German Romantic Arias

German Romantic Arias

by Karita Mattila

CD

Overview

For some unfathomable reason, the operas of Carl Maria von Weber are rarely performed outside Germany. It's difficult to argue that the language barrier is the problem, given the popularity of Wagner and Strauss, and the plot lines are no more ridiculous than any number of popular Italian operas. Listening to the five magnificent Weber arias that form the centerpiece of this recital by Karita Mattila, one is left wondering how American opera companies can disregard such beautiful music. Of course, it takes a singer like Mattila to make "Ocean! Thou Mighty Monster" (from Weber's Oberon) compelling. This aria requires large reserves of vocal power and absolute clarity of tone, qualities that the Finnish soprano has in abundance. She can also sing with touching tenderness, as in "Und ob die Wolke sie verhülle" from Der Freischütz. This was Mahler's favorite opera, and the profound simplicity of Agathe's exquisite cavatina helps one to understand why -- assuming, that is, that Mahler had singers of Mattila's ilk around. In addition to the Weber selections are two by Beethoven: "Abscheulicher" from Fidelio and the concert aria "Ah! Perfido." Here Mattila sacrifices some dramatic power in order to savor the music's melodic expansiveness, but the depth of her feeling comes through nonetheless. More impressive is Mendelssohn's "Infelice," a rarely heard concert aria that suggests the composer had at least one great opera in him, if only he'd been given the chance to write it. Sir Colin Davis's conducting is full of subtlety and deep feeling, and the warm, glowing tones of the venerable Staatskapelle Dresden provide suitably stylish support for such a classy singer.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/23/2002
Label: Erato
UPC: 0809274214126
catalogNumber: 42141

Tracks

  1. Fidelio, opera, Op. 72: Abscheulicher, wo eilst du hin?... Komm, Hoffnung,
  2. Ah! perfido! . . . Per pieta, non dirmi addio, scena and aria for soprano & orchestra, Op. 65
  3. Der Freischütz, opera, J. 277 (Op. 77): Wie nahte mir der Schlummer... Leise, leise, fromm
  4. Der Freischütz, opera in 3 acts, J. 277: Und ob die Wolke sie verhülle
  5. Oberon, opera in 3 acts, J306: Ocean! thou mighty monster
  6. Euryanthe, opera in 3 acts, Op. 81 (J291): Schirmende Engelschar
  7. Euryanthe, opera in 3 acts, Op. 81 (J291): So bin ich nun verlassen
  8. Infelice, concert aria for soprano & orchestra, Op. 94

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German Romantic Arias 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yep, some of the loudest German I've heard in a while. The story lines are a bit weak, nice beat, but you can't dance to it!!! I give it a 4.