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Lortzing: Der Waffenschmied

Lortzing: Der Waffenschmied

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Lortzing’s Der Waffenschmied is a lighthearted and superbly crafted opera that bridges Mozart’s Singspiele and early Wagner. Despite its relative popularity, there are surprisingly few complete recordings of it around. How lovely to change that with this new recording from the very place for which the opera was written and where it was premiered in 1846: Vienna’s Theater an der Wien – and a wonderful cast that includes the stalwart Günther Groissböck and the supremely promising Miriam Kutrowatz to boot!

REVIEW:

Lortzing’s operetta The Armorer of Worms (Waffenschmied, 1846) is a transitional work that led to the beginnings of the Viennese comic operetta. This new recording only includes the music, recorded in a performance in October 2021 at the Theatre an der Wien. The dialog sequences (which would have been appreciated) probably included much more of the Stadinger character usually performed by a leading and robust comic actor (much like Falstaff). The detailed booklet includes texts and translations.

The music, in general, is very enjoyable. It seems to be a blend of late-Mozart and Haydn, heavily influenced by Beethoven. Sometimes it is chamber-like, with recitatives accompanied by the orchestra. After a rather slow and somber Overture, each character is introduced with a separate solo. These are pleasant, but without the dialog I had a difficult time understanding character connections. The music in Act 2, however, is lively and the pace really picks up. There are some bright solos and choruses, the chorus comments on events, and at the reconciliation of Stadinger, the Count, and Marie there is general rejoicing and flag waving. If it weren’t for Act II I would be dissuaded from listening to this again, but the music and characterizations are effective.

The cast lends the proper tone to all this nonsense. The chorus is hearty and the orchestra plays well. The sound is good and the excisions of dialog and audience noise are skillfully done.

-- American Record Guide (Elliot Fisch)

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 2
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Capriccio New Releases
    • UPC/Barcode: 845221054902
    • Item Number: C5490