Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Georg Anton Benda, Michael Schneider, Scot Weir|
Benda: Romeo und Julie / Immler, Kordes, Tereusch, McFadden, Weir; M. Schneider
18th Century curiosity well done
John Cragg | Delta(greater Vancouver), B.C Canada | 07/24/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Turning Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet into a short German Singspiel with a happy ending may seem a rather implausible undertaking, and so it turns out to be. Shakespeare's play is butchered to the point of not being recognizable. What is is gained is rather pleasant music by a minor German master, here well performed by obscure forces.Benda's music is in the contemporary style, without any radical features. In the Singspiel tradition, it is interspersed with spoken dialog, and I at least want to keep the skip button well at hand. That the music is not more profound or moving is in line with what was done with the play, so the overall effect is quite enjoyable.The two sopranos, Heidrum Kordes as Juliet and Claron McFadden as Laura(!) sing delightfully. The light tenor in Romeo's role, Scot Weir, sounds a bit wimpish, but then so is Romeo. The Bremen chorus and Frankfurt orchestra under Michael Schneider do a good, if not particularly inspired, job.The booklet contains a typically fatuous and uninformative "musicological" essay, the libretto with English translation, and a good track index. The production only lasts about 90 minutes with about 15 of those spoken, so the price, while good, is not a bargain one. Overall, if you want to explore 18th century opera by other than the major, dominant figures, this is a valuable set. Otherwise, there are better operas, though not recordings, at this price."