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D’Albert – Tiefland


Sebastiano – Bernd Weikl

Tommaso – Kurt Moll

Moruccio – Bodo Brinkmann

Marta – Eva Marton

Pedron – Rene Kollo

Rodalia – Carmen Anhorn


Munich Radio Orchestra / cond Marek Janowski


ARTS 47501-2 [Recorded 1983 2 CDs – 135 mins]


Eugen d’Albert was a musician with a complex multicultural and interesting career. 


He was born in Glasgow 1864, of mixed English and French parents, and died in Riga, Latvia 1932.  He studied composition with Arthur Sullivan and later, after a move to Vienna, piano with Brahms and Liszt which established him as one of the foremost concert pianists of his day.


He was a devoted enthusiast of Wagner’s music and Wagner’s influence certainly overshadows at least the first three of d’Albert’s twenty operas*.


His biggest success came with Tiefland which has been compared with Carmen for its earthy drama and sexual antagonism.  It was hugely popular between its premier in 1903 and the late 1930s, but has since virtually disappeared – although it is the sort of verismo piece that could be on the Opera Holland Park waiting list.


Happily it survives in the catalogue with this performance.  A superb cast combine to give the piece everything it needs – full blooded singing, palpable tension, melody and drama equally balanced – in fact opera at its very best.  Wherever d’Albert may be in the composers’ rating, this is a top 10 recording!


Serena Fenwick 



* Virtually all of d'Albert's operas are on the “endangered species” list. Der Golem is booked for revival 24 Jan-9 May at Oper der Stadt Bonn [SF]