Weigl: Die Schweizer Familie
This work is a charmer by any standards. Beethoven considered it to be one of the great masterpieces of his day. It is a delightful example of the singspiel. The tunes are gorgeous and the orchestration just about perfect. Although there is an awful lot of spoken dialog, the work is a winner. The plot is about an extremely homesick Swiss family living in Germany. To cure their daughter's madness, a fake Swiss village is constructed. It is slight, it is absurd, and it is genuinely touching. The cast is a strong one, especially Marilia Vargas as Emmeline, the daughter. (Somewhat oddly, her "mad scene" is a spoken Melodrama with a virtuoso part for clarinet. I am willing to bet that when composer Weigl created an Italian adaptation some years after the premiere, this passage was sung !) The sound recording, notes, texts and translation are exemplary as we have come to expect from the Guild label.