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At The Opera, Humperdink: Hansel and Gretel and Highlights from J. Strauss Jr. Die Fledermaus, December 28, 2013

Hansel and Gretel is an opera by nineteenth-century composer Engelbert Humperdinck, who described it as a Märchenoper (fairy tale opera). The libretto was written by Humperdinck's sister, Adelheid Wette, based on the Grimm brothers' fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel". It is much admired for its folk music-inspired themes, one of the most famous being the "Abendsegen" ("Evening Prayer") from act 2.

The idea for the opera was proposed to Humperdinck by his sister, who approached him about writing music for songs that she had written for her children for Christmas based on "Hansel and Gretel". After several revisions, the musical sketches and the songs were turned into a full-scale opera.

Humperdinck composed Hansel and Gretel in Frankfurt in 1891 and 1892. The opera was first performed in Weimar on December 23, 1893 and was conducted by Richard Strauss. It has been associated with Christmas since its earliest performances and today it is still most often performed at Christmas time. This 1990 recording stars Anne-Sofie von Otter and Barbara Bonney. Jeffrey Tate conducts.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Play List

Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana, opera Intemezzo Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor FindBUY FindBUY
Engelbert Humperdinck: Hansel und Gretel Bayerischen Rundfunks; Jeffrey Tate, conductor Anne-Sofie von Otter / Barbara Bonney FindBUY
Johann Strauss: Die Fledermaus Overture and Act 2 Vienna Philharmonic; Andre Previn, conductor FindBUY FindBUY
Puccini: Gianni Schicchi, opera: O mio babbino caro London FindBUY FindBUY
Giuseppi Verdi: NABUCCO: Chorus of the Hebrew slaves Vienna State Opera Orchestra; Lamberto Gardelli, conductor Vienna State Opera Chorus [Also:"Wiener Staatsopernchor"] FindBUY FindBUY
G.F. Handel: Rodelinda - Dove sei (Art thou troubled) Vienna Cantata; Henry Lewis, conductor FindBUY FindBUY
Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore, opera: Una furtiva lagrima from Ultimate Opera [Box Set]; composed by Donizetti FindBUY FindBUY
Leo Delibes: Lakme opera: Bell Song London Philharmonic; Richard Boynage, conductor Joan Sutherland FindBUY FindBUY
Franco Corelli: Tosca, opera: E lucevan le stelle Franco Corelli FindBUY FindBUY
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana - Easter Hymn National Philharmonic; Giandrea Gavazenni, conductor FindBUY FindBUY
James King: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, opera, WWV 96: Prize Song: Morgenlich leuchtend James King FindBUY FindBUY
Richard Wagner: Tannhauser, opera, WWV 70: Pilgrim's Chorus: Begluckt darf nun dich from Ultimate Opera [Box Set] FindBUY FindBUY
Dvorak: Rusalka: O silver moon Accademia di Santa Cecilia; Giuseppe Patane, conductor Pilar Lorengar FindBUY FindBUY
Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (Italian version), opera in 3 acts, Wq. 30: Che puro ciel! from Ultimate Opera [Box Set]; composed by Gluck FindBUY FindBUY
Mascagni: Guglielmo Ratcliff, opera (tragedia) in 4 acts: Ratcliff's Dream from Opera Intermezzi and Preludes; composed by Mascagni FindBUY FindBUY
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana, opera Intemezzo Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor FindBUY FindBUY
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