Brilliant Opera Collection: Zimmermann,Weisse Rose

Composer Udo Zimmermann
Artist Grazyna Szklarecka soprano
Frank Schiller baritone
Musica Viva Ensemble Dresden
Udo Zimmerman conductor
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 95125
EAN code 5028421951256
Release September 2015

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About this release

Telling the tragic true tale of brother and sister Hans and Sophie Scholl, Weiße Rose, with its stark storytelling and pared down orchestration, takes us back to Nazi Germany and to the prison cells of the doomed siblings hours before their execution. Condemned by the Nazis to die for leading a non-violent resistance group, Hans and Sophie reflect on their actions together in the tense and claustrophobic atmosphere of the jail. The opera takes place in real time, allowing the listener to become completely absorbed in the action. While the appalling outcome of the siblings’ fate is set in stone from the beginning, there are still marked elements of hope and faith in humanity, something that shines through right to the bitter end.

Udo Zimmermann spent three careful years working on the score. With a reduced ensemble of just 16 players, the music is expertly crafted to bring out diverse orchestral textures from the performers. Zimmermann himself is heard here conducting the work with the Musica Viva Ensemble Dresden, who offer superb support to the young soloists.

Udo Zimmermann’s opera Weisse Rose is one of the most powerful and moving dramatic works of the 20-th century. It features a brother and sister waiting their execution under Nazi prosecution, a bitter and poignant message of human courage and life force against brutal power and nihilism.
The scoring of two vocal soloists and 16 instrumentalists provides an extreme range of expression, from the wild dissonances and weird effects depicting the evil, and the elegiac moods of soul searching humanity and resignation.
An authoritative performance from 1986, conducted by the composer himself, with the two highly impressive vocal soloists Grazyna Szklarecka and Frank Schiller.
The booklet contains excellent liner notes, the libretto is available on

Recorded in 1988 in Dresden, Germany
Sung in German
Contains notes on the opera and the composer

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Weisse Rose, Scene 1: Gib Licht meinen Augen, oder ich entschlafe des Todes. Tief unter uns (Hans/Sophie)
  2. Weisse Rose, Scene 2: Mein Herz ist wach (Sophie)
  3. Weisse Rose, Scene 3: Schießt nicht! (Hans)
  4. Weisse Rose, Scene 4: Daß es das gibt (Sophie/Hans)
  5. Weisse Rose, Scene 5: Sie fahren in den Tod und singen noch und singen, singen, singen. Wo fahren die Wagen hin? (Sophie/Hans)
  6. Weisse Rose, Scene 6: Wir haben eine Mauer aufgebaut (Hans)
  7. Weisse Rose, Scene 7: Die Tür, die Tür schlägt zu (Sophie)
  8. Weisse Rose, Scene 8: Sie haben ihr das Haar geschoren (Hans)
  9. Weisse Rose, Scene 9: Einmal noch möchte ich mit dir durch unsre Wälder laufen. Der Himmel, unter dem wir standen (Sophie)
  10. Weisse Rose, Scene 10: Ein Mann liegt regungslos, erfroren… (Hans/Sophie)
  11. Weisse Rose, Scene 11: Interlude (orchestra)
  12. Weisse Rose, Scene 12: Mein Gott, ich kann nichts anderes als stammeln
  13. Weisse Rose, Scene 13: Nicht abseits stehn, weil es abseits kein Glück gibt. Mutter, Mutter! (Sophie/Hans)
  14. Weisse Rose, Scene 14: Die Vision vom Ende. Die Sonne brennt (Sophie/Hans)
  15. Weisse Rose, Scene 15: …und mein Feind könnte sagen, über den ward ich Herr. Gib Licht meinen Augen (Sophie/Hans)
  16. Weisse Rose, Scene 16: Nicht Schweigen, nicht mehr schweigen (Hans/Sophie)