Cher Public

Just a cold and lonely lovely work of art

“Joined by the Collegiate Chorale Singers, Leon Botstein and the ASO perform perhaps the most popular German opera ever to have sunk into obscurity!”

  • Will

    Botstein does have a knack for taking these overlooked scores and making something significant of his revivals of them. Any project that will explore a neglected, potentially interesting opera is OK by me.

  • Krunoslav

    So who will fill the footsteps of Brazilian-German creatrix Hedy Iracema-Brügelmann and (the Met’s only exponent) Barbara Kemp?

    Deborah Voigt has done concerts of rare score with Dr. Botstein before..

    Christine Libor?

    • Camille

      Didn’t he write it for his Weib, Frau Kemp, and wasn’t she creatrix?

      • Krunoslav

        To my surprise a few years ago, Camille, she was not.

        I wish I could say I invented “Hedy Iracema-Brügelmann” ( her surname an anagram for ‘America’) but I didn’t!

    • armerjacquino

      You’ve solved a tiny mystery for me, kruno- ever since I got the Introuvables du chant Mozartien I have wondered why the photo of Kemp in the booklet showed her dressed as the Mona Lisa…

      (Sign I spend too much time on parterre: my phone wanted to correct ‘kruno’ to ‘Krunoslav’. Yikes)

  • Oh man, “Mona Lisa”? I saw it once at the Wiener Volksoper. Guess what -- you can’t see the woman’s oft-mentioned enigmatic smile if you sit back any further than the third row. I remember the music as being rather undistinguished, the final act as quite silly. On top of it all Max von Schillings was a nasty, Nazi shitheel.

    • papopera

      Being a Nazi has nothing to do with this opera. Try it again, its a rich sumptuous score, I love it.

  • Camille

    Ten or more years ago I overturned this work @ NYPL and dutifully slogged home with the score and some recording from somewhere. There was not a lot to love. An hysterical scene toward the end for the purported “Mona Lisa”, but there is a very nice little duet für Mann und Weib, a recording of which is made with Inge Borkh and Alexander Welitsch, which is sfortunatamente, not on YouTubers. Pity, as it was about the best part of it.

    This gets my hopes up that Dr. Botstein will one day bring us home Die Könegin von Saba, of K. Goldmarck, one of the only stones left unturned by him at this date.
    So, there’s hope!

    • Krunoslav

      I’m waiting for Karel Weis’ “Der polnische Jude- a real schonda ( not SCWHWANDA) apparently.

    • danpatter

      There was a fine recording of the Goldmark opera made back about 1980, with Siegfried Jerusalem, Klara Takacs, Veronika Kincses, et al., under Adam Fischer. It was quite good, overall, and I enjoyed listening to it for years. It’s certainly time for another!

    • I half-remember Botstein has programmed Goldmark’s symphonic works in the past. I can’t imagine why he hasn’t given Die Königin von Saba or Das Heimchen am Herd a go, since it would seem to be right in the middle of his strike zone.

      I would also think Milhaud’s Christophe Colomb would be a natural for him -- a significant opera by a first-class composer and a love-him-or-hate-him librettist which was first fully appreciated in Germany. Perhaps that will be saved for some future “Poulenc and his World” festival.

      If I ran the circus, I’d choose Marij Kogoj’s “Crne Maske”, with follow-on concerts featuring music by Alois Haba and some of his pupils (Slavko Osterc, Ljubica Maric, Viktor Ullman, Dragutin Colic, Necil Kazim Akses and Milan Ristic), with perhaps some extra chamber music concerts featuring music by the collection of emigre composers known as the “Ecole de Paris” (Martinu, Tansman, Harsanyi, Mihalovici and Alexander Tcherepnin).

  • Don’t get me wrong: there’s tremendous things in Queens.

  • MontyNostry

    If Wikipedia is correct, maybe this is a reason why Schillings has fallen into disfavour:
    “Max von Schillings was an opponent of the Weimar Republic and a declared anti-Semite. The expulsion and exclusion of important Jewish and free-thinking artists from the Prussian Academy of the Arts began during his time as President -- some artists affected were Käthe Kollwitz, Heinrich Mann, Ricarda Huch, Alfred Döblin, Thomas Mann, Max Liebermann, Alfons Paquet, Franz Werfel and Jakob Wassermann. He laid off Arnold Schoenberg from the teaching staff of the Academy, in contravention of Schoenberg’s contract and in 1933, he ordered Franz Schreker, the leader of masterclasses in composition at the Academy, into early retirement.”

  • Ilka Saro