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Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel
Gisela Litz (Hänsel), Rita Streich (Gretel), Res Fischer (Witch), Marianne Schech (Mother), Horst Gunter (Father), Elisabeth Lindermeier (Sandman) & Bruno Brückmann (Dew Fairy)

Knabenchor des Wittelsbacher Gymnasiums München, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Münchner Philharmoniker, Fritz Lehmann

A welcome back to this famous recording from the vaults of the Yellow Label, with the great Rita Streich and Gisela Litz.

An opera based on a children’s tale, but by no means childish! The inherent horror of the tale is painted in Wagnerian colours and the dramatic tension is spine-tingling!

Poor Humperdinck! Remembered today for just one work, overshadowed by both Wagner and Richard Strauss (the final indignity came with having his name taken by a 1960s crooner!), he was highly respected by both his colleagues, and assisted Wagner at Bayreuth in 1881-2 working on the premiere of Parsifal. Of his nine works for stage, Hansel und Gretel has remained a firm favourite in opera houses around the world. A skilful blend of Weber’s Der Freischütz, Wagner’s Meistersinger and Siegfried, it weaves a magical spell upon the listener. Conjuring up all the childhood fears of what lives in deep in the forest, and things that go bump in the night (this is after all based on a Grimm Brothers tale!), Humperdinck’s magical score is full of wonderful tunes.

“The casting of a mezzo-soprano, as Humperdinck intended, rather than a soprano in the part of Hansel, means that there is more differentiation of voice here than in the Columbia (Karajan) disc…Rita Streich is very well cast as Gretel….That admirable artist Res Fischer is a much better witch than Columbia's Else Scharhof, really sings all of her part, instead of mouthing it, and is more sinister.” - Gramophone

Brand New 2CD
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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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