• CPO7777492 Katalognummer
  • 761203774920 EAN
  • 2CD Format
  • 2016 Utgivelsesr

Schirmer, Ulf

Libor, Christiane | Scherwitzl, Laura | Schukoff, Nikolai | Simon, Ralf | Peter, Mauro | Eberl, Christian | Bergmann, Rupert

Lehar, Franz

Mnchner Rundfunkorchester



Lehar, Franz: Giuditta - Musikalische Komödie in fünf Bildern

Libretto: Paul Knepler & Fritz Löhner-Beda; Dialogregie: Ralf Eger


Franz Lehár's Swan Song

»It was a fairy tale.« It is with these memorable words that Octavio, the hero in Franz Lehár's Giuditta, takes his hat and exits. His utterance not only marks the sad ending of this operetta, Lehár's last, but also the final moment of an entire genre, given the fact that he hardly knows how to answer his own question: »Where is the song of love? It faded away long ago.« However, the premiere of the work on 20 January 1934 at the Vienna State Opera continued to qualify as a sensational media event and was broadcast live on 120 radio stations. Jarmila Novotná performed the title role, Richard Tauber sang the male lead, and the composer was the conductor. The press mentioned the Caruso prices that had to be paid for the few tickets still available – for it was »sold out – and then some.« Everybody in Vienna wanted to be present when the doors of the opera at along last opened to admit Franz Lehár. As in other later works by Lehár, Giuditta eliminates the happy ending otherwise typical of the entertaining genre of the operetta: here Lehár and his librettists endeavored to weave elements of the grand opera into the operetta. In 1910 the composer himself had predicted »that between the opera and the operetta, as far as artistic quality is concerned, there will soon be no more dividing wall.« In Giuditta, in keeping with the occasion, the Lehár melody wears orchestral attire that is splendid and almost pompous. You can look forward to a wealth of beautiful melodies, above all Octavio's aria »Freunde, das Leben ist lebenswert« and the title heroine's aria »Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiß.« Throughout his life Lehár regarded Giuditta as his »dearest child. I put something into Giuditta that was created out of my innermost depths. I concerned myself with the design of a particularly meticulous instrumentation, such as the rich and so very wonderful orchestra of the State Opera demands, and with the effective treatment of the voice parts and the elegant refinement of the themes. With Giuditta I gave my best.«


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