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Nicolai: The Merry Wives of Windsor / Frick, Mathis, Putz, Litz, Wunderlich. Heger

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Notes & Reviews:

When Otto Nicolai took up a position at the Vienna Court Opera in 1841, he had already enjoyed resounding success in Italy. The turbulent comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor was to be this German-language masterpiece: it combines an Italian flourish in the melodies with elements of the German singspiel and a pinch of French esprit. The 1964 Electrola recording likewise gamered much praise from the critics.

The Electrola Collection is a series from EMI Classics that celebrates the historic record label, Electrola. Electrola was part of the EMI Classics unit in Germany best known for their rich catalog, masterful artists and the iconic gramophone trademark. This second edition features eleven captivating titles including Otto Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor, Joseph Haydn's The Creation and Rene Kollo sings Wagner and Strauss.

With the recording it is difficult to find serious fault. The men are uniformly superb: Gottlob Frick an unmatched, massive-voiced Falstaff, Fritz Wunderlich as ardent, godlike Fenton, and one must pay tribute to Edith Mathis in an early appearance as a sweet, confident and characterful Anne Page.


Glad to See it Back
I wore the grooves flat on my LP during the 60s and 70s. It is a wonderful selection of choral and vocal numbers from the opera and the singing, as the Gramophone review says, is excellent. I also appreciated the orchestral playing, which was stylish, and the conducting, which was spirited but not rushed. My memory is that the sound was of good quality as well. I'm looking forward to owning it on CD.
Submitted on 01/31/13 by gpcsdad 
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