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Great Comedy Overtures - from Barber of Baghdad; Donna Diana; Fra Diavolo; Martha; Mignon; Zampa; Susanna's Secret et al. / Royal Scottish Nat'l Orch., Friedel

Album Summary

>Hérold, Ferdinand : Zampa
>Nicolai, Otto : Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (The Merry Wives of Windsor), overture to the opera
>Wolf-Ferrari, Ermanno : Il segreto di Susanna
>Thomas, Ambroise : Overture to "Mignon"
>Reznicek, Emil Nikolaus von : Donna Diana, overture to the opera
>Flotow, Friedrich v. : Martha
>Auber, Daniel-François-Esprit : Fra Diavolo Overture
>Lortzing, Albert : Zar und Zimmermann
>Cimarosa, Domenico : Il matrimonio segreto
>Adam, Adolphe : Si j'étais roi
>Cornelius, Peter : Der Barbier von Bagdad
Conductor Ensembles Composers
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Notes & Reviews:

The flourishing genre of the comic opera had its roots in 18th c. Italian opera buffa, whose irrepressible brio was soon taken up outside the country's borders. In France it produced opéra comique and operetta, and in German-speaking countries Spieloper and Viennese operetta. Some of the world's most popular comic opera overtures, filled with gorgeous tunes, brilliant orchestration and race-to-the-finish endings, are presented here. They include staples of the concert repertoire such as Hérold's dramatic Zampa, the textual delicacy of Wolf-Ferrari's Il segreto di Susanna and the vivid color of Lortzing's Zar und Zimmermann. The American Conductor, Boston University graduate and multi-first prize competition winner Lance Friedel, here conducting the RNSO, currently enjoys an active career in Europe and the US.

American Record Guide, July/August 2015
The conductor is a young American. The orchestra is excellent and beautifully recorded. Zampa and Donna Diana are favorites of mine, and both were recorded by both Leonard Bernstein and Erich Kunzel. The Kunzel was on Telarc. Many of the other overtures are also appealing, since they usually include melodies we know from the operas. Note that this is available on a Blu-Ray audio disc as well (43).

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland (01/14/2014-01/16/2014).



Reviews

Comedy Tonight
Any skeptics or naysayers will be won over by this excellent release. It’s a very generous (79 + minutes), thoughtfully conceived and sequenced compilation of 11 seminal curtain raisers. For sure, just about all of these enormously popular chestnuts have been covered countless times before by the likes of Ansermet, Bernstein, Fiedler, Kunzel, Marriner, Paray, Wolff and even Richard Strauss. Despite this, Maestro Friedel successfully holds his own amidst this august company. All of the overtures included here receive exhilarating, idiomatic readings filled with all manner of interpretive insights. The RSNO provides playing that is uniformly vivid and alert. The sparkle quotient is high. As an extra added incentive, this grouping includes the only currently viable options, outside of the complete opera recordings, for the once extremely popular overtures to “Martha” and “Zar und Zimmerman”. The sound is superb. All the hallmarks of a quintessential Tim Handley production are present: a realistic, three dimensional soundstage, abundant detail and accurate low frequency oomph. Well written, informative liner notes by Paul Conway. A winner in every respect.


Submitted on 05/15/15 by Allen Cohen 
Great Comedy Overtures - fine performances
I welcome this new disc, which contains overtures to 11 comic operas. I can do no better than quote the opening paragraph of annotator Paul Conway's excellent and highly informative program notes from the booklet to explain to readers the contents of this CD: "Comic opera originated in eighteenth-century Italy as opera buffa and was soon taken up in France as opéra comique and, later, French operetta. Other countries assimilated these Italian and French forms into their own musical traditions, resulting in, for example, the Viennese operetta and the German Spieloper. This disc presents popular overtures to comic operas from all the aforementioned distinctive genres."
Chronologically the earliest composer represented on the disc is Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801), whose opera "Il matrimonio segreto" (The Secret Marriage) is the most popular of the 65 operas that he wrote. Chronologically the latest is the Venetian-born Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876-1948), who was born of a German father and an Italian mother (née Ferrari). Ermanno added Ferrari to his official surname in 1895. The spirited overture to his one-act comedy of 1909 called "Il segreto di Susanna" (Susanna's Secret) is simply delightful. Susanna's secret is that she smokes; her husband smells cigarette smoke in the house and assumes that she has a lover - more assumptions and accusations follow, but all misunderstandings are eventually resolved.
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra under conductor Lance Friedel plays splendidly, and the recorded sound on my stereo is excellent. If this collection of overtures suits you, then I recommend that you buy it.
Ted Wilks

Submitted on 05/21/15 by Ted Wilks 
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Works Details

>Hérold, Ferdinand : Zampa
  • Conductor: Lance Friedel
  • Ensemble: Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland (01/14/2014-01/16/2014)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1831

>Nicolai, Otto : Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (The Merry Wives of Windsor), overture to the opera
  • Conductor: Lance Friedel
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland (01/14/2014-01/16/2014)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Wolf-Ferrari, Ermanno : Il segreto di Susanna :: Overture
  • Conductor: Lance Friedel
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland (01/14/2014-01/16/2014)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 12/04/1909

>Thomas, Ambroise : Overture to "Mignon"
  • Conductor: Lance Friedel
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland (01/14/2014-01/16/2014)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Reznicek, Emil Nikolaus von : Donna Diana, overture to the opera
  • Conductor: Lance Friedel
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland (01/14/2014-01/16/2014)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral

>Flotow, Friedrich v. : Martha :: Overture
  • Conductor: Lance Friedel
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland (01/14/2014-01/16/2014)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1847

>Auber, Daniel-François-Esprit : Fra Diavolo Overture
  • Conductor: Lance Friedel
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland (01/14/2014-01/16/2014)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral

>Lortzing, Albert : Zar und Zimmermann :: Overture
  • Conductor: Lance Friedel
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland (01/14/2014-01/16/2014)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1837

>Cimarosa, Domenico : Il matrimonio segreto :: Overture
  • Conductor: Lance Friedel
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland (01/14/2014-01/16/2014)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1792

>Adam, Adolphe : Si j'étais roi :: Overture
  • Conductor: Lance Friedel
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland (01/14/2014-01/16/2014)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1852

>Cornelius, Peter : Der Barbier von Bagdad :: Overture
  • Conductor: Lance Friedel
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland (01/14/2014-01/16/2014)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1858