Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel (excerpts); Der blaue Vogel (excerpts); Königskinder (excerpts); Dornröschen (excerpts)

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COMPOSERS: Humperdinck
LABELS: Virgin Ultraviolet
WORKS: Hänsel und Gretel (excerpts); Der blaue Vogel (excerpts); Königskinder (excerpts); Dornröschen (excerpts)
PERFORMER: Bamberg SO/Karl Anton Rickenbacher
CATALOGUE NO: CUV 5 61128 2 DDD (1992)
Throughout his career, Humperdinck was drawn to the world of the fairy tale, which he set to music of considerable opulence, combining Wagnerian chromaticism with a charming folk-like simplicity. Apart from the ubiquitous Hansel and Gretel, whose Overture opens this enterprising disc, Rickenbacher has unearthed a number of gems, not least the evocative Minstrel’s Song from the opera Königskinder (‘The Royal Children’) and the imaginative Prelude to Dornröschen (‘The Sleeping Beauty’). Fine, sensitive performances, recorded with the utmost clarity, make this wholly desirable. Erik Levi

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