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Lehár: Die Lustige Witwe / Gardiner, Studer, Skovhus, Terfel

Album Summary

>Lehár, Franz : The Merry Widow
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
This is a truly great operetta interpretation. Gardiner's approach is on an altogether more inspired plane than his rivals. In the Viennese rhythms, he shows himself utterly at home - as in the Act 2 Dance scene, where he eases the orchestra irresistibly into the famous waltz. But there are also countless instances where Gardiner provides a deliciously fresh inflexion to the score. The cast of singers is uniformly impressive.

If Cheryl Studer's 'Vilja' isn't quite as assured as some others, her captivatingly playful 'Dummer, dummer Reitersmann' is typical of a well-characterised performance. As Danilo, Boje Skovhus acquits himself well with a polished performance and he offers a natural, more human characterisation than his rivals, while Barbara Bonney is superb. Not the least inspired piece of casting comes with Bryn Terfel, who transforms himself outstandingly well into the bluff Pontevedran ambassador. As for Gardiner's personally selected chorus, they make Monteverdi to Montenegro and Pontevedra seem the most natural transition in the world. DG's recorded sound has an astonishing clarity and immediacy, as in the way the piccolos shriek out at the Widow's Act 1 entrance or in the beautiful pianissimo accompaniment to the 'Vilja-Lied'.



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Works Details

>Lehár, Franz : The Merry Widow
  • Performers: Suzanne Flowers (Soprano); Uwe Peper (Tenor); Angela Kazimierczuk (Soprano); Karl Fredriksson (Baritone); Heinz Zednik (Tenor); Lucinda Houghton (Soprano); Constanze Backes (Soprano); Rainer Trost (Tenor); Nicola Jenkin; Bo Skovhus (Voice); Donna Deam (Soprano); Barbara Bonney; Cheryl Studer (Soprano); Bryn Terfel (Voice)
  • Conductor: John Gardiner
  • Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1905