All products and recordings are chosen independently by our editorial team. This review contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Please read our affiliates FAQ page to find out more.

Flury: Die helle nacht

Daniel Ochea, Julia Sophie Wagner, Magnus Vigilius; Gottingen Symphony Orchestra/Paul Mann (Toccata Classics)

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

Die helle Nacht
Daniel Ochea, Julia Sophie Wagner, Magnus Vigilius; Gottingen Symphony Orchestra/Paul Mann
Toccata Classics TOCC 0580   106:49 mins (2 discs)


Despite support from leading musicians in his lifetime, the Swiss composer Richard Flury (1896-1967) languishes in obscurity. This studio recording confirms the exceptional quality of the second of his four operas, Die helle Nacht: a dark and at times macabre piece, this had just one broadcast performance in 1935, and still awaits a staging. Set in Paris, 1514, its central character is a Doctor with an almost pathological jealousy of his wife Solange, who 15 years earlier had a night of infidelity with a hedonistic Knight. Chance presents him an opportunity to take revenge upon her lover. At first he seizes it, but ultimately relents, allowing the Knight to live. The opera ends on a note of redemption and renewal.

Composed 1932-35, the opera’s rich and complex late-Romantic idiom recalls Strauss, Korngold and even momentarily Berg. The instrumentation is not enormous, yet Flury’s soundworld is lavish and his orchestration virtuosic. There’s a lyricism to his vocal lines, too. Daniel Ochoa delivers a keenly etched psychological portrayal of the Doctor, while Magnus Vigilius’s buoyant Heldentenor makes a brave shot at the role of the Knight. Julia Sophie Wagner is an expressive Solange. Impressive standards from both chorus and orchestra, and Paul Mann’s conducting has vitality.

George Hall

More reviews

Weinberg Symphony No. 20

Tchaikovsky Symphonies 4 & 5

Tchaikovsky • Chopin

Rossini Complete Overtures

Prokofiev Symphonies Nos 5 & 6


Mozart Piano Concertos