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Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was one of the great child prodigies of music history. His immortal Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture was written at the age of 17, but this long-lost masterpiece was created three years earlier. Written when Mendelssohn was 14, Der Onkel aus Boston, oder Die beiden Neffen ("The Uncle from Boston, or The Two Nephews") is a full-length, three-act comic opera displaying staggering skill and talent. The famed conductor and musicologist Helmut Rilling discovered the score in Mendelssohn’s handwriting in the Berlin State Library. Rilling prepared the work and gave the first belated public performance in Essen, Germany on October 3, 2004. He then brought it to the Oregon Bach Festival for the American premiere on July 3, 2005.
Felix Mendelssohn: Die beiden Neffen oder Der Onkel aus Boston
Act I: Overture
Act I: Duet: Everything is resting in sweet slumber
Act I: Trio with Chorus: Aha! Aha! He' s hiding here! Yes! Yes!
Act I: Recitative and Aria: O heaven!
Act I: Quartet: No, that is unbearable!
Act I: Finale: The sounds of rejoicing echo loudly
Act II: Aria with Chorus: But be still, shhh! Quiet, deear people
Act II: Quartet with Chorus: What do I see?
Act II: March
Act II: Arieta: When all the gods unite
Act II: Quintet: I am laying down my beloved scepter
Act II: Duet: The Devil! That is truly a hellish plot
Act III: Recitative and Aria: Night is already coming with lengthening
Act III: Aria: Damn it! Everyone is running from me
Act III: Quartet: Yes, this man filled with grace and kindness
Act III: Finale: You know already the sweet desire
“Among the singers, Kate Royal stands out for the warmth of her characterisation in the central soprano role; but the entire cast seems to have thrown itself into the project with enthusiasm.”
“Helmut Rilling’s fine sense of style makes this recording immediately accessible, with tempos that suit the music quite well. At the same time, his deft handling of the orchestra contributes another dimension to this score.”