Notes & Reviews:
Once again Bernius lives up to his name as the rediscoverer of unknown masterpieces from the Romantic era. Just in time for the Franz Ignaz Danzi's 250th anniversary, he has snatched Danzi's Der Berggeist from an undeserved oblivion. This opera, based on the folkloric tale of Rübezahl, is an especially notable contribution to early Romantic opera in Germany.
American Record Guide, September/October 2013
Franz Ignaz Danzi (1763-1826) is best known, if at all, for chamber music, especially with woodwinds. The son of a famous cellist, he also played the cello, conducted, and composed a large number of works. He knew Mozart and encouraged the young Carl Maria von Weber. His opera Der Berggeist (The Mountain Spirit) premiered in 1813. He called it a romantic opera, one of the first works so designated. The plot involves the attempt of Rübezahl, the prince of the Gnomes, to interact with humans to rescue his queen from a punishment of a century-long sleep. The supernatural nature of the story, in addition to its setting in nature and its love story, mark it as indeed a romantic work. He employs a small orchestra, producing a chamber music quality, and he makes great use of instrumental solos, especially woodwinds, to describe the emotions of the characters as well as the natural phenomena of the setting - certainly a trait of romantic music. Frieder Bernius conducts the performance, using the orchestra and chorus he founded. Apparently Bernius has been a champion of reviving little-known German music, and he presides lovingly over this score. The roles require little virtuosic singing; all the soloists sing well, especially the tenors Colin Balzer and Robert Buckland and the baritone Patrick Pobeschin. The CD is accompanied by an informative booklet.
International Record Review, September 2013
[Danzi] has a good theatrical instinct and a feeling for character and situation. These are all well guided by Frieder Bernius, who clearly believes in the work and conveys his enthusiasm to his forces. If not a neglected masterpiece, this is an attractive and well-wrought opera, well worth hearing.
MusicWeb International, 15th March 2014
Frieder Bernius directs with imagination and attention to detail. He has been doing great things in Stuttgart and continues the list of accomplishment here. He has a fine, youthful cast around him, equipped with refined, clear often Mozartian-sounding voices. There are no outstanding singers, as such, but then it's a real ensemble piece.
Recording information: Musikhochschule Stuttgart (04/19/2012/04/20/2012).
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Works DetailsDanzi, Franz : Der Berggeist, opera
- Conductor: Frieder Bernius
- Ensemble: Stuttgart Hofkapelle
- Notes: Musikhochschule Stuttgart (04/19/2012/04/20/2012)
- Running Time: 5 min. 5 sec.
- Period Time: Classical
- Form: Opera/Operetta