Schubert: Alfonso und Estrella

Composer Franz Schubert
Artist Peter Schreier tenor
Edith Mathis soprano
Hermann Prey baritone
Theo Adam baritone
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau tenor
Rundfunkchor Berlin
Staatskapelle Berlin
Otmar Suitner conductor
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 94689
EAN code 5028421946894
Release October 2013

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About this release

Franz Schubert was a prolific composer, perhaps best known for his symphonies and chamber music, but he also turned his hand to Romantic opera. Despite having no experience of seeing his theatrical works performed on stage, Schubert’s enthusiasm for the genre was not dampened. In 1821, in close collaboration with librettist Franz von Schober, the composer began work on Alfonso und Estrella. He would never see the opera performed during his lifetime, and although it was premiered by Franz Lizst in Weimar in 1854, the work – criticised for its lack of dramatic action – would never make it into the core repertoire.

While the opera would not necessarily triumph onstage from a dramatic point of view, a recording is the perfect medium in which to revel in the charming lyricism of the work. This special recording from 1978 brought the opera out of neglect, boasting an impressive list of singers. Schreier is praised for his ‘elegant tones and graceful phrasing’ (Gramophone) in the role of Alfonso, and Mathis brings warmth and sensitivity to the role of Estrella. The cast list also boasts internationally acclaimed baritone, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, whose duet with Herman Prey – in which their voices unite ‘in consummate artistry’ (Gramophone)– is undoubtedly a highlight of the recording.

Other information:
- This 1978 recording is the first issue of the opera, presenting the strongest cast possible: Edith Mathis, Hermann Prey, Peter Schreier, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Eberhard Büchner, Theo Adam, voices in their full glory and bloom, expertly supported by the Staatskapelle Berlin conducted by Otmar Suitner.
- During his whole (short) life Franz Schubert tried to gain public success by writing operas in the then popular Italian style of Rossini. Sadly his breakthrough never came, and his operas, many of which were not completed, were never performed during his lifetime.
- Alfonso und Estrella contains vintage Schubert: lyricism, charm, and his godly melodic gift, more than compensating a certain lack of dramatic action.
- Contains liner notes and synopsis.
- Libretti available at www.brilliantclassics.com.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Alfonso und Estrella: Overture. Andante – Allegro
  2. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 1 Introduction “Still noch decket uns die Nacht” (Chorus, Alto, Tenor)
  3. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 2 Aria “Sei mir gegrüßt, o Sonne!” (Froila)
  4. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 3 Chorus and Ensemble “Versammelt Euch, Brüder” (Chorus, A maiden, A youth, Froila)
  5. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 4 Duet “Geschmückt von Glanz und Siegen” (Froila, Alfonso)
  6. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 5 Recitative “Es ist dein streng Gebot” (Alfonso, Froila)
  7. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 5 Aria “Schon, wenn es beginnt zu tagen” (Alfonso)
  8. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 6 Recitative “Du rührst mich, Teurer, sehr” (Froila, Alfonso)
  9. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 6 Duet “Schon schleichen meine Späher” (Froila, Alfonso)
  10. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 7 Chorus “Zur Jadg, zur Jagd!” (Women’s chorus)
  11. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 7 Aria with Chorus “Es schmückt die weiten Säle” (Estrella, Women’s chorus)
  12. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 8 Recitative “Verweile, o Prinzessin!” (Adolfo, Estrella)
  13. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 8 Aria “Doch im Getümmel der Schlacht” (Adolfo)
  14. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 9 Duet “Ja gib, vernimm mein Flehen” (Adolfo, Estrella)
  15. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 1: No. 10 Finale “Glänzende Waffe den Krieger erfreut” (Chorus, Adolfo, Mauregato, Estrella)

Disk 2

  1. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 11, Recitative “O sing mir, Vater” (Alfonso, Froila)
  2. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 11, Aria “Der Jäger ruhte hingegossen” (Froila)
  3. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 12, Recitative “Wie rühret mich dein herrlicher Gesang” (Alfonso, Froila)
  4. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 12, Duet “Von Fels und Wald umrungen” (Estrella, Alfonso)
  5. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 13, Recitative “Wer bist du, holdes Wesen” (Alfonso, Estrella)
  6. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 13, Aria “Wenn ich dich Holde sehe” (Alfonso)
  7. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 14, Duet “Freundlich bist du mir erschienen” (Estrella, Alfonso)
  8. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 15, Aria “Könnt ich ewig hier verweilen” (Estrella)
  9. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 16, Duet “Laß dir als Erinnrungszeichen” (Alfonso, Estrella)
  10. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 17, Chorus and Ensemble “Stille, Freunde, seht euch vor!” (Men’s Chorus, Adolfo)
  11. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 18, Chorus and Aria “Wo ist sie, was kommt ihr zu künden?” (Mauregato, Men’s Chorus)
  12. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 19, Ensemble “Die Prinzessin ist erschienen!” (Men’s Chorus, Mauregato, Estrella)
  13. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 20, Duet and Chorus “Darf ich dein Kind umarmen?” (Estrella, Mauregato, Men’s Chorus)
  14. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 21, Aria “Herrlich auf des Berges Höhen” (Estrella)
  15. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 2: No. 22, Finale “Sag, wo ist er hingekommen” (Mauregato, Estrella, Chief bodyguard, Chorus)

Disk 3

  1. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 23, Introduction. Allegro
  2. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 24, Duet and Chorus “Hörst du rufen, hörst du lärmen?” (A maiden, A youth, Women’s Chorus)
  3. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 25, Duet “Du wirst mir nicht entrinnen!” (Adolfo, Estrella)
  4. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 26, Trio and Chorus “Hilfe! – Welche Stimme!” (Estrella, Alfonso, Adolfo, Men’s Chorus)
  5. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 27, Duet “Doch nun werde deinem Retter” (Alfonso, Estrella)
  6. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 28, Recitative “Ja ich, ich bin gerettet” (Estrella, Alfonso)
  7. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 28, Duet “Schön und herrlich seh ich’s tagen” (Alfonso, Estrella)
  8. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 29, Duet and Chorus “Wehe, meines Vaters Scharen” (Estrella, Alfonso, Men’s Chorus)
  9. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 30, Ensemble “Sie haben das Rufen vernommen” (Men’s Chorus, Alfonso)
  10. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 31, Recitative and Ensemble “Was geht hier vor” (Froila, Alfonso, Estrella, Men’s Chorus)
  11. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 32, Aria “Wo finde ich nur den Ort” (Mauregato)
  12. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 33, Duet “Kein Geist, ich bin am Leben” (Froila, Mauregato)
  13. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 34, Trio and Finale “Empfange nun aus meiner Hand” (Froila, Mauregato, Estrella)
  14. Alfonso und Estrella, Act 3: No. 34, Was hör ich, welche Klänge?” (Mauregato, Froila, Estrella, Alfonso, Adolfo, A Maiden, A Youth, Chorus)