first two of the Dresden series presented the music of Franz Lehar, with some Strauss waltzes thrown in for good measure. This disc features the music of Emmerich Kalman (1882 - 1953), who was regarded as one of the finest composers of operetta in the early 20th century. His best known works are Die Csardasfurstin (The Gypsy Princess) (1925) and Grafin Maritza (1924). His music emphasizes the "Gypsy idiom" , which he believed to be truly Hungarian, as well as the Viennese waltz. It is very melodic and intensely rythmic, as well as extremely romantic especially in the duets (as one might expect).
Some might consider this stuff as ... a bit out of touch with contemporary tastes in music, but as my bartender/psychologist keeps telling me, "... it's OK if you have an arrested development insofar as your musical tastes are concerned ..." (He should talk: HE likes Wagner!!) But I wallow in this kind of music! It's near total schmaltz, but it's very good schmaltz!
Soprano Ingeborg Schopf, who filled in "at the last moment" for an ailing Diana Damrau is the real deal. She was unknown to me before I got this disc, and has no other recordings, as far as I have been able to find. She is a lead soprano with the Dresden State Operetta and her performance shows it; she is totally "at home" with this repertory. She relies on the score in a couple of pieces, probably as a result of her late stand in status, but her voice is secure, clear, focused and lovely throughout the range.
Piotr Beczala is, IMHO, one of the top tenors on today's stage and he shines in this repertory (catch him in the Die Lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow) on Arthuas DVD, gentle reader). He has an awesome top, admittedly, but the rest of his voice is equally as superb, with impeccible technique. I didn't catch any women in the audience swooning, if such is even done any more, but if it happened, I'd not be surprised. Beczala sings the music as romantically as it is written
Maestro Christian Thielmann, a noted conductor of Wagner, is quite at home in the operetta world and has a lot of obvious fun in directing. There is the mandatory Struass waltz (An der Elbe) to ring down the curtain while ringing in the New Year.
Disc quality is superb, with clear and crisp picture, and amazing audio in the DTS mode. Subtitles are in English, German, French and Spanish.
Open a bottle of bubbly and enjoy! As I said, it's a winner!! I hope that DG keeps bringing us these lovely concerts.