Why Is Such Beautiful Music Overlooked ? Gotta Hear This
Rachel Garret | Beverly Hills | 02/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Englebert Humperdinck was and still is in most cases, an obscure composer of the Romantic era and turn of the century. He was overshadowed by the more celebrated Gustav Mahler, Jean Sibelius, Antonin Dvorak, etc. Humperdinck's music has been downplayed, regarded as romantic chamber music, charming, pretty, lyric, but insubstanstial. There is nothing insubstanstial about his music. One must truly lose one's self in the music to discover the depth and meaning. Humperdinck's name (which sounds like a character in a fairy tale or fantasy novel, it was in fact the name of the vain, egotistic and spoiled "evil" prince in William Goldman's The Princess Bride) could throw some people off. Humperdinck's music has fictional qualities, and he truly puts his imagination into flight through orchestra. But this is why he is so great.The Fairy Tale Music is a collection of music he composed for different fairy tales, such as "The Blue Bird" "The Royal Children" and "Sleeping Beauty". Although everyone is familiar with Sleeping Beauty, "The Blue Bird and "Royal Children" are lesser known, obscure Danish/German/Finnish fantasies. The music of the Blue Bird is exquisite, elegant, mystic, inspirational, a combination of innocence and yearning. The Royal Children is stately, romantic, impressive. The Sleeping Beauty has been used by other Romantic composers- Tchaikovsky made an entire ballet with great music, and either Saint Saens or Faure composed "Mother Goose" music featuring a Pavane for the Sleeping Beauty. But Humperdinck's treatment of the Sleeping Beauty is poised, expressive, and very much in lines with Tchaikovsky, except in a smaller frame. To get his will be a delight. Children and adults will enjoy classical music that is right along the lines of Sergei Prokofie'vs "Peter and the Wolf", Saint Saens "Carnival of the Animals" and even Mozart's Magic Flute."