Die Nibelungen: Siegfried & Kriemhild's Revenge (o
Label: Pan classics
Catalog: PC 10345
The film director Fritz Lang cast Gottfried Huppertz (1887-1937) in several of his films before asking him to write the original score for “Die Nibelungen” (1924), which he composed using the shooting script as a silent libretto. It was Huppertz’s first major project and his mastery of orchestration is nothing short of remarkable. Huppertz wrote in a lush, late-Romantic idiom. With “Die Nibelungen”, he evokes Wagner's take on Teutonic mythology through a highly lyrical and orchestrally expansive score that resists being imitative. The music echoes Wagner without attempting to mimic it. At the same time, Huppertz’s musical language resembles Alexander von Zemlinsky, Franz Schreker, Walter Braunfels and Eugene D’Albert. As one of the first composers of serious music for the screen, Huppertz’s importance for elevating film music to the status of art is hard to exaggerate. Though he died in 1937, his influence is clearly felt in the film scores work of Korngold, Waxman and Max Steiner. The present 4-CD-set offers Huppertz’s complete original score for Lang’s “Die Nibelungen”, in total four and a half hours of music, performed by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony under the baton of Frank Strobel, Germany’s leading film music conductor.