Weber: Silvana

Our rating 
2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

LABELS: Marco Polo
WORKS: Silvana
PERFORMER: Katja Isken, Alexander Spemann, Andreas Haller; Hagen PO & Opera Chorus/Gerhard Markson
CATALOGUE NO: 8.223844/45
Silvana was staged in Frankfurt in September 1810 with the composer’s future wife, the 17-year-old Caroline •Brandt, taking the (spoken) title role. Though Freischutz and Euryanthe still seem far off, it has some of their ingredients: atmospheric hunting horns, a vulnerable heroic tenor, the odd scrumptious obbligato and more. It’s several notches up on Peter Schmolland, in the absence of an alternative, Weber fans will be glad of this recording. The performance could be gutsier (things get more lively by the second disc) and the miking is less than good in some string passages. The tenor starts ropily, but cheers up for Rudolph’s cello-led Romance; Andreas Haller contributes a characterful, well-sung Krips. The hapless Mechthilde’s aria fails to warm and Rudolph’s promising ‘Ich liebe Dich’ stays rather wooden. Still, horns, flute and oboe shine, the storm scene excites, Adelhart’s aria evokes tangible Schmerz and the Act II finale unleashes a dramatic, almost early-Verdian build-up. A valuable booklet note from John Warrack helps. Roderic Dunnett