In the 1950s Ferenc Fricsay was almost the only conductor to perform Rossini’s Stabat mater in Germany. Composed for Paris, this late work by the opera composer held a difficult standing at the other side of the Rhine; its operatic expression was met with considerable aesthetic opposition in...more
"Fricsay in concert, and a dramatic reading of Rossini's sacred masterpiece." (Gramophone)
In the 1950s Ferenc Fricsay was almost the only conductor to perform Rossini’s Stabat mater in Germany. Composed for Paris, this late work by the opera composer held a difficult standing at the other side of the Rhine; its operatic expression was met with considerable aesthetic opposition in the country which had only just found its sacred music ideal in Mendelssohn’s revival of Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Mendelssohn’s own oratorios.
With this interpretation of the Stabat mater Fricsay demonstrates that Rossini’s music does not merely consist of effective solo numbers which are accompanied by a spirited orchestra. Simply by casting singers such as Maria Stader and Ernst Haefliger, who generally showed a more instrumental or lied-like approach, Fricsay reveals his discovery of subtle musical interactions in Rossini’s seemingly apparent dramaturgy. The RIAS Symphony Orchestra, made into an ensemble of international standing by Fricsay, realises his intentions in a precise and unpretentious fashion.
On audite.de you can find a “Producer’s Comment” from producer Ludger Böckenhoff about this production as well as the historical concert program from September 1954 in Berlin.
The production is part of our series „Legendary Recordings“ and bears the quality feature „1st Master Release“. This term stands for the excellent quality of archival productions at audite. For all historical publications at audite are based, without exception, on the original tapes from broadcasting archives. In general these are the original analogue tapes, which attain an astonishingly high quality, even measured by today‘s standards, with their tape speed of up to 76 cm/sec. The remastering – professionally competent and sensitively applied – also uncovers previously hidden details of the interpretations. Thus, a sound of superior quality results. CD publications based on private recordings from broadcasts cannot be compared with these.
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