Loewe: Die drei Wünsche

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COMPOSERS: Loewe
LABELS: Capriccio
WORKS: Die drei Wünsche
PERFORMER: Franz Hawlata, Florian Prey, Hermine May, Frank Wörner, Regina Klepper; Stuttgart Choristers, South West German Radio Orchestra/Peter Falk
CATALOGUE NO: 60 074-2
Carl Loewe (1796-1869) is probably the most underrated of the German Romantics and until very recently, even the most famous of his Lieder and ballads have been generally ignored by concert artists despite their great popularity during his

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own lifetime. If his other five (unperformed) operas are anything like this Arabian Singspiel, he deserved at least some success in that field. Die drei Wünsche (The Three Wishes) received only five performances. He’d hoped it would secure a big commission for the Royal Opera in Berlin, and therefore composed music worthy of a fully-fledged opera. There is no spoken dialogue, and hardly any recitative. Instead the action is carried out

in arioso passages and in the delightful, melodious arias, ensembles, and exquisitely wrought choruses, all accompanied by richly detailed orchestration. Part of the exceptional appeal of this first recording of any Loewe opera is the fine singing, especially by soprano Regina Klepper, tenor Frank Wörner and baritone Florian Prey (son of the late Hermann). Peter Falk conducts with sympathy for Loewe’s sweetly Biedermeier style. The booklet contains a brief but useful essay,

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and though the libretto is given in German only, the English-language synopsis presents the action clearly enough. Barrymore Laurence Scherer