Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Kálmán: Die Herzogin von Chicago (The Duchess Of Chicago)
Listen to Samples
FLEDERMAUS, MERRY WIDOW AND NOW THE DUTCHESS OF CHICAGO
Maria I. Martinez | Miami, USA | 03/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The plot of this funny operetta is a "love story" featuring a rich, modern, billion-dollar American-girl who arrives Europe in the 1920s and falls in love with an old fashioned European Prince, whose country including the Prince and his Castle, the oil wells, railways, etc. are bought by this young "Lady from the new World" Miss Mary Lloyd, who also is accompanied by her billionaire friends of the Young Ladies' American Eccentric Club of New York (Miss Astor, Miss Carnegie, Miss Rockefeller, Miss Ford, among other high society girls) and a crowd of Charleston and Fox-trot dancers. The struggle between the New and the Old (way of dancing and music) is emphasized by making use of the most melodic and finest "American Jazz and Fox-Trots" and the best "contemporary" and richly orchestrated classical operetta music (waltz and czardas) I have listened in my life. This work was composed in 1928 by the gifted German-Hungarian Emmerich Kalman, whose compositions were smashing hits after the 1st World War, and which I had not the opportunity to listen until I bought this recording based on the "five star" recommendations of prior Amazon buyers comments. Kalman's music is not so well-known today (as of J. Strauss or Lehar or Berstein`s) since it was almost suppressed by the nazis during the Third Reich, who considered it as degenerated ("Entartete") not for its quality but due to Jewish origins of Mr. Kalman, who refused to hide, even with the help of the Nazis who admired his music, his origins and fortunately emigrated with his family to the USA. This terrible fact also helped to "hide" and avoid the "over-play" the sparkling music of Kalman, and keep his legacy until its re-discovery by the young audiences of the "New World" in the Y2K and forever thanks to the DECCA Team in charge of this huge recopilation of the music that was suppressed during the Third Reich. If you expect to buy a two CD-Recording with one hit after the other, beautifully sung (in German) accompanied with refined music, singing and choruses, featuring a symphonic orchestra alternating with jazz-bands, which also dare to play an excerpt of Beethoven's Fifth "Fox-Trot", this is a must-buy for you. Very Important Warning! This work is a masterpiece if you approach to it expecting to enjoy a modern fully melodic "light" composition which is somewhere between the operetta and the best Broadway/Hollywood musicals (such as the compositions of Berstein's West Side Story, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and Roger & Hammerstein's Sound of Music and the King and I). After listening twice to this excellent "operetta", masterly conducted by the first-class Maestro Bonynge and wonderful singers/actors, the music will sound so familiar to you that the Waltzes of Kalman (such as the beautiful "Wiener Music" sung first by the Prince and later superbly by the American protagonist Mary Lloyd) and his Orchestral Fox and Slow-Trots (among others "Ladies from America", "A Little Slow-fox with Mary", "In Chicago do you know what is what?"), and the wonderful love duet "Rose of the Prairie") will be part of your musical life, and will sound later to you very familiar, since this music and its orchestral arrangements had strong influence in several "contemporary" compositions, thanks to german-jewish composers (such as Weill, Kern, Krenek, Korngold, Kalman) and several other talented American composers (Bernstein, Rogers, among several others) who created some of the Best Broadway's Musicals and Hollywood's soundtracks of the 40s, 50s, 60s. If you speak and understand some German, which is not a pre-requisite to enjoy this recording (since the libretto has also an English and French translation), you will love even more this work, since the excellent singers, who are also great actors, make you believe you are within the play, and keep you most of the time smiling and laughing with the sparkling plot and due to the funny "American-German" and "Slave-German" pronunciation of the Americans and Eastern-Europeans, respectively."
The Best I've bought since The Magic Flute
firstname.lastname@example.org | Seattle | 12/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let me start of by saying I rarely pay attention to Five Star reviews because people tend to give anything they like Five Stars- however- this is fully deserving of Five Stars- it's simply incredible.Like the previous reviewer I bought it out of curiousity, and cannot stop listening to it. I was up until 2am the night I bought it because it is fantastic!The score is incredible. Very lush, very romantic at times, and just plain FUN! FUN! FUN! all of the time! It has the Fox Trot, Charleston, tons of choral numbers- and there's even music during some of the dialogue.Three years ago I bought; The Abduction from the Seraglio, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, and finally The Magic Flute. They were among my first ten operas- well I have not liked anything as much as Die Herzogin Von Chicago since I bought those Mozart operas.Bonyage assembled a spectacular cast and the orchestra plays with power, grace, and brilliance. To me- music is first and foremost to entertain-and Die Herzogin Von Chicago never lets up. It's one great "number" after another.If you want GREAT ENTERTAINMENT through INCREDIBLE music- I highly suggest purchasing this- you won't regret it.I just can't stop listening to it."
John McKendrick | UK | 10/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a joy this recording is. Wonderful lush tunes well played and sung to sparkling orchestratons. Includes dialogue but this is mostly at the end of tracks so can be easily disposed of if desired. Congratulations to Mr Bonynge and his team."