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Friday Night at the Opera - Korngold: Die Tote Stadt

Die tote Stadt or The Dead City is an opera in three acts by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The libretto is by the composer and Paul Schott (a pseudonym of the composer's father Julius Korngold), and is based on Bruges-la-Morte, a short novel by Georges Rodenbach. When Die tote Stadt had its premiere on December 4, 1920, Korngold was just 23 years old with two short one-act operas, Der Ring des Polykrates and Violanta, already to his name. The success of these earlier works was so great that Die tote Stadt was subject to a fierce competition among German theaters for the right to the world premiere. In the end, an unusual double premiere was arranged and the opera opened simultaneously in Hamburg and Cologne. Die tote Stadt's theme of overcoming the loss of a loved one resonated with contemporary audiences of the 1920s who had just come through the trauma and grief of World War I, and this undoubtedly fueled the opera's popularity. Die tote Stadt was one of the greatest hits of the 1920s. Within two years of its premiere it had circled the globe and even received several performances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. But the work was banned by the Nazi régime because of Korngold's Jewish ancestry and after World War II it fell into obscurity. This 1975 recording stars Rene Kollo, Carol Neblett and Hermann Prey. Erich Leinsdorf conducts.
Friday, September 10, 2010

Play List

Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana, opera Intemezzo - Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor; Label: Naxos; Number: 8550240 FindBUY FindBUY
Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Die Tote Stadt ; Erich Leinsdorf, conductor; Label: 101 DISTRIBUTION FindBUY

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