Der Groß-admiral

Album cover art for upc 761203513321
Label: CPO
Catalog: 555133-2

Hirtreiter, Andreas; Schirmer, Ulf; Dames, Lavinia; Michie, Jonathan; Wagner, Julia Sophie; Fritsch, Anett; Ettmayr, Matthias; Blasius, Martin; Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks; Berchtold, Bernhard; Münchner Rundfunkorchester

Ulf Schirmer recorded Albert Lortzing’s Regina in 2011, and now yet another discovery from this composer’s opera oeuvre of a good dozen works is ready for release: the comic opera Zum Groß-Admiral (The Grand Admiral). Today Lortzing’s name continues to appear in the opera performance repertoire mostly only in association with Zar und Zimmermann or Der Wildschütz, but during his lifetime he was known far and wide not only as a composer but also as a librettist, actor, singer, and conductor. It was Lortzing himself who wrote the libretto for Zum Groß-Admiral, his tenth full-length opera. Composed in Vienna in 1847 and premiered in Leipzig during the same year, this work, like Regina, was born of the spirit of revolution – and completely vanished from performance programs after the revolts of 1848-49. Lortzing, an ardent admirer of Mozart, paid homage to him with the full-length work Szenen aus Mozarts Leben in 1832, and his veneration for this Viennese classical composer is frequently in audible evidence in his music. Already the overture to Zum Groß-Admiral sparkles with lightness and performance joy, and the ensemble scenes as well as the solos and choral scenes continue in the tradition of the mirthful virtuosity of the corresponding scenes in Mozart’s operas while representing supreme challenges for the soloists and the chorus.

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