Lachner: Catharina Cornaro

Album cover art for upc 761203781225
Label: CPO
Catalog: 777812-2
Format: CD

Peter, Mauro; Weikert, Ralf; Eser-Streit, Priska; Kaiser, Kristiane; Jansen, Timo; Klose, Wolfgang; Kirch, Daniel; Pauly, Simon; Ettmayr, Matthias; Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks; Burkhart, Andreas; Münchner Rundfunkorchester; Tschelebiew, Christian

At a time when the majority of German composers turned from the opera to the singspiel and its considerably smaller dimensions, Franz Lachner continued the tradition of the grand historical opera with Catharina Cornaro. Lachner’s once so very successful opera, last performed in Munich in 1903, was forgotten for many decades, but a few years ago the editor Volker Tosta of Stuttgart prepared a new edition of this work, its first published version, especially for the concert performance by the Munich Radio Orchestra. The action of the tragic opera is based on the true-life story of the Queen of Cyprus. Political intrigues and great passions distinguish the plot. It is difficult to believe that this musically so very appealing work, which captivated the audience at Munich’s Prince Regent Theater already with its highly atmospheric overture during the performance on which this album is based, ever could be forgotten. “With this opera the German school has been enriched with a dramatic work that has to be counted as one of the most genial and magnificent of the works belonging to it.” This is what the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung wrote after the premiere, and Max Zenger’s Geschichte der Münchner Oper of 1923 documents the pathbreaking effect of this opera when it states that Catharina Cornaro had “quite literally become Munich’s hallmark, like the two towers of the Cathedral of Our Lady.”

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