Notes & Reviews:
Somewhat surprisingly, given the modern-day penchant for reviving Baroque-era opera obscurities, this German sung, Vienna, 1944 definitively non-historically informed performance remains the only extant recording of the Baroque Italian composer Giovanni Battista Bononcini's (1670-1747) one-act opera, Polifemo, which is based on Ovid's Metamorphoses. Its cast includes German bass Herbert Alsen (1906-78), Jetty Topitz-Feiler, Anton Dermota and Alfred Poell. Max Schönherr conducts the Grosses Orchester der RAVAG.
American Record Guide, January/February 2015
The performance is sung in German. The singing is outstanding. I have a particular fondness for tenor Anton Dermota. Here he is in prime form. He's the star here. He is a perfect match for the lovely soprano of Topitz-Feller. The distinctive baritone of Poell is a delight. The giant Polifemo is portrayed by the gigantic bass of Alsen, with a real comic interpretation. Common to all the singers is the clarity of the German, a real feeling for the text and the characters. Performed before the rash of "authentic" interpretations with period instruments, there is a hearty excitement combined with much grace. This performance is a real treasure.
Recording information: Wien (1944).
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Works DetailsBononcini, Giovanni : Polifemo, opera
- Conductor: Max Schonherr
- Ensemble: Grosses Orchester der RAVAG
- Running Time: 3 min. 22 sec.
- Period Time: Baroque
- Form: Opera/Operetta
- Written: 1702