COMPOSERS: S Wagner
WORKS: Complete Overtures, Vols 3 & 4
PERFORMER: Rheinland-Pfalz State PO/Werner Andreas Albert
CATALOGUE NO: 999 377-2, 999 378-2
This pair of discs more or less completes the excellent series of Siegfried Wagner overtures from CPO: only that for Der Kobold is missing. It has been a fascinating series, revealing a strong musical personality only partly beholden to the composer’s better-known father. Siegfried’s operas deal in the exotic, the irrational and the supernatural, with some pretty rum goings-on: witchcraft, child molestation and infanticide among them. Musically, the scores (redolent of Humperdinck and Korngold) are colourful and poignant to the point of sentimentality. But Albert’s fine performances project the post-Romantic neurosis and world-weary escapism at their heart.
A further disc (CPO 999 366-2) explores the non-operatic oeuvre of Siegfried Wagner, with the Scherzo Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel wär, and the symphonic poems Glück and Sehnsucht (the latter in a superior performance to that issued last year on Marco Polo). Barry Millington