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Brilliant operatic gems – 11 short-operas with all-star casts in a complete edition
When great masters compose miniature operas, the result is – well, masterly. Mozart, Weber, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Gluck, Lortzing and D' Albert: one-act operas from these famous pens are true gems of music history – and of the EMI archives. The Electrola recordings of these 11 short operas (mostly in Singspiel form) were made in the 1970's, but thanks to their all-star casts, which are nothing short of legendary, they seem as fresh as ever. Now EMI is releasing them in a complete edition for the first time.
"I was regularly surprised to find that there are still some undiscovered little jewels among the minor works of major composers" – thus Ekkehard Pluta in the magazine Klassik heute, reporting on these small but entirely fine works when they first appeared on CD in 1998: We hear the brilliant young Mendelssohn as composer of two Singspiele that were performed in the family circle, we hear Schubert's still little-known contributions to the musical repertoire of the Vienna Volkstheater, Weber's Abu Hassan and – especially delightful – works where the composer made fun of the music scene of his day, such as Lortzing's Opernprobe or Mozart's Schauspieldirektor. In addition to the commendable rediscovery of this repertoire, the recordings derive special appeal from outstanding singers, who wittily recreate the generally light-hearted spirit of these works: singers like Nicolai Gedda, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Edda Moser, Anneliese Rothenberger, Helen Donath, Hermann Prey and Kurt Moll.
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.